THE HISTORY OF FORD
THE FORD LOGO EVOLUTION
The evolution of the Ford badge
The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan, as the joint project of the businessman Henry Ford and 11 more investors. In 1913, the company revolutionised the industry forever when Henry Ford conceptualised the assembly line concept. This invention drastically sped up the production process and made automobiles affordable for low-income individuals. It gave Ford a huge boost and allowed the company to sign multiple contracts with both state authorities and private enterprises, including a cooperation agreement with the Russian government in 1929. The Ford Motor Company kept growing decade by decade, turning into one of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
Today, Ford is the second-biggest automaker in the US after General Motors.
1903 — 1907
Ford Motor Company’s very first logo was composed of an ornately rounded badge in a frame with leaves and curves. The badge was coloured black with a white inscription and accompanied by white framing. The letters were rounded and placed in a wave, with the “Detroit, Mich” tagline in a bold sans-serif typeface. The badge was elegant and simple.
1907 — 1909
In 1907 Ford decided to change its style to a modern look. The badge featured a completely new style and shape. The rhombus with rounded smooth angles had a bold black “Ford” inscription in the middle and additional lettering above and under it. The eye-like shape of the new badge made the whole logo remarkable and memorable and its metallic-grey and black colour palette added a sense of professionalism with a progressive approach. It was a decent and contemporary logo which stayed with the company for only two years.
1909 — 1911
In 1909 the automaker used Henry Ford’s signature for its visual identity. It is still the core of the whole company’s concept today, just slightly modified with the new colour palette. The script lettering featured an elongated tail of the letter “D”, which were removed in future versions.
This badge was executed in monochrome and had no framing, only the quotes.
1911 — 1912
The founder’s signature was enclosed in a double horizontal oval, with “the Famous Motor Cars” inscription placed around the perimeter.
1912 — 1917
The logo still featured the same nameplate style, but was located on a blue badge and stylised like a bird. All the details were executed in white and there was a delicate, yet strict, tagline, “The Universal Car”. This design stayed with the company for five years and is the only one with such an unusual shape.
1917 — 1927
In 1917, Ford decided to return to minimalism. Henry Ford’s signature was placed inside a white oval with a thin frame. It was a simple yet very elegant logo, which lasted for ten years.
1927 — 1957
The colour palette was changed to blue and white. The frame took on double lines — with thick, white and thin, blue lines. This logo became a prototype for the one we all know today.
1957 — 1961
Ford redesigned its badge again in 1957. The oval was extended, the letters bolder, with elongated lines. The blue colour of the background gained a new intense shade and the frame was composed of two thin white and two blue lines.
1961 — 1976
This badge was used by the automaker for 15 years and is still in use today as the secondary emblem. The white script nameplate is located in the middle of the blue oval with a thick white frame. It is simple, elegant and instantly recognisable.
1976 — 2003
Ford decided to use a three-dimensional version, switching white colour to silver and adding some gloss to the surface of the badge. The blue was darker and had gradient shades.
2003 — Today
Today’s version of the badge looks similar to the one from 1961, but with more volume and light. The lettering features a delicate shadow and the background — a gradient blue – makes the badge look alive and dynamic. The contours of the inscription are refined and looks sophisticated and timeless.