Choosing an emblem to represent an auto company is not that easy. It takes a lot of inspiration, passion and thoughtfulness. The design of the emblem must be memorable and catchy if it’s intended to stand the test of time. Some car companies managed to come up with such emblems that made them famous and easy to remember. Here are 5 brands with emblems that have now become iconic:
It almost needs no description and still, there are so many things one can say about the BMW emblem. Known as the “Roundel”, the Bavarian Motor Work logo is one of the most recognized, respected and famous emblems in the world.
Founded by Franz Josef Popp at the beginning of the 20th century, BMW is now one of the most appreciated auto companies delighting its fans with models that stand for both performance and style. The emblem stood the test of time and what we see today as the BMW logo is what people saw at the company’s beginnings as well.
The carmaker has kept the logo ever since. The Roundel is a circular emblem with the company’s initials written at the top of an outer circle with blue and white alternating in the inner ring. They opted for white and blue as these were Bavaria’s state colors.
The myth related to the Roundel says that the center is a propeller. It was a 1929 ad showing the Roundel on prop-driven aircraft that led to the notion of “propeller provenance”.
The BMW Roundel didn’t suffer significant changes and stayed rather stable as you can see in the picture below.
When it comes to Cadillac’s emblem, sources say all kind of things. They say that the first Cadillac logo was based on Antoine Laumet de La Mothe’s family crest.
Still, there are no exact details related to the emblem’s source of inspiration. It’s obvious that the logo is a mix of elements, though. Some of them have something to do with real royals while others were simply invented.
3. Alfa Romeo
A brand that excels through performance and stylish design, Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910 and has redesigned its emblem several times since then.
The logo that combines the two important elements has become iconic. It displays a red cross that is said to celebrate the first man who scaled the walls of Jerusalem during the first Crusade. The myth regarding the other element, the man-eating serpent, says that a 5th century noble, Ottoni Visconti slew a man-eating serpent. As there’s no verifiable evidence of such a deed or of such a serpent, the story remains a myth.
The first Alfa Romeo emblem with Alfa at top and Milan at bottom that were separated by ropes and knots suffered changes over time. The name Alfa that comes from the Italian “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili” (the company of the Lombard car makers) is still on the emblem. Milan was dropped in 1972 when the Alfa Romeo production expanded beyond the city. You can see the evolution of the logo in the picture below.
As in the case of many other car companies’ emblems, there are several stories regarding the Chevrolet logo. The original myth related to the logo says that GM founder Durant (who later became Louis Chevrolet) had a soft spot for Frenchified things and that’s what made him tear a piece of wallpaper from a hotel and thus create the Chevy emblem, in Paris, 1908.
His wife had a different version, though. According to her, Durant saw something in a magazine ad that caught his attention and he copied it getting thus the Chevrolet emblem.
When it comes to Porsche and its logo, things are no different. There are many stories about the way the emblem was designed and three of them have actually caught great attention. According to Porsche Cars North America, Max Hoffman, an important car distributor, met Ferry Porsche, the son of Ferdinand Porsche at a New York City in 1951. The two designed the logo together sketching it on a napkin.
There was a different story in Germany, though. Simpler and more believable, this one says that the two men only discussed about the emblem and that engineer Franz Reimspiess designed it professionally in his studio.
It is evident that the emblem was influenced by the Baden-Württemberg’s provincial seal. The antlers were kept even after the animal was changed to a horse.