Spannerhead Dot

Styling Faux Pas: Giant Logos

February 6, 2013 by Matt

Infiniti FX Logo Badge Emblem

This unfortunate trend seems to be especially virulent among Japanese firms, notably Infiniti, Mazda, Lexus and Honda.

It’s hard to grasp how large these logos really are except by viewing them in person. They’re honestly close to saucer-sized.

Honda Odyssey Logo Badge Emblem

There are a couple of theories as to the cause of the trend. One is a recognition of the fact that many Japanese cars share very similar and bland styling and their automakers want to distinguish them from their peers by way of branding instead of rest-of-car design. Also, it could be that there’s a trend toward larger grilles in general, and thus logos must grow in size proportionately.

Lexus CT200h Logo Badge Emblem

Lexus has indisputably been the worst offender lately, having seemingly fallen completely into the “make the logo bigger” upper-management mindset that drives designers, like myself, nuts. Not only that, in contrast to the other automakers’ good sense in reserving the larger logo for, oh, their larger cars, Lexus seems to take great pleasure in slapping the massive emblem on even their entry-level models, like the CT200h shown above. Furthermore, the automaker’s logo isn’t the most attractive, smacking of a corporate focus-group development process; more detailing within the logo itself (think Porsche or Cadillac) might make it work better.

Here’s hoping this tacky trend peters out rapidly.

Image credits:

Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting automotive styling missteps. Read the other installments here:

Filed under: Aesthetics, Styling Faux Pas


  1. Dan says:


    I do see the Japanese brands are big on it, but the Germans aren’t far behind pretty much all Veedubs for a while have had large logos on their grille and the worst offender among Germans is the new wave of Mercs, oh so ginormously terrible.

    Not to forget our own GMCs and a few new Chevys. Hyundai is slowly getting there.

    I kind of believe it is the trend towards larger grilles mandating relatively large logos but some of them are going way over the top. Ford, Chrysler, Fiat and Kia have kept it in check.

    Your thoughts.

    • Matt says:

      True—VW had has its share of large logos. Mercedes is kind of a special case, though, seeing as how they kind of have history with the 300SL Gullwing, among others. They were doing it for years when nobody else was, so that kind of legitimizes their efforts. YMMV.

  2. Indianajoel says:

    I can’t help but think that they are resorting to this because many of the cars that are coming out today tend to look similar or have similar styling cues. Years ago, you could distinguish car manufactures based on the styling but today, not so much.

    On another note, my father used to own a 1970 VW Van, now that thing had a “platter sized” logo. I still have it squired away somewhere… good times… good times…

    • Matt says:

      Yep; I agree. Automakers feel they really need to “shout with the logo,” rather than the design.

      I know those logos! Comically huge—but somehow it fit the car’s quasi-cartoonish image.

  3. Nick Nguyen says:

    Take a look at the last generation GL550. It has a sewer sized three pointed star.

Leave a Reply