The Volvo Logo: Controversial or Not, Its Symbolism Is Fantastic


For almost 90 years, Volvo is featuring its cars with its same iconic emblem: a simple circle with an arrow pointing to the upper right and the company’s name written in the middle. While the logo is truly easy to remember at first glance, the Volvo logo has become the world’s most controversial logo a car brand has ever implemented. If you look at it really carefully, it will not take you a lot to realize that it is actually “quite” similar to the male gender symbol. Then, you wonder, why would a gigantic car maker not come up with an original logo, but use the male gender symbol as its own?

Volvo Logo

Shortly after the establishment of the company, the founders Gustaf Larson and Assar Gabrielsson wanted to use an emblem that will represent the power and strength of their car models. They used the planet Mars as inspiration, which was known as the God of War, symbolizing exactly what they wanted, but people still see a bigger resemblance with the male gender symbol. The astrological symbol for Mars originates from Rome and is believed to feature a shield and sword, as it symbolizes the God of War himself – Ares.

The controversial logo of Volvo is also an ancient chemical symbol of iron. Not only does the iron symbolize a powerful element, but it also honors the Swedish well-known rich tradition in the iron industry. The iron-connection between the Swedish iron tradition and the symbol has earned the Volvo logo the name “Iron Mark”. Simple, powerful and strong, the Volvo Iron Mark today is proudly worn by millions of Volvo cars all over the world and it perfectly reflects the brand’s strong presence and Swedish rich heritage.

Besides the intriguing origin of the logo, the name of Volvo is a brilliant word-play. While Volvo seems like just a common, made-up word, it is actually a translated word from Latin that means “I roll”. When the logo and name combined, it is safe to say that the Volvo symbol indicates a rolling strength. Whether Volvo really meant that or not, the name and the logo are a combination made in heaven.

Controversial or not, the symbolism of Volvo logo is fascinating. Ever since the first design, the Volvo symbol has remained almost the same, with only several minor modifications over the years. The silver circle with an arrow on upper right that points outwards has remained almost the same, while the brand’s red stylish letters “Volvo” have been colored into white and put on a blue panel positioned in the center of the circle. With a captivating look and fantastic symbolism, the controversial Volvo logo is among the most popular car logos of all time.

Goran Nikolov is a content writer of Protista, a website where you can find a lot of interesting lists. He is from Macedonia and has a passion to write lists about everything that surrounds him, especially about sports, health, music, technology and history. Goran loves to play basketball in his free time, enjoys playing on his guitar and sharing his thoughts with others.