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Zephyr

History of the ODOT’s logo, a.k.a. the “zephyr."

Shortly after the Ohio Department of Highways was rechristened the Ohio Department of Transportation in 1972, a contest was held to develop a new logo, or emblem for ODOT. The selected design was submitted by Randy Witherspoon of the Public Information staff at ODOT’s Central Office in Columbus.


ODOT officials were looking for a symbol showing mobility without confinement or limitation. They felt an abstract creation would be best, so the emblem would fit future transportation concepts, as well as concepts which were current in 1972.


The symbol started out blue and white, and over time, other colors were tried, including red, until the familiar road sign green became the final, lasting color.


Some people describe the center of the emblem as a wing. Others call it a zephyr, which is really a soft, gentle breeze. No matter what you call the symbol, it depicts forward movement, and that is what the Ohio Department of Transportation attempts to do, move forward, to meet the needs of the citizens of Ohio.