Automobile Logos Evolution
Alfa Romeo: The company was founded some 90 plus years ago with its headquarters in Milano. The logo was designed in 1910 by an Italian draughtsman Romano Cattaneo. It is bordered by a blue circle, and split vertically into two halves, with a red cross on the left, and a man eating serpent on the right! The two halves are generally believed to have been the symbols of the two ruling families of medieval Milan as adopted by them in the eleventh century.
Aston Martin: The history of the Aston Martin logo is actually unclear. The emblem is currently composed by a pair of white wings, outlined by a black line, with the words “Aston Martin” in white over a green rectangle on top of the wings that were inspired by Bentley’s and meant to suggest speed.
Audi: The logo, designed by Rayan Abdullah, symbolizes the 1932 amalgamation of the four independent motor-vehicle manufacturers: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. The company has released a new logo with slight differences that are hard for the casual eye to notice. The new logo September 2009 changes the font and also improves on the 3-dimensional aspect of the rings which is apparently hard for the casual eye to notice.
BMW: The BMW logo, commonly known as “roundel”, was created and registered in 1917. The logo projects an identity that is smart, class, sophisticated, sporty and image-conscious. It is one of the most distinctive logo designs in the world, speaking highly of a brand-led company.
Buick: The initial logos were actually variations of the Buick designation, but they underwent a major overhaul during the ’60s with three shields representing the three models rolled out until that point: LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra.
In 1975 Buick logo was changed with the American icon now adopting a hawk emblem, known at that time as “Happy”, that was expected to mark the beginning of a new design era in Buick’s history with the introduction of the Skyhawk series. Buick re-endorsed its three-shield badge in 80’s.
Cadillac: The first logo of Cadillac was designed in 1906 and consists of a family crest of de La Mothe. In 1998, the company started redesigning its logo under the design philosophy called “Art & Science”. In 2002 the martlets and the crown was taken out from the logo, it was claimed this design was inspired by the artwork of Piet Mondrain (Painter).
Fiat: The first emblem created by Fiat’s designers was only showcasing the company’s full name: Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin). As the time passed by however, Fiat modified the logo several times, with the latest change getting into effect in 2006 when the company turned to the red background instead of the blue one.
Ford: The first logo of the company was designed in 1903 with company’s name. The 1909 logo, which has a similar font as today’s logo was borrowed from Childe Harold Wills who used that font on his business cards.
In 1912, the Ford logo was given a complete makeover, as compared to the earlier simplistic design. When a car was launched in 1927, called Model A, the famous blue oval was introduced in the logo. This was the shape and color, on which all future Ford logos have been made.
The company has experimented with different shape going from ellipse to circle, and even a diamond like shape in 1957. The 1976 logo was essentially, the last major change in the symbol, and is very similar to their current logo. Finally, in 2003, the company released a new logo, which came to be known as “Centennial Blue Oval”.
Mazda: In 1934, the logo was a typographical representation of the company. It was later moved to an emblem that contains ‘M’ shape in the middle with the image of the wings to either side showing Mazda’s agility, speed and capability of reaching to new heights. The logo further evolved in 1991 with the shape symbolizing the characteristics of wings, sun and a circle of light. In 1997, the logo was redesigned with the ‘wings’ or ‘owl’ logo.
Mercedes: The Mercedes-Benz logo consists of a simple depiction of a three-pointed star that represents its domination of the land, the sea, and the air. The color silver is typical of the Mercedes-Benz brand, and dates back to its involvement in the first Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in 1934.
Mitsubishi: The Mitsubishi logo was a combination of the Iwasaki family crest, the Tosa Clan three-leaf crest and three stacked diamonds. The official translation of the logo itself is “three diamonds”.
Opel: After 1906, there are many versions of opal logo introduced and from 2002 to today it is just a bit modernized version of 1987, complying with the 3D design style of this era. With the introduction of the Insignia in 2008, the company introduced a new logo to strengthen brand image. The new logo has OPEL inscription in the upper part of the circle.
Peugeot: The first Peugeot lion designed symbolizes the three qualities of Peugeot saw blades: the toughness of the teeth, the flexibility of the blade, and the speed of the cut. In 1976, Peugeot has come back to its heraldic lion, with a refined design to reinforce its image. It’s the so-called ‘Lion fil’. The logo had further evolved and metalized with the paws, added in the same scale; the blue, piercing eye symbolizes the long-term vision of the make.
Renault: Renault’s first logo was introduced in 1900 with the initials of the Renault brothers: Louis, Ferdinand and Marcel. In 1906, the logo was changed to a front end of a car, enclosed in a gear wheel.
Renault changed its logo to a tank after the First World War due to the popularity of its tank, Renault FT-17. The diamond shape, which appears in the company logo till date was first introduced in 1925. Victor Vasarely designed the modern Renault logo in 1972.
Rolls Royce: The Rolls Royce logo consists of two ‘R’s which apparently stands for Rolls and Royce. Though the Rolls Royce logo was simply designed, the name is so powerful that the Rolls Royce logo looks attractive and distinctive. There is, however, an ambiguous quality to the Rolls Royce logo that is often neglected. The name “Rolls Royce” in the Rolls Royce logo is always written complete with a hyphen. That’s because ‘the hyphen’ symbolizes the partnership or the link between the two founders.
Skoda: The Company’s first logo which became the main foundation for future logos represented the Slav nations. From 1926, the cars were produced under the brand name Skoda, which is reflected in the oval shaped logo of the company. The famous “winged arrow” logo was first introduced in 1926 which was merged with the Skoda brand logo and used on cars from 1994. The black color symbolizes the company’s 100 years tradition and green color signifies the environment friendly production of Skoda cars.
Vauxhall: The Vauxhall logo is based on a mythical creature called the “Griffin”. Though the griffin has been redesigned and released 9 times since 1920’s, the main part of the logo hasn’t changed much. In 2008 Vauxhall released a revised version of the 2005 logo.
Volkswagen: The first logo was designed by Franz Xavier Reimspiess, a Porsche employee during an office logo design competition. The main part of the logo hasn’t changed much, but after the World War II, they got rid of the design around the circle which seems to be inspired from the Nazi flag. Current Volkswagen logo has a 3D look and was designed in 2000.
Yamaha: The three tuning forks of the Yamaha logo represent the cooperative relationship that links the three pillars of our business — technology, production, and sales. In the end of 1987, the Company changed its name to Yamaha Corporation to mark the 100th anniversary of its founding. To emphasize the Yamaha name, the tuning fork mark was eliminated but again in 1998 the tuning fork mark came into picture. The current logo was given in 2009.