Behind the Badge: The Secret Meaning of the Hyundai Logo
What does the company's name mean and is the emblem more than the letter "H"?
When an automaker designs its official logo to brand its vehicles, its documents, and its advertisements, a lot of thought is put into the symbol that will represent the company. Some automotive logos are more abstract (like BMW’s) while others seem fairly straightforward–mind you, they only seem straightforward.
Take Hyundai, for instance. Everyone recognizes the italicized “H” on the South Korean automaker’s products, but did you know you’re seeing more than just a slanted letter of the alphabet?
You’re probably thinking, “How can it have a secret meaning? It’s just an “H”–for the word Hyundai, right?”
Then why is it slanted?
“To differentiate itself from the “H” in Honda’s logo?”
Touché. But there’s more to the Hyundai logo than you realize when you see it on TV or attached to a passing vehicle. Read on to find out the truth.
Childlike: Check out these imaginative Hyundai vehicles
Beginning of the Hyundai Name and Company
The word “Hyundai” is the Korean 現代 (“hanja”), which means “modernity.” An exact transliteration into English would be “Hyeondae.” It’s a fitting name considering the brand’s current slogan: New Thinking. New Possibilities.
The Hyundai (pronounced Hyun-day) Engineering & Construction company was founded in 1947 by Chung Ju-yung and the automotive branch was established in December 1967. It’s headquarters are in Seoul, where it’s planning on building the country’s tallest skyscraper.
Discovering the Origins the Hyundai Logo
While the “H” in Hyundai’s automobile logo does stand for the company’s name, it’s also a stylized picture: a silhouette of two individuals shaking hands. One individual is a company representative and the other is a satisfied customer. Their exchange is a handshake of trust and satisfaction between company and consumer (here’s a representation of the logo with that in mind). Also notice how the “H” is slanted forward, actively to the right, rather than passively to the left.
The oval around the figures indicates Hyundai’s global expansion, its aim to flourish in the worldwide market beyond the Asian continent.
When you see the logo embossed in silver on a vehicle’s grill, the color stands for its sophistication, creativity and perfection. When you see it in print or digitally, it’s typically blue, which reflects reliability, excellence, and supremacy. The logo itself uses a custom typeface specifically formed for the company.
While the Hyuindai logo hasn’t gone through the transformation that other brands have endured (like Mazda), it still is an indication of what the company stands for.
Did you know Hyundai also has a specific font and text style for each of its models? Check out the gallery below!
Bucket List: Best places for Hyundai fans to visit
Enjoy learning about the Hyundai logo? Check out the rest of The News Wheel’s “Behind the Badge” series to learn about other auto brands.
- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.