We have already discussed several car manufacturers’ logos in other articles. As the market is very competitive, and if they want to stand out, these companies have no choice but to have a strong brand image which represents their values. Have you seen the famous Blue Ford logo? Who hasn’t? This American company known around the world has seen some redesigns during its existence. So, let's take a closer look at the history of the Ford logo.
In 1903, in suburban Detroit, Henry Ford founded the car manufacturer Ford. Despite complicated beginnings and some failures, its founder managed to revolutionize the world of transport with the arrival of its Model T in 1908. Notably, Ford stands out in two ways. First, the company relied on a new way of working, called chainwork, which is often referred to as "Fordism". This reduces construction costs and drastically increases production. As a result, Ford's cars have become more affordable–even Ford employees can afford to have their own Ford vehicle.
Ford's success quickly went global, even in the USSR. The company also diversified by building trucks, tractors and even airplanes. Ford had bought several rivals or become a major shareholder in other car manufacturers including Mazda, Aston Martin and Land Rover; but over the years, the U.S. company reduced its assets or sold several of these brands to focus on its own products. To date, it is one of the largest automakers with General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen.
As mentioned above, Ford was founded in 1903. The company is now more than 100 years old and has had a few redesigns during its existence before using the oval logo that we know so well today. Although today the latest trends regarding logos seem to lean towards minimalism and simplicity, Ford's first logo was very sophisticated. This may have been due to the fact that cars were originally reserved for the rich and powerful of this world.
Ford's first logo consisted of an oval border with Ford Motor Co. Detroit, -Mich.- written inside. Around this writing was an arabesques pattern to make up the border embellishing the center of the logo. The whole thing gave an artistic touch, a style that was very trendy at the beginning of the 20th century. Less than 10 years after the company's creation, its executives were looking for a new brand image that would better represent their accessibility. Several somewhat strange logos were then created before the blue oval logo was chosen as the company's official logo.
Source: Inkbot Design
A few years later, a friend of Henry Ford created the lettering of the logo we know today. At that time, however, oval shape was not used. Then, in 1912, a team of designers came up with a new idea: a triangle-shaped logo with wings. The company's name was inserted in the center, accompanied by the slogan "The Universal Car". The final version ended up being a blue or orange background depending on the situation. This logo was meant to represent the quality of Ford products, but also speed and stability. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Henry Ford did not like this idea and continued to look for the perfect logo for his company.
Source: Alternate Memories
Meanwhile, Ford's British team worked on their own version of the company's logo. They chose to use an oval to show the reliability of the brand with the Ford name in sleek lettering. This version was used for nearly 20 years in England before it became Ford's official logo in the 1920s. Then, in 1957, a new version of the Ford logo was born. The lettering remained similar, but the logo took on a shape more like an American football than an oval. In 1976, the shape of the logo was stretched into the oval shape we know today. This version is also the first to use several colors and shading in order to give a metallic effect. Finally, the car manufacturer's logo was modernized in 2003. It is important to note that the 2003 logo had a simplified color palette. There was no longer the metallic effect found in 1976 logo.
There are many ways to get inspired by Ford when creating your logo. First of all, we must remember that the logo of this American company has been able to adapt over the years and make redesigns when necessary. They also considered their target audience during these redesigns. This is a normal process for a company that has been around for over 100 years now. Then, why not add details that mention where your company was created as Ford's first logo did? This can create a bond with the people who live there or show a guarantee of quality.
As well, it is important to choose the right shapes and colors for your logo. First, do you know the meaning of colors? Did you know that blue is widely used for company logos because it symbolizes trust and reliability? These aspects can be amplified by choosing the right shapes for your logo. In Ford's case, the circle represents infinity and movement.
In conclusion, there are several elements to consider when creating a logo that will both represent your business well and last over time. Don't hesitate to learn about the history of the logos you like in order to find the inspiration you need. Speaking of round logos in the automotive industry, do you know the story behind the Audi logo?