As one of the longest-standing automotive manufacturers in the country, Ford has understandably had to make some changes over the years. They’ve gotten bigger, they’ve produced different types of vehicles over the years, and they’ve controversially cut back on the production of some of their staples in order to focus on what they want to produce.
But one thing that hasn’t changed much over the years is their logo. Ford’s iconic blue oval logo isn’t the one the company started out with back in 1903, but it’s been around for ages. How did it become what it is today?
The Ford Motor Company’s humble beginnings
The best-selling vehicle in the country has been the Ford F-150 for almost 40 years, and it’s strange to think that it all started back in 1896 when Henry Ford built his first Quadricycle. The Quadricycle was built using four bicycle wheels and was powered by a 4-horsepower engine. It could go forward only and had a tiller to guide you instead of a steering wheel. But it sparked a flame inside Ford, and seven years later, the Ford Motor Company was founded.
The Ford Motor Company’s first success came in its first year with the Model A. The company spent all of its investments just to make the vehicle, but it paid off to the tune of doubling that investment amount in just two months. The original Model A was powered by an 8-horsepower engine and could reach a top speed of 28 MPH. With this vehicle, Ford introduced the ability to drive in forward and reverse, and it was also controlled with a steering wheel.
Ford’s logo back then was nothing like it is now
While companies have to change with the times, you’d never guess that Ford’s iconic blue oval logo would’ve started out the way that it did. Ford’s original logo was green with “Ford Motor Co. Detroit, Mich” emblazoned within a decorative wreath design. And while that’s different than what it has since become, it’s important to note that it began as a circle, so you can see that they kept that similar shape throughout the years.
In 1909, the logo changed to simply saying “Ford” and in 1912, they added an oval around the word. This is also when the signature cursive lettering introduced as well as the blue color that has since stuck around for over 100 years. In the changes after that, the logo didn’t change significantly. The shape was adjusted to make it a longer logo, the lettering was slightly modernized once or twice, and they added a gradient to the blue color in the last two iterations of it. But it has ultimately kept its traditional design since the early 1900s.
When’s the last time Ford re-designed their logo?
Surprisingly, given Ford’s long history, there have only been eight significant logo changes since their beginnings as a company. The last time they changed the logo was in 2003. That year, they changed the blue hue slightly and added a different corresponding gradient as well as 3D shading to the lettering, making it sleeker than it was before.
This year, Ford will celebrate its 117th birthday as a company. Could we see a new logo sometime soon? Possibly. But don’t expect it to change too much. As their history has shown, Ford is a company that likes to keep its eyes on the future while continuing to acknowledge their long history. While it’s true their logo has changed over the years, it hasn’t changed significantly for about 100 years when it became the blue oval that it still is today.