People say that the biggest events in life are the ones that you aren’t prepared for. It’s always something that blindsides you out of nowhere, catching you completely off guard and changing the direction of your once humble existence forever. On that note, I’m here to reveal the symbolism (not symbology) of some of the better known logos so that you can be better prepared on life’s journey. The next time you pull one of these nuggets of knowledge out of your back pocket to win a trivia game, settle an argument, or just act like a pompous jerk, you’ll know who to thank. Now let’s get going.
Audi’s four rings symbolize the merger of the four German automobile manufacturers- Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer- back in 1932. Four companies, four rings, it’s pretty simple. More interesting is the Audi name itself; apparently August Horch’s son came up with the name while studying Latin. Horch is German means “hark” or better yet “listen,” same as Audi in Latin, and Mr. Horch couldn’t use his name, so boom, we’ve got Audi.
It has been reported that the ‘bowtie’ Chevy logo was inspired by some wallpaper in a Paris hotel room that founder William C. Durant had taken a liking to. Durant’s wife disputed this, saying it was first eyed in a Virginia newspaper in 1912. Whatever the case, in the book ‘My Father,’ Durant’s daughter Margery Durant wrote that her dad first sketched the logo on a piece of paper “between the soup and the fried chicken one night.” Sounds like a good meal.
Founder Henry Martyn Leland apparently knew his history. Both the Cadillac name and logo were derived from Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieyr de Cadillac, the French explorer who ‘discovered’ Detroit. Leland wisely shortened the name and used the explorer’s family crest in the logo. As for the wreath? Haven’t you heard that everything looks better in between those things?
Famous and lucky Italian WWI pilot Count Francesco Baracca used to put the dancing horse on his fuselage for good luck, and when Enzo Ferrari needed the same charm on his cars, the Count’s mother told him to use the logo. And the yellow background represents Modena, Italy- the birthplace of Ferrari.
Maserati’s unique trident logo was inspired by a statue of the sea god Neptune found in Bologna, the automaker’s birthplace. If you’ve ever seen the statue you’d see that they did a spot on recreation, actually.
Subaru is the name of a cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation of the Pleiades star system, and so the six stars in the logo are used to represent this. Subaru uses six stars because those are the only ones visible to the naked eye.
The two overlapping ovals inside the larger circle represent the hearts of both the company and the consumer, and also kind of make a ‘T’ for Toyota. The outer circle represents the world, and the space in between represents the ‘infinite values’ that Toyota instills. Really. And there’s even more to it- check out Toyota’s site.
Volvo’s circle with an arrow pointing out symbolizes strength, quality, and durability of the Swedish iron industry. Why iron? Well, in Roman times, the symbol represented the god of warfare, Mars, and most weapons back then were made from, yes, iron. Makes sense to me.
Of course, if you feel the need to examine one of these logos up close and in person, you can always head on over to CarWoo! to purchase a vehicle that has one.