I Had No Idea The Hyundai Logo Was Based On Two Guys Shaking Hands

Yep, you read the headline right. Your readings comprehension skills are still fantastic, as always. The Hyundai logo, that stylized H contained by a car-badge-ubiquitous oval, is actually based on a somewhat strange image of two men shaking hands. I asked Hyundai; they confirmed it.

I mean, it’s not like it was such a secret; it says so right on Hyundai’s own website:

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The actual visual logistics of the handshake image are sort of strange; if you look at this image demonstrating the concept in a less stylized way, you can see what I mean:

Of course, the logo is also designed to represent a stylized “H” as well, which is the letter that our eagle-eyed readers may have already noticed is at the beginning of the name “Hyundai.”

The H has a pretty dramatic right-leaning rake to it, and that does affect the strange postures of our two handshaking men there. The person on the left, presumably initiating the handshake, is leaning forward, pretty substantially.

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The recipient of the handshake is recoiling backwards a bit, even using a leg to steady himself. It’s said that the two people are a representative of the company and their customer, presumably coming to an agreement on an escalator or perhaps while trudging up a hill.

Initially, Hyundai was concerned about confusion with Honda’s H-based logo, though their earlier logo was significantly different and wouldn’t likely be confused:

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If anything, that reads more like “HD,” which perhaps implied they were building cars in high-definition, even though that makes no sense and nobody used that term when cars like the Pony were being sold.

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Anyway, somehow I never realized the Hyundai logo was anything beyond a stylized “H.” Looks like I have a lot of growing up to do.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)