You’ll never look at the Hyundai logo the same way again.
Jason Torchinsky, over at Jalopnik, has stumbled upon something so groundbreaking it will forever alter your perception of reality. It’s like removing those rose-colored glasses for the first time. It’s your first kiss. Your first love. Your first newborn child rolled into one life-changing moment. The Hyundai logo – the “H” in a circle with a mad gangster lean – is more than just a letter “H.” It also represents two people shaking hands. One represents the customer, the other the company. The bridge between the two pillars symbolizes their shaking hands.
It’s not like it was difficult for Jason to figure out, either. The fact no one has stumbled upon the groundbreaking revelation until now is kind of unsettling considering how much time journalists spend poking around automaker websites. Or maybe the find wasn't widely published. And it’s not like the information was hidden down some extended link tree. You just find the About Us section on the company's U.S. website, glance at the company’s overview section, and boom; there’s the truth about Hyundai’s logo.
Logos for most companies are nothing more than callsigns to a consumption-based population and economy. If it stands out and is recognizable, then the marketing team gets their paycheck. But often, logos are more than just a representation of a company’s name. There are hidden meanings in the design, embedded in the logo from the beginning. Over time, logos do change – they morph as tastes change. The become reflective of the time – and Hyundai’s logo is no different. The circular and leaning H isn’t the company’s first logo.
As Jason points out, Hyundai once had “HD” as its emblem. According to Jason, the Korean automaker was worried about its H emblem being confused with Honda’s "H"-based logo, which is a fair concern. However, even with the similarities, the two are distinct enough that customers know the difference between the two.
Jason’s find is excellent. There’s so much hidden history in the automotive world that little discoveries like the hidden meaning of the Hyundai logo are fascinating. Head over the site and look at the rendered logo with two people shaking hands. You’ll never forget it.