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The Origins Of Manufacturer Logos

The Origins Of Manufacturer Logos


We've all seen them hundreds of times and could probably identify them all from a mile off but do we know the history behind them and where the ideas came from, some might surprise you. We’ve picked some of the most famous manufacturer logos and read up on the history so have a read and impress your mates with your superior badge knowledge.

Aston Martin: The Martin part of the name came from one of the company's co-founders Lionel Martin, and while many assume Aston is a name taken from the other co founder it is in fact from the Aston Hill Climb at which Lionel Martin was a successful racer. In 1927 the wings badge was chosen to represent speed supposedly taking inspiration from Bentley's winged B

Audi: Possibly one of the most well-known manufacturer logos the four rings represent the merger of four brands into one (Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer) Audi founder August Horch left his self-named company but wasn’t allowed to use the name again for his own company. It’s believed his son suggested 'Audi' which is Latin for ‘listen’ which ‘Horch’ is in German. A clever connection.


BMW: An initialism for Bavarian Motor Works. The infamous blue and white checked roundel drawing inspiration from the flag of Bavaria.

Ferrari: The top of the badge starts with the Italian flag underneath lies the yellow shield representing the colour of Modena, where Ferrari is based. The initial SF are also there an initialism to ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ which translates to ‘Team Ferrari’. The infamous prancing horse was used on cars after Enzo Ferrari met the mother of a World War 1 fighter pilot who had the horse painted on his plane. The mother told Ferrari to use it on his cars for good luck and it has graced every Ferrari since.

Mercedes-Benz: The first part of the name ‘Mercedes’ comes from the daughter of one of the Daimler partners. The second part of the name ‘Benz’ comes from Karl Benz, the creator of the first motor car. In 1962 when the two companies merged Mercedes-Benz was formed. It is said that the three points on the star represent the land, sea and air and the original idea for the logo came from a postcard sent by Gottlieb Daimler to his wife in the 1870s.

Porsche: Porsche’s distinguishing badge is strongly linked to the brand’s home town of Stuttgart, which is written in the centre. The crest surrounding the horse is taken from the coat of arms of the Free People’s State of Württemberg, which was founded in 1918 after the dissolution of the German monarchy, and of which Stuttgart was the capital. The antlers seen in the crest represents the area of Swabia in Germany of which Stuttgart is a part of.

Rolls Royce: Rolls-Royces logo is still the overlapping Rs badge. However, owners wanted something more significant and prominent. One very keen customer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, commissioned the sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes, to design a suitable ornament. Montagu chose his secretary and mistress, Eleanor Thornton, as the model. The ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ features her with a finger to her lips and her robes fluttering behind. A now infamous part of the Rolls Royce brand which features on every car.

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