Toyota goes 2D and drops wordmark in rebrand by The&Partnership
In a bold move for the car company, its new identity in Europe is simplified by losing its brand name to focus on a “distilled” flat version of its oval logo.
- Jenny Brewer
- 20 July 2020
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
Toyota has become the latest in a string of major car brands to overhaul its visual identity to better suit digital applications, in a rebrand by The&Partnership that sees the company drop its wordmark and use a 2D version of its logo across all European comms. It is the first update to the brand’s visual identity in 11 years and the first redesign of the logo since 2005; its intention, the agency says, is to build Toyota’s image as a “more progressive brand while guaranteeing longevity in a digital world”.
The new logo uses Toyota’s trio of ovals – which apparently spell out the word Toyota anyway – and banks on the widespread recognisability of this emblem alone, dispensing with the need for the wordmark. This helps towards the designers’ key aim to simplify the branding, which is also why the logo has gone flat, shedding its now-considered-retro shadows and 3D-badge appearance much like BMW and Nissan before it. Toyota’s flattened logo forms a key part of redesigning Toyota’s identity for digital purposes and a mobile-first strategy.
As The&Partnership’s head of art Dan Beckett explains: “The key to this project was not to simply see it as bringing the brand identity up to date, but preparing it for years to come. As well as re-modernising the brand, we also sought to bring a more premium feeling while working hard to simplify the brand architecture and creating a design system which will be fluent across today and tomorrow’s touchpoints. Toyota has recently made great forward strides in its product design and we really wanted to see that reflected in the visual identity.”
Toyota’s newly “clean and considered” branding also features Toyota Type, a bespoke sans serif font created by Monotype for an earlier brand refresh in other markets, to help the company “enhance clarity and consistency” in its communications. It also includes a new primary colour palette of black and white with a red accent. The&Partnership says the brand architecture has been streamlined throughout, using name changes, consistent typesetting and logo lock-ups. The comprehensive visual identity guidelines have been built into an online toolkit for all in-house Toyota Europe design staff to use at their disposal.