Alfa Romeo is a renowned Italian brand of premium cars that he designs and assembles himself. It is a subsidiary of Stellantis. It was founded by businessmen Nicola Romeo and Ugo Stella in the summer of 1910. The main task of the carmaker is the manufacture of luxury and sports cars, with which it has been successfully coping for more than 111 years. Today it is considered one of the leading sports car brands globally, as evidenced by its participation in racing since 1911. The headquarters is located in the city of Milan, in the region of Lombardy (Italy).
Meaning and History
What is Alfa Romeo?
Alfa Romeo is an Italian company known for its premium cars. It is part of the Stellantis N.V. Corporation and was previously owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. The history of the iconic automaker began in 1910 when it was called ALFA. Each letter in the abbreviation stood for one word: “A” – “Anonima”, “L” – “Lombarda”, “F” – “Fabbrica”, “A” – “Automobili”.
The career of the legendary car brand began with a French firm owned by Alexandre Darracq, sponsored by Italian businessmen. Her plant became ALFA’s first production site. The building was owned by SAID (Società Anonima Italiana Darracq).
At first, the company was located in Naples, but then the management decided that Milan would be the best place and bought land in its suburb – in Portello. There, a new 8,000-square-yard plant was built from scratch. However, Darracq cars sold with difficulty, and at the end of 1909, the company was waiting for complete liquidation. Ugo Stella bought all the assets and, together with a group of Italian investors, opened another automobile company on its basis.
The new structure was given a short name, which hid a long phrase, since the four modest letters “A,” “L,” “F,” and “A” are nothing more than an abbreviation. They stand for “Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili”. That is, the company directly indicates that anonymous co-founders created it. So the factory in Milan was saved from ruin. The second part of the name came five years later when Nicola Romeo bought the company. To begin with, the management decided to produce other cars, more adapted to Italian conditions. Engineer Giuseppe Merosi designed them. After that, the company switched to racing cars.
In parallel, she created new symbols. The case was again entrusted to Giuseppe Merosi. And he asked Romano Cattaneo, a young draftsman from the technical department, for a favor. The artist shared his ideas to include in the logo heraldic signs associated with the plant’s location. The management liked the idea very much. So on the plaques of cars appeared a fragment of a red cross and a huge snake absorbing a child. The first sign personified Milan; the second was a symbol of the influential House of the Visconti dynasty, which ruled the city from the 14th century. During the entire existence of the trademark, eleven emblems have changed, and the twelfth is used now.
1870 – 1910
1910 – 1915
The debut logo contains all the iconic values associated with the automobile manufacturing enterprise’s area. A round badge is taken as a basis – a seal, where legendary symbols are placed. Along the edge, there is a wide strip with the names: the company “Alfa” and the city “Milano.” On both sides, they are separated by two Flemish knots. They are shaped like figure eight, so they represent infinity.
A thin strip runs vertically through the central part, forming two identical fields. On the left side, there is a red cross on a white background. It is associated with Milan and is a great Christian symbol and a tribute to the Milanese knights. On the right side is a huge Biscione snake swallowing a person. It reflects power and omnipotence, being the heraldic sign of the Visconti family, the most respected in the city.
1915 – 1925
In connection with the rebranding, the designers corrected the emblem: the company received the name Alfa-Romeo after the purchase. It is this word that is located on the wide rim. The font of the text has also changed. The signs became large, wide, white. The color was also worked out: now there is much gold in the logo (on the nodes, crown, on all lines and letters). The dark blue background is replaced with a light blue one.
1925 – 1933
A silver wreath has appeared on the logo, which wraps around the edge. The snake and the man sticking out of its mouth have also been corrected. Flemish knots are larger, and the background is darker.
1933 – 1946
The developers have enhanced the shadows to make the drawing look bright and distinct. In addition, they enlarged the leaves on the wreath and expanded it. The texture of the elements has also changed: it has become visually rough, uneven. Small black strokes and jagged lines create this impression. It was the most textured version of all.
1946 – 1947
The logo of this period has been simplified:
- The wreath has disappeared from it.
- The crown has been reduced.
- The person protruding from the mouth has been corrected.
- The Flemish knots have been replaced with short pieces of rope.
The designers made the snake thin and added a coil to it opposite the horizontal crossbar of the cross, and they silvered the edge of the circle.
1947 – 1948
There was a radical change in the design of the logo: in this version, it acquired a red-yellow color. The borders of the inner circle have disappeared, so the cross, Biscione serpent, crown, and wriggling figure are surrounded by text. Moreover, this is the first time that a company name is written without a hyphen. The background of the sign is scarlet, the color of all elements is yellow, the edging is black. The Flemish knots have turned into two undulating strokes.
1948 – 1950
Designers returned color to the emblem. Every detail is now painted. The right side is blue with a green serpent, a golden crown, and a red man. The left side is white with a large red cross. An inner circle has also appeared, surrounded by a thin black line. A strip of triple stitches runs along the edge. This ornament has been carried over from the previous logo.
1950 – 1971
The changes affected the shape of figures and elements. Now they are strictly geometric. The cross is detached from the frame, and the serpent is enlarged. The border of the logo resembles an ancient Greek pattern made up of small strokes and circles. The “R” is now downsized, and the letters in the word “Milano” are merged, so it looks narrow.
1971 – 1972
First, the designers have returned the silver curly border. Secondly, they made Biscione smaller and more compact, so its body turns are evenly distributed. The serpent turned from green to black, and the crown was enlarged and shifted to the side. The red cross is extended to the edge of the inner circle. The phrase “Alfa Romeo” is written together and stretched. Another important innovation is that the city’s name was removed along with the Flemish nodes, which no longer appeared in any variant.
1972 – 2000
The emblem went through a small redesign, which remained for a very long period. The developers have aligned the man’s figure protruding from the mouth of the snake and made it symmetrical. In addition, the authors added a red stripe to the golden color in the crown, separated the words “Alfa” and “Romeo,” outlined all the elements with a yellow outline, and painted the letters with the same color.
2000 – 2015
The logo of this period is distinguished by grace. The authors reduced the width of the edging stripes and reduced their brightness. They also added a gradient to the white background, changing from pure white (top) to heavenly (bottom). The inscriptions are colored in the same way: white letters on the left, sand letters on the right.
2015 – today
What does the emblem on the Alfa Romeo mean?
The emblem of Alfa Romeo represents the city of Milan because the coat of arms with a snake that eats a man belongs to the local Visconti family. This image symbolizes the victory over the Saracens. And the red cross, in turn, is known as St. George’s Cross. Milanese warriors wore it during the Middle Ages.
The changes made are related to the restructuring of the automotive industry. There are plans to merge PSA and FCA, which include Alfa Romeo. In 2021, other brands will join the Stellantis group so that it will become much larger. In this regard, the company has carried out a redesign of the logo. It depicts the same elements from the beginning: a giant serpent swallowing a person, a crown, a red cross, edging circular lines, and the name of an automobile manufacturer.
The logo came out metallic, voluminous, with a chrome texture. The dividing line has disappeared in the inner circle, so the cross is in contact with the snake. Biscione has several turns removed: now, it only has three body turns instead of five. The man received the outlines of an angel-like statue. The crown has shrunk to one short stroke with three dots. The font is reduced in size and has serifs. Instead of golden, silver is now a priority: it is with it that all elements are circled, including the inner and outer circles.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The shape of the logo is a print, reminiscent of the modern version of a wheel rim. It initially had heraldry associated with Italy in general and Milan in particular. The cross is the symbol of the city where the company is located. It is a fragment of a flag and reminds us of the era of the knights, the first crusades, and the Middle Ages. He also testifies to the blessing of God for the work that the automobile company is engaged in. The second important symbol is the serpent, representing the House of Visconti, the most influential dynasty since the 14th century.
The company opted for a thin serif typeface in early versions, which gradually evolved into a wide, massive sans-serif typeface. It stayed smooth and chopped over the years until it supplemented sleek, chunky overhangs in 2015. The previous version is Futura Bold, created by designer Paul Renner and released by Linotype.
What does the Alfa Romeo logo symbolize?
Since the Alfa Romeo logo was inspired by the coat of arms of the Visconti family from Milan, it symbolizes a commitment to tradition. The two red stripes on the left represent St. George’s Cross or Cross of St Ambrose. The origin of the snake has several versions. It may refer to the victory over the Saracens, or it may refer to the Italian legend of the dragon defeated by Uberto.
What does the clover symbol mean on Alfa Romeo?
Initially, clover was used only by racer Ugo Sivocci. It was a powerful symbol of good luck, which helped him win competitions. After the driver’s tragic death (this happened when the artist did not have time to put clover on the car), Alfa Romeo appropriated this badge for itself. Each leaf symbolizes one of the company’s first drivers: Antonio Ascari, Giuseppe Campari, Ugo Sivocci, and Enzo Ferrari.
The range of colors is very diverse and has undergone tremendous evolution over many decades. It consisted of all shades of blue, red, gold, green, burgundy. Now a noble silver color is used, which has replaced yellow.