Pickup Logos: Mine's Bigger Than Yours

Badgestory

Welcome to the Battle of the Badges, an arms race among pickups to adopt a logo capable of obscuring everything between the lights and the bumper. You may think we’re kidding, but Dodge announced at the Detroit auto show that the Ram-head logo on its namesake pickup is 250 percent larger than before. Asked if the badge had reached critical mass, designer Ralph Gilles chuckled: “It’s about there.”

Evidently, the competition knows no limits. Ford’s redesigned F-150 comes with a blue oval decked out in three-dimensional chrome trim. GM’s pickups sport titanic Chevy and GMC logos, and the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan badges don’t lack for impact either.

Who wins? Ruler in hand, we hit the floor in Detroit to investigate. Some ground rules: We calculated total size in area — length times height — with measurements to the nearest quarter-inch. We counted whichever badge was biggest, whether it was on the grille or the tailgate. Only half-ton, hard-working pickups need apply, so no Ford F-450s or International MXTs here. On principle — many principles, actually — we also disqualified the Cadillac Escalade EXT and Lincoln Mark LT. (Dissenters, the point is moot: Both trucks were AWOL in Detroit.)

Let the badge-nauseam begin.

Hummerbadge

Eighth place: Hummer H2 SUT, 25 square inches

Does Hummer even have a logo? Not really. It’s just H-U-M-M-E-R spelled out in block letters near the grille. We measured it anyway, and as we suspected, its 25-inch length is longest-in-show. Why does it lose? Because those letters are — cue sad, sappy music — just an inch tall.

Tundrabadge

Seventh place: Toyota Tundra, 30.4 square inches

Front and center on the Tundra’s grille is Toyota’s hooped badge, measuring 6.75 inches long and 4.5 inches tall. It’s larger than the logo on the Tacoma, but among full-size trucks, Toyota has some shrinkage to explain. There’s no badge on the tailgate.

F150badge

Sixth place: Ford F-150, 31.5 square inches

The 2009 F-150’s massive grille slats make the logo appear dwarfish. Indeed, at 9 inches long and 3.5 inches tall, this blue oval gets no blue ribbon. With the optional backup camera, the rear logo protrudes a full 1.5 inches from the tailgate, though the logo itself is smaller than the one up front. We’ll award points for originality, but that’s where its prominence ends.

Rambadge

Fifth place: Dodge Ram, 33.1 square inches

As Dodge so proudly proclaimed, the chrome logo on the Ram’s tailgate has expanded faster than our post-holiday waistlines. Now it comes in at a square 5.75 by 5.75 inches. In earlier years that might have won — and if this were a style contest, the smaller but carefully detailed front badge would earn our nod. (Impressive, no?) But this is a size contest, and unfortunately the Ram just can’t cow(-tow) (sorry) its competition.

Titanbadge

Fourth place: Nissan Titan, 35.8 square inches

The Titan’s Nissan logo is biggest up front, where its sloped-back angle generates a bit more visual interest than the flat one in back. At 6.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches high, it earns Nissan a middling fourth place. Titanic it ain’t.

Silveradobadge

Second place (tie): Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche, 38.4 square inches

Sure, GM stuffed the ballots — it builds half the pickups in the competition. Everyone else had a chance to unseat them, though, distasteful as the results might have looked. If we had to choose, the Avalanche beats the ‘Rado by a hair, as its logo has a fancy two-tone, 3-D appearance. Either way, the Chevy bowtie is freakin’ huge: At 10.25 inches, it’s nearly twice the length of the Ram’s, with 3.75 inches of height to boot.

Speaking of boot, our winner kicks everyone else off the table…

Gmcbadge

First place: GMC Sierra, 63.8 square inches

We know what you’re thinking: This is a sham — GMC’s logo is little more than its name spelled out in oversized letters! Fair point, but remember that the blue oval spells Ford, and countless other badges, from BMW to Saab, spell the names of their respective automakers. Heck, back when Toyota had its name plastered across pickup grilles we’d have awarded it the crown. There really is no contest here. The GMC logo on the grille of a Sierra Denali measured a staggering 17 inches by 3.75 inches. In total area, that beats the Tundra and F-150 logos combined. Case closed: In the contest of badge braggadocio, GM leaves its competitors in the dust.

Comments 

Greg

I like this one. Glad to see the us makers are winning in the field.

Paul

Now everyone will know who makes them when they break down on the freeway,from the front or back....

cody

yeah, cause these break down all the time (sarcasm in case you thought i was agreeing with you)

woogie

Based on the way SUV/Pickup drivers tailgate here in Wisconsin, I'm glad the logos are large. I can now identify the brand on my bumper since the only thing visible in my rear view mirror is the grill.

jro

what happened to third place?

2nd place was a tie so 2nd+3rd.

DL

haha, Hummer fans would hate to see this comparison "test!"

SPC

Although I get much humor from this link, the approach employed by the author is flawed. From a mathematical standpoint, you have assumed that all of the badges are pure quadrangles, simply taking length by width and calculating area. Your approach is flawed with regards to Ford and Toyota, two emblems that in mathematics would be considered ellipses. As such, their areas would be calculated as Pi x semimajor axis x semiminor axis. Also, one could break the Chevy Bowtie emblem down to the area of two triangles (left and right), two rectangles (left and right), and one large rectangle (middle section). The Nissan emblem is a circle, with small rectangles on the outside, leading area to be the sum of Pi x radius squared (circle) plus length x width for the smal rectangles. Hummer is right on, length by width. Dodge is too irregular to accurately calculate. GMC is close, although like Toyota and Nissan, you are automatically including surface area that doesn't technically include "badge" (think the area within G, the M, and C where the honeycomb grill is visible).

Sorry for the rant, just an argument for accurate math!

Good points, SPC. We actually discussed trying to calculate exact surface area. But then we realized that we're a bunch of journalists, and length times width is about all the math we can do.

Mark

Another win for GM. The momentum continues to build. Keep up the good work guys!

SPC

Lol Kelsey. I appreciate the self-deprecating humor!

Again, nothing personal in my post!

J.P.

Hey — The New York Times style/design blog picked up this item and ran with it. There's some automotive coverage from time to time. I thought you'd like to check it out. (I work there.)

http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/soft-serve-news-pillows-american-collectibles-kanyes-bike/

J

What's next? My gas pedal is bigger than yours?
I mean, who gives a "you know what"?

daBear

There's good anecdotal evidence that the Pickup Logo Index tracks the Belt Buckle Index in most of the Southwest.

WD

What is a logo?

Simply put, a logo is a name, symbol, or trademark of a company or organization. Logos can be made up of text that is configured in a unique way. Your logo can be an illustration with your company's name on or around the illustration. Or your logo can be a symbol. A logo may also be a combination of these, but its goal is always to project the company's intended image.

So the GMC is a logo same with Hummer.

j book

Thanks for the logo info. Your next super job is to compare "Dealers Stickers" plastered on vehicles. on SUVs they cover the entire spare tire cover, (incidentially you are charged for it), plus a standard sticker, plus another "License Plate Frame Protector." Where, o'where do we end, and when, o'when will consumers stop allowing dealers to make their cars a rolling billboard.

SPC, I had the same thoughts, but my excuse is that although a journalist I sleep with a mathematician... (I foresee a problem being written up for her calculus students to solve).

But I would rank Hummer much higher, however, including the entire grille as its logo. Counting the letters (which correspond, you'll note, with the vertical bars that form the grille) only is like calculating the size of only the script in Ford's blue oval.

That said, back in the good old days, it was customary to stamp the maker's name into the tailgate of a pickup in giant letters...

J

j book,

That's especially true with the license plate frame.
I would prefer the ones that has a clear cover just to cover from salt on the road.

munky

Bigger nameplate = smaller penis..?

You know it's true.

Munky drives a Smart and has a most adequate appendage...

Whipsnard Q Bimblemann, III, Esq.

GMC....does that stand for Garage Mechanics Companion?

dlb

The raptor is the biggest.

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