Honda Logo History

Although Honda’s signature “H” has been central to its logo for decades, the design has evolved from the 1960s to now.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Since Honda Motor Company’s conception in 1946, its renowned logo has remained largely similar to the emblem we know today save for some minor alterations. With the ubiquitous “H” representing Honda’s founder, ​​Soichiro Honda, the logo also embodied notable changes in the brand’s evolution over time.
Logos tell a story with a tiny, shiny image. They’re meant to be immediately recognizable and display messaging that depicts the people behind the vehicles. From the vehicle’s structure to the level of service the company provides, customers can tell a lot about a car based on its logo.
Although Honda’s logo has remained a nod to its founder from the start; its shape, colors, and emblem have shifted to match the times.
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In this guide, we’ll dive into notable design shifts, the elements that contributed to the logo’s design, and how you can keep your Honda running smoothly with the right
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Honda is known for reliability, which is why it’s no surprise that its iconic emblem, centered around the “H” in Soichiro Honda’s name, has been one of the most consistent designs among major car brands.
Honda didn’t have a logo when the company was founded in 1946. There was just a blurry, virtually unrecognizable covered image on the hood of each car. In 1961, Soichiro Honda stepped in and insisted that a logo be implemented in designs going forward.
The original logo sported red, black, and silver tones meant to denote elegance, passion, and power. Each iteration of the logo included the reliable “H’ and the same color scheme, making today’s emblem reminiscent of the original.

Honda logo changes through time

While Honda’s logo has remained recognizable over the years, there were four key design changes made between 1961 and today. Here’s how Honda’s iconic logo has evolved.
  • 1961: Honda’s first take on the logo included a light blue “H” with a wide top and a narrow bottom. Honda was written underneath the bold “H” with a burgundy background.
  • 1969: Eight years later, the logo was stripped of its color and name. All that remained was the much slimmer-looking “H” displayed in white on a black background.
  • 1981: Honda’s name resurfaced on the logo in 1981, along with a more rectangular emblem. The “H” was outlined with a thicker border, resembling the logo on today’s Hondas.
  • 2000 to present: ​​​​The new millennium brought changes to the logo’s color and texture. With a 3D twist on the design, the Honda wordmark was emphasized in red. 

What’s behind the Honda logo design?

Some experts have likened the “H” in Honda’s logo to an armchair, eliciting an association with safety and comfort among customers. Others have compared the design to a man stretching his arms toward the sky, aligning with ​​Soichiro Honda’s mantra that anything is possible. 
While there may be truth to both theories, these three design elements influenced Honda’s logo:
  • The emblem: The mark of the brand was always a variation of the letter “H.” The Honda name was meant to spark an immediate identification of one of America’s top brands.
  • The font: The font was intended to be bold, yet simple. A serif typeface allowed for legibility and the capitalization lent recognition from a distance.
  • The color: The prevailing shades in Honda’s logo have been silver, black, and red. Red is a popular hue in Japan that’s globally associated with royalty.

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