As you know, we like to analyze logos of car manufacturers. So far, we've looked at the logos of Ford, BMW, Audi, Toyota and Volvo. Today, we want to analyze the logo of a brand that was able to stand out from the competition very early on, thanks to their luxurious electric cars: Tesla! Although the company is not yet twenty years old, we thought it was important to introduce you to the history and meaning of the Tesla logo.
In California, on July 1, 2003, Tesla Motors was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. They named the brand in honor of Nikola Tesla, who was an inventor and electrical engineer known for certain discoveries such as alternating current. Tesla's original goal was to use Nikola Tesla's discoveries to design 100% electric sports cars. If the first car were to see the light of day, it was thanks to a lot of external financing, especially that of a certain Elon Musk, who became the CEO of Tesla in 2008. That same year, Tesla's first car, the Roadster, was released.
Since their inception in 2003, Tesla's brand image hasn't changed much. The Tesla logo was created by RO Studio. This agency is also known for their work on the SpaceX brand, a company is also owned by Elon Musk, specializing in the field of astronautics and space flight.
Tesla's first logo consisted of two components: the company name and a shield emblem with the symbol in the shape of the letter T, which represented the brand name. It was a combination mark logo, although the emblem could be used alone. Tesla offered us a futuristic and elegant logo with a 3D effect on the shield, a popular element in logos of the previous decade. The font on the shield was called Emblem D and would be reused on other versions. On some derivatives of the logo, the Tesla logo was red.
But if you think that the Tesla symbol represents only a simple T, well, you are mistaken. Some have felt that it represented the reproductive system of a woman or a cat's nose. In truth, it means part of one of Nikola Tesla's inventions, the electric motor. Nikola Tesla remains the primary inspiration for the company's brand. It is undoubtedly one of the aspects of the brand that has helped the company have a strong brand image over the years and stand out from other car manufacturers.
When it comes to using the Tesla logo, it's certainly an option, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. It's imperative to strictly follow Tesla, Inc.'s established terms and conditions governing logo usage. Suppose your intended use falls outside the specified criteria and you don't fall within the news media category. In that case, you may find it necessary to obtain prior written consent from Tesla, Inc.
However, for those looking to access the Tesla logo for personal or non-commercial purposes, there's a convenient source. You can readily find and download the Tesla logo on their official website, Tesla.com. This makes it easy for enthusiasts and supporters of the brand to engage with the logo while respecting Tesla's guidelines for usage. Always remember to check their website for the most up-to-date information and any potential changes related to logo usage.
In 2017, Tesla decided to redesign their logo by making some changes. The company abandoned the name Motors and kept only the T as the main emblem and representation of the brand name Tesla. This T was displayed in red or silver, depending on whether it was on a white or red background logo. It's worth noting that Tesla isn't the only company that decided to simplify their logo in recent years. As current logo trends revolve around minimalism, companies like Starbucks, Nissan, and Mastercard removed components from their logo during their last redesigns.
As you can see, Tesla's brand image has remained fairly stable since the company's inception. Their logo was still avant-garde when it was created and managed to get through the years without problems.
If you want to create a logo as recognized as Tesla's, then it will have to be simple, representative, and timeless. But how do you create a timeless logo?
First, let's talk about color. Tesla chose to mix mainly black and silver. These colors represent elegance, classic, or harmony. Together, they are easily associated with luxury. Their choice of black and white colors in the logo design also signifies simplicity, sophistication, and a sense of modernity. In addition, since these colors are easy to modify, it is easy to add another color that represents you. As for Tesla, they chose red, but it could have been blue. Red may express their love and passion for electric cars.
In addition, a shield logo or coat of arms can bring a little extra to your logo. Even though Tesla ended up removing it, some brands like Peugeot decided to put it back into fashion. This kind of logo brings a confident presence to your brand. Consider incorporating aspects that are simple and represent your brand values. Remember, you need to keep it simple; otherwise, it will be challenging to use your logo everywhere.
Finally, let's talk about the importance of meaning. Your logo should be meaningful, as it represents your brand, your values, and even you! The Tesla logo has not just one meaning but two. The first remains classic and mundane, using the first letter of the company name. The second is well done, using an electric motor as the foundation for the logo, which is for a brand that makes electric cars.
In conclusion, you now know everything you need to know about the Tesla logo. Next year, the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary and, who knows, maybe we will be introduced to a new logo! If you feel that your current brand image is no longer up to date and you want to create something elegant and simple like Tesla, find our best tips for a successful redesign of your logo. Sometimes a few small changes can make all the difference!