This is the true meaning of the Subaru logo
As Americans, when asked to think of things associated with “stars”, many people will likely think of “The Star-Spangled Banner” or the stripes and stars of the national flag. To be fair, there are several national flags with multiple five-pointed stars. Elsewhere, romantic types will naturally think of constellations and their stars. However, gearheads will immediately think of the various car manufacturers that have star emblems, such as Englon, Askam, Pontiac, Jac, Polestar, and the most famous, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru.
Time and time again, automakers have returned to the stars when they needed to come up with brilliant advertisements or wanted to revamp their design elements. Who can forget the “Subaru Dark Sky” commercial that tells us that “there are a million reasons to stay home. And billions more won’t. Or how about Subaru’s “Finding Dark Skies” commercial where Matt Quinn, a starry sky photographer, explains to viewers how weather and the different phases of the moon impact starry sky photography?
Undoubtedly, brands seek association with stars because consumers feel comfortable seeing familiar shapes. But also because humans have an enduring, almost mystical fascination with celestial objects. Therefore, brands like Subaru have looked to them for inspiration.
The meaning of the Subaru logo
In 1953, five Japanese companies united to form Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. This new conglomerate adopts the name “Subaru”, which in Japanese means “to unite”. In addition, this new conglomerate has chosen a cluster of stars as its emblem because the word “Subaru” also represents a cluster of stars known in the West as the Pleiades. It should be noted that this star cluster is part of the constellation Taurus.
If you look at images of old Subaru logos, you’ll see that when the company uses a background color, it tends to be dark blue, just like the night sky. This is another brilliant way the Japanese car company alludes to the night sky and the constellation.
Subaru’s nod to Greek mythology
Those who had a passion for Greek mythology in their younger years will probably remember the story of the transformation of the seven beautiful mountain nymphs into stars. These women were the daughters of the Titan Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione and the half-sisters of the Hyades. Their names were Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope and Merope. In astronomy, the Pleiades aka The Seven Sisters or Messier 45/M45 is an “open star cluster, a group of stars that were all born around the same time from a gigantic cloud of gas and dust “, according to EarthSky.
Those who are intrigued by the M45 can look for these beautiful stars in the sky. In the northern hemispheres, this star cluster is associated with winter, and November “is the month of the Pleiades, because that’s when the Pleiades shine from dusk until dawn,” says EarthSky.
The evolution of the Subaru logo
The Subaru logo is distinguished by its purity, consistency and minimalist design. The Japanese automaker has made few negligible changes since the release of the original version in 1958, but the design has remained true to the original interpretation.
In 1958, the logo had six four-pointed silver stars, which represented the six companies that merged. The stars are united by a silver line and all are included in a flattened oval that surrounds them, almost like a magic line that protects them. There is no background color and no additional tints. The design is simple and very refined.
In 1966, Subaru experimented with color and added an intense shade of red as a background to the stars, but the same metallic color remained for the stars and the oval around them. Fast forward to 1978, and the color red has been replaced by black, a color that reminds us of the night sky. Small dots reminiscent of smaller stars in the sky surround the six four-pointed stars. In the 1980s and 1990s, Subaru returned to a logo that resembled the original version. No background color, just six silver stars, although there are some slight differences from the original version. For example, the line that unites the stars has disappeared, and the celestial bodies have a more modern look.
Meanwhile, in the 1990s and 2000s, the logo more predominantly features a star, which has become larger compared to other celestial bodies, and the background color is dark blue. The most recent emblem has the same four-point celestial bodies flying or floating in blue space. The background color is less intense than in the 1990s and 2000s, and again one star is larger than the others. This time, Subaru unites the celestial bodies in pairs of two.