Car logos are as iconic as car designs themselves, with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz recognisable even to those uninterested in motor vehicles. Like any successful brand, having a stand out logo is integral to building and maintaining status – after all, cars on the road provide free advertising if people know what they are – but have you ever sat in a traffic jam and pondered on the significance of Audi’s four rings, or where Rolls-Royce got their Flying Lady (correctly called the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’) from?
Read our blog to find out more and take our fun quiz
to find out how well you know your car logos.
Perhaps the most famous ‘logo’ is the aforementioned Rolls-Royce ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’. The earliest models of the car merely carried the ‘RR’ logo, and the company eventually added an ornament to signify their status. Originally inspired by customers wanting something unique, personal mascots were often introduced by their owners, with Rolls Royce having little input over quality control. In an attempt to preserve its hard-won reputation and also enhance the brand, the company designed a generic mascot. The early versions have changed little over the years and it remains as big a status symbol today as it did 100 years ago.
Mercedes are another brand with an iconic logo, although its origins are in complete contrast to Rolls-Royce. Unlike Rolls, Mercedes began using their three-pointed star well before they became a global brand. In fact, the prongs of the star are thought to symbolise the land, sea and air – a reflection of the company’s dream of having its engines dominate all methods of transport, or in other words, become the leading brand for transport worldwide.
Another iconic logo is Audi. One of the motoring industry’s most recognisable logos is actually highly symbolic, reflecting the marriage of four car manufacturers in the 1930s, which became one under the name of Audi.
It may surprise many that the famous Toyota logo has only been around since 1989, with a variety of other symbols and names used previously. Their current logo was introduced in line with their 50th anniversary celebrations, with the manufacturer wanting to reflect the brand’s Japanese heritage. Next time you see a Toyota car, consider the two overlapping internal shapes as symbolising the brand’s unity with its customers, as well as forming a ‘T’ for Toyota. The larger oval in which the shapes sit symbolises the greater world outside. Armed with this information it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a Toyota and think ‘nice squiggle’ ever again.
As well as having four wheels and a petrol tank, all cars have a unique logo in common. These range from those with a history as detailed above, to those preferring the short and simple, such as Kia (a simple badge with the word ‘Kia’), or Seat (a big ‘S’). Either way, it’s safe to say that car logos have earned their place in the world, being just as recognisable as the cars themselves, if not more so.
So, how did you fare in our quiz? Was your score down to petrol-head genius or the power of branding? Tweet us @eCars247 and let us know.
For more information regarding the eCars247 buying process, see our How It Works page, or find your perfect car straightaway with our handy car wizard, and browse makes, models or simply just prices.
Read our 5 tips for buying a used car online and our used car checklist on our blog page.
If you’ve any questions after reading our tips for buying a used car, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our customer buddies over the phone, via email or through our online chat facility.