Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.

The Sonic the Hedgehog logo is a work of art. Just look at it up there. That emblem is bold, colorful, and full of character. But why is the Sonic emblem so extravagant? Why is it an emblem at all, actually?

Hirokazu Yasuhara (game designer) and Naoto Oshima (character designer), two developers that worked on the original Sonic the Hedgehog, revealed the origin of the emblem during a March 21 talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. It turns out it has a lot to do with flight jackets.

Oshima had a fascination with planes and nose art, the painting on the tip of an aircraft that could often give it a face and other features. So he incorporated this into Sonic’s backstory, one that Sega never revealed in any official material released to the public.

The original idea was that Sonic wasn’t real at all. Instead there was a pilot who was known for going fast. He also had his plane’s nose painted to look like a hedgehog. That’s how he got the nickname of Hedgehog himself.


GamesBeat Summit 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in Los Angeles this May 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.

Register Here

Above: This slide explains Sonic’s flight jacket backstory.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

This pilot married a children’s author who created a character, Sonic the Hedgehog. The emblem for this character is also on the pilot’s jacket.

So, Sonic the Hedgehog is a fiction inside a fiction. That is, if Sega actually accepted this original backstory as canon. Considering how no game ever told that story, it’s likely to remain an obscure bit of trivia that explains why Sonic has an emblem.

Above: The creation of the emblem.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

It does make sense. Pilot jackets are often adorned with patches that feature similar designs. I just never put the connection together.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.