The history and meaning of the Tesla logo

The history and meaning of the Tesla logo

As you know, we like to analyze car company logos. 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 distinguish itself from the competition very early thanks to its luxurious electric cars: Tesla! While the company is not yet XNUMX years old, we think it's important to introduce the history and meaning of the Tesla logo.

The creation of Tesla

In California, on July 1, 2003, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors. They named the brand in honor of Nikola Tesla, inventor and electrical engineer known for some of his discoveries, such as alternating current. The company's original goal was to use Nikola Tesla's findings to design 100% electric sports cars. If the first car saw the light it was thanks to a lot of external funding, in particular by a certain Elon Musk, who became CEO of Tesla in 2008. In the same year the first car produced by Tesla, the Roadster, was launched.



The creation of the Tesla logo

Since Tesla's founding in 2003, its brand image hasn't changed much. The Tesla logo was created by RO Studio. This agency is also known for working on the SpaceX brand, another of the companies owned by Elon Musk, specializing in the field of astronautics and space flight.

The first Tesla logo consisted of two components: the company name and a shield-shaped emblem with the letter T representing the name. It was a combination of logo and mark (combination mark), although the emblem could be used alone. Tesla presented us with a futuristic and elegant logo with 3D effect on the shield, a common element among the logos of the last decade. The font on the shield was called Emblem D and would be reused on other versions. On some derivatives, the Tesla logo was in red.



The history and meaning of the Tesla logo

But to think that the Tesla symbol represents just a simple T would be a mistake. Some thought it represented the female reproductive system or a cat's nose. In fact, it represents a part of one of Nikola Tesla's inventions: the electric motor. Nikola Tesla remains the main inspiration for the company's branding. This is undoubtedly one of the aspects that over the years has helped the company to strengthen the brand image and distinguish itself from other car manufacturers.

The current Tesla logo

In 2017, Tesla decided to redesign its logo by making some changes. The company dropped the word Motors from the name and kept only the T as the primary emblem and representation of the Tesla name. This T is depicted in red or silver depending on whether it is on a white or red background. It's worth noting that Tesla isn't the only company that has decided to simplify its logo in recent years. Since current logo trends revolve around minimalism, companies like Starbucks, Nissan, and Mastercard have removed some components from their logo in their latest redesigns.

The history and meaning of the Tesla logo

As you can see, the Tesla brand image has remained fairly stable since the company's inception. The logo was already cutting edge when it was created and has managed to cross the time without problems.

How can you take inspiration from the Tesla logo to create your logo?

If you want to create a recognizable logo like Tesla's, then it needs to be simple, iconic and timeless. But how do you create a timeless logo?


First, let's talk about colors. Tesla has chosen to mainly combine black and silver. These colors represent elegance, classic and harmony. Together, they are easily associated with luxury. Also, since these colors are easy to change, it's easy to add another color that represents you. Tesla went for red, but he could have gone for blue. Red can represent the company's love and passion for electric cars.



Also, the shape of a shield or a coat of arms can give the logo some extra flair. Even though Tesla ended up removing it, some brands like Peugeot decided to bring it back. This type of logo gives a certain presence to the brand. Consider incorporating elements that are simple and represent your brand values. Remember: the logo must be simple, otherwise it will be difficult to use it everywhere.

Finally, let's talk about the importance of meaning. Your logo should be meaningful, as it represents your brand, your values ​​and even yourself! The Tesla logo has not just one meaning, but two. The first is an almost trivial classic: the first letter of the company name. The second, which recalls an electric motor, is perfect for the logo of a brand that produces electric cars.


Bottom line, now you know everything there is to know about the Tesla logo. Next year the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary and, who knows, maybe it will present us with a new logo! If you feel that your brand image is no longer current and you want to create something as elegant and simple as Tesla did, we offer you our best tips to redesign your logo successfully. Sometimes, a few small changes can make all the difference!

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