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The History of the Tesla Logo and What it Means


In the present time, most people will be most familiar with the name Tesla because of the electric vehicle company. However, it should be mentioned that there is a reason that Tesla is named Tesla. For those who are curious, Tesla is named for an inventor named Nikola Tesla. In short, said individual was a Serb born in what is now Croatia but was still a part of the Austrian Empire in those times. Tesla's father was a priest while Tesla's mother was a daughter of a priest with a talent for making tools and machines in spite of her lack of a formal education, which explains why Tesla accredited his creative capabilities to her. In any case, Tesla got the chance to go to primary school, middle school, and high school, with the result that he became fascinated by electricity because of demonstrations carried out by his physics professor.

Initially, Tesla's father wanted him to go into the priesthood. However, that changed when Tesla caught cholera, which brought him so close to death that Tesla's father promised to send him to the best engineering school if he managed to recover. Eventually, this resulted in him going to Austrian Polytechnic where his results were very mixed. On the one hand, Tesla earned the highest possible grades in his first year while taking more exams than he needed to; on the other hand, he apparently did very poorly in subsequent years, not least because he came down with a very bad case of gambling addiction. Thanks to that, Tesla never graduated from Austrian Polytechnic but instead went through various shenanigans until he landed a job at a telegraph company in Budapest, Hungary. There, he got the chance to make numerous improvements on the equipment as the chief electrician, which presumably provided him with valuable experience for his future endeavours.

In time, Tesla winded up with a job with the Continental Edison Company at a time when electric power utility was just being set up. He managed to impress with his expertise and experience, with the result that he started being called upon to handle issues in both France and Germany. Eventually, Tesla would be called to the United States where he would work on lighting for six months before quitting. No one really knows why he quit his job with Edison Machine Works. However, Tesla mentioned unpaid bonuses, though this isn't particularly well-supported by other sources.

Afterwards, Tesla started inventing things before showing them off to the public. In more than one case, his efforts were met with nothing short of awe. For instance, when he came up with a boat that could be radio-controlled, the witnesses came up with a wide range of explanations for what they saw, with examples ranging from magic to a monkey piloting the vessel from within. Amusingly, this is the reason that some people suspect that H.P. Lovecraft based his creation Nyarlathotep on Tesla. After all, said figure was described as a showman who exhibited scientific wonders that horrified as much as they amazed, which is very much the reaction that Tesla would have evoked in a man such as Lovecraft.

In any case, while Tesla was a prolific inventor who came up with some very interesting creations, his reputation in certain circles has grown in the decades since his death. As a result, Tesla isn't just seen as a remarkable man of science but rather someone whose works verged on the magical, which continues to color how he is seen in the present time. Due to this, it is no wonder that Tesla became the namesake of the electrical vehicle company, particularly since his single greatest contribution was to the AC electricity supply system.

What Does Tesla's Logo Mean?

Meanwhile, the story of Tesla's logo is much more straightforward. Something that isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the needs for a business logo.

For those who are unfamiliar, Tesla's logo is pretty much a stylized T. However, there is a bit more to that because Elon Musk has stated that it is also a representation of an electric motor. To be exact, the main T plus the line that runs on top of the T are meant to be a cross-section of an electric motor, though it should be mentioned that said machines come in a wide range of designs with a wide range of shapes. Regardless, it is interesting to note that this isn't the first Elon Musk to have such a logo, seeing as how the X in the Space X logo is supposed to represent the trajectory of a rocket. Something that is perhaps unsurprising when one learns that both logos were designed by the same design firm based out of New York City.

On the whole, the Tesla logo serves its intended function quite well. For those who are unfamiliar, a business's logo is one of the most often-seen symbols of its presence. As a result, it plays a very important role in its overall brand, which in turn, is important for a couple of reasons. One, a well-known brand makes a business's products and services better-known to potential buyers, thus increasing the chances of them being bought. Two, a positive brand causes a business's products and services to be perceived in a better light by potential buyers, which serves the same end as the aforementioned reason. Under these circumstances, a memorable logo is helpful because it distinguishes a business's products and services from those put out by its competitors. Even more importantly, a memorable logo makes a business memorable, which is arguably even more important because basic recognition is so fundamental to everything related to brand-building.

As for why Tesla's logo works, the answer is simplicity. The T is very evocative of the name of the electric vehicle company, thus serving to connect one with the other. Besides that, it is stylized in a sufficiently unique manner to set it apart from all of the other logos that incorporate T out there while still being sufficiently pleasing to the senses for it to convey positive associations. Both of which are critical for logos.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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