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The Ferrari brand was the result of one man’s blood, sweat, and tears to make a dream a reality. Everything this car maker did made the Ferrari sports car an icon in the automotive industry, utilizing performance as well as all the small details, like the logo. What does the Ferrari log mean, and how did it come about?

What exactly does the Ferrari logo mean?

There are a few different components that make up the Ferrari logo. At the top, you’ll notice green, white, and red stripes. These represent the colors of the Italian flag, where the Ferrari brand originates, according to the Ferrari Lake Forest site. 

At the bottom is the name ‘Ferrari’ written in stylistic letters. Sometimes, though, the logo is seen with a shield, and underneath the horse, you’ll see an ‘S’ and an ‘F’. These letters represent ‘Scuderia Ferrari’, which is Italian for ‘Ferrari stables’. The name ‘Ferrari’ is the surname of the owner of the iconic brand, Enzo Ferrari. 

The yellow-colored background also has meaning. It represents the city of Modena, which is Enzo Ferrari’s hometown. It’s also a remembrance of some of the older Ferrari vehicles painted yellow.  

The horse figure itself is seen in the middle of the logo and is a caricature of a horse seen elsewhere before Ferrari adopted it. 

A brief history of where the Ferrari logo came from

This same horse was also seen on a banner located on the grounds where the Duke of Savoy resided in the 1690s. It’s most famously known for the logo found on the plane of a World War I air force pilot, Count Francesco Baracca, who is believed to have adopted it from a German plane he shot down earlier in his career. 

The logo was from a crest seen in the city of Stuttgart, Germany. It was thought that Baracca used it as a prize of sorts. After 34 successful duels in the air, the pilot died at a young age after being shot down in 1918.

Ferrari’s owner got a chance to meet Count Enrico Baracca and Countess Paolina Baracca (Francesco’s parents) as a prize for winning at the Savio Circuit. The Countess was the one who encouraged Ferrari to use the prancing pony as his logo for the racing cars he built, claiming it would bring him good luck. 

The prancing pony’s journey to become the iconic logo for Ferrari

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When the Ferrari owner got the blessing from the parents of the fighter pilot to use the logo, it didn’t automatically jump onto a Ferrari model. That wouldn’t happen for a few years yet, since the popular sports vehicle was produced later on. Instead, Ferrari used the logo on an Alfa Romeo

It changed, however, from the white background used by Baracca to the yellow one we’re familiar with today so that Ferrari could pay homage, so to speak, to the place of his origins, Modena. Even the horse caricature changed a little from the tail pointing downward to upwards instead. 

It wasn’t until years later that it was placed on an actual Ferrari model, becoming part of the Alfa Romeo racing team. After that, it became a staple of the brand and continued to be a part of Ferrari vehicles from then on. Today, the logo is so much a part of the brand that you can’t imagine it as being placed on anything else. 

The meaning behind the Ferrari logo is an interesting one, for sure. The iconic pony has gone from a city’s crest in Germany to a fighter pilot’s plane and then into the lap of Enzo Ferrari, which makes it a more historical piece than the Ferrari brand itself.