Musings on Car Logos and Marks

A Visual Appreciation of the Auto Industry

Let me take a moment to voice my opinion. Nothing crazy though, don’t worry. I want to highlight and appreciate the visual landscape of logos in the automotive industry. There is plenty of criticism and design judgment in the world right now — this is a positive and favorable evaluation.

Here are 25.

From left to right, top to bottom:
BMW • Toyota • Volvo • Infiniti • Fiat
Jaguar • Buick • Citroën • Honda • Peugeot
Audi • Maserati • Dodge • Subaru • Renault
Acura • Mitsubishi • Daihatsu • Mercedes • Mini
Hyundai • Chrysler • Pontiac • Nissan • Lincoln

They are shown here in one-color formats, furthering their simplistic appeal. Some are spectacular, some mediocre. As an industry whole however, these are excellent. Shields and crests saturate the field: There is a lot of heritage in some of these brand names. Most are set within some oval or circular enclosure — I presume to apply to the car surface easier as one piece rather than multiple elements (see Subaru’s stars). Monograms are popular: plenty of initials to go around.

There is such beauty and power in the simplicity of these marks. And the ones that begin to get more complicated (Ferrari, Porsche, Cadillac) carry plenty of purpose in the history and legacy of the company and brand name.

Here are 25 more.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Volkswagen • Opel • Lexus • Chevrolet • Renault Samsung Motors
Alfa Romeo • Suzuki • Ford • Ferrari • Smart
Oldsmobile • Saturn • Daewoo • Sköda • Cadillac
Tesla • Holden • Mazda • Porsche • Vauxhall
Hino • Seat • SAAB • Mercury • TATA

That’s it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer(s): To my awareness, all logos are as up-to-date as possible. Saturn has been discontinued (RIP) and Chrysler has merged with Fiat to dissolve the “pentastar” logo. Chrysler’s new logo fits better on a car hood or trunk than this post so it’s not included. Jaguar’s logo doesn’t distill to one color from chrome seamlessly. Neither does Cadillac. Is this Nissan logo still their primary mark? Jeep, Isuzu, Land Rover, GMC, and several others are not included for being simple logotypes — I wanted to highlight logos and marks in this post. I did not design any of these logos (does anyone think I did?). All rights belong to their respective owners.

This list does not include: Lamborghini, Mustang, Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, and Kia to name a few. There are more auto makers than I could list in a lifetime.

Another update: Volkswagen is building out JETTA as a standalone brand in China, with cars having a “J” in the grill instead of the company’s famous VW monogram. Source: Brand New. Volkswagen Press Release.

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