Vellum Venom Vignette: Ovoid Fixation Edition?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
vellum venom vignette ovoid fixation edition

Ryan writes:

OK, so the granddaddy of oval car logos must be the Ford blue oval, but they sure do have a lot of imitators. So, how about a Vellum Venom on Comparative Oval Logos in the Automotive Industry? Or if you don’t like this pitch, maybe put Sanjeev on it. I bet he’d do this article.

Here’s the logos I can think of right now, all horizontal ovals:

  • Ford
  • Subaru
  • Kia
  • Hyundai
  • Toyota (the modern tri-oval T logo)
  • Daewoo
  • Infiniti
  • Scion
  • (Don’t forget Lexus and Land Rover – SM)

An oval (technically these logos are all ellipse-shaped, but nobody calls it the “blue ellipse”) is a pretty basic shape, but when I think of other corporate logos, I don’t see a lot of horizontal ovals (round logos? Yes, both in and out of the car industry). Even the proportions of these logos all seem pretty close (though Ford looks like the widest of the bunch).

Sajeev answers:

That Sanjeev jerk didn’t spend a year at The College of Creative Studies honing his immense drawing skills into an…ummm…dammit, he gets no airtime in this series!

Now, you have a very valid point: corporations be rippin’ off the Ford logo like whoa.

But it’s wiser to go Ford Oval instead of something potentially displeasing to the buying public, even though I can’t stand the copycat-ism either. Yet I found myself “under the influence” in CCS’ design studios. The worst was a front fascia I made similar to a GEN I Prius, with a more exaggerated snout. It was the first rendering of my second semester at CCS. And the result? Scorn? Shame and ostracization?

Nope. People were kinda quiet, instead of openly critical. Others, those I considered friends, said, “Whatever you did over Christmas break, it’s working! You are really getting the hang of it now!” Even my normally harsh teacher mentioned my progress.

It was bittersweet, as this wasn’t my best work. Even if it was…

So what’s the problem? Design studios are all about concept inbreeding: if GM (Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell) does it, why not do the same as their cross-town rival? Fame and fortune await! Or maybe we’ll hire their design honcho for ourselves (KIA), reaping even more fortune! As Grandmaster Flash said in the link above:

“Cause it’s all about the Money, ain’t a damn thing Funny.

You got to have a con in this land of Milk and Honey.”

[Image: Shutterstock user Juraana]

Join the conversation
2 of 63 comments
  • XYGTHO Phase3 XYGTHO Phase3 on Dec 29, 2013

    I reckon there's also something to do with an oval badge scaling up or down better. For example, when Holden started bringing in rebadged Daewoos to Australia, it was obvious the spot for the badge was really designed for the Chevy bowtie (or something short and long). When they forced the Holden badge into such a small space, it ended up looking (IMO) stupidly small... An oval badge would still be small, true, but would still look better I think...

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jan 13, 2014

    Circle - Vauxhall, Skoda, Saab, Holden Is Mazda considered an oval?

  • Redapple2 One time; doing time; for a long time.
  • Robert Good! Those things are hideous.
  • ScarecrowRepair Road trips by myself -- cherry tomatoes or seedless grapes. Gotcher nutrition, gotcher water, bite-sized, no sticky fingers. Light lunch, maybe; normal dinner.
  • TDIGuy A lot of comments here referring to avoiding radio in general and not AM, but I suppose a shrink part of a shrinking market doesn't have much hope.That said, I'm also part of the talk radio fan club. I could listen to it online, but it's just an internet rebroadcast of the AM station (and I'd rather not burn through my data). So if the station went, so would the internet channel.Ya, then there's the Blue Jays games... "National Blue Jays network"... Ya, three stations. I do listen on satellite, but again, they just rebroadcast the AM radio broadcast.
  • Kosmo Would have bought the passenger version to replace my wife's beloved, but aging, Honda Element if it were available in AWD. Swing and a miss there by Ford, IMO.