Benelli is an Italian motorcycle company that has been owned by the South Korean concern Qianjiang since 2005. Teresa Benelli founded it in 1911 to provide jobs for her sons. At first, it was a car repair shop, then a small engine manufacturing plant. In 1921, the family produced their first motorcycle.
Meaning and History
There are many lion emblems in the history of Benelli. The proud predator has adorned the shiny sides of motor vehicles for at least a century, emphasizing the brand’s visual identity.
For a hundred years, only the art has changed. It was once primitive, which made the animal look cartoonish. But as the company grew, the artists updated the logo to make the lion black and white. Also, they added additional elements that have deep meaning: a laurel wreath (a symbol of victory and triumph) and three stars (an omen of a successful future).
1911 – 1925
The Italian motorcycle brand’s debut emblem resembled a wheel with a studded tire. High and low protrusions spanned the entire circumference and were positioned in sequence. They served as edging. They were followed by a wide azure stripe with two inscriptions, indicating the founders of the trademark – “Fratelli” at the top and “Pesaro” at the bottom. Next, a green circle was located, which horizontally intersected a red rectangle. They also had the text: “Brevetti,” “G. Benelli,” and the company’s name in large print. The center lettering was yellow with a black border.
1925 – 1932
In 1925, the developers undertook a logo redesign. It turned out to be successful because it became visually simpler: a laurel wreath took the place of thorns and stripes, a shining star appeared at the top, and the central circle decreased. Some of the inscriptions disappeared – only three remained. Among them are Benelli (middle), Fratelli, and Pesaro (green background).
1932 – 1951
The designers have kept the round shape of the emblem and made some refinements. First of all, they tweaked the laurel branches by adding more detail. To make the wreath look realistic, they painted veins and berries. Removed the triple border from the rectangle, enlarged the letters, and made them white. In the upper part of the circle, symbolizing the sky, there are three large stars in the lower part – a pale green field on which a lion walks. The predator has a proud posture and a raised paw, with which it points to the left.
1951 – 1972
1951 is a turning point in the logo’s history because, after the long existence of a round logo with a lot of small details, a laconic text version appeared. This is how the era of the lettering emblem began. The letters’ shape also changed significantly: they became italic and lowercase, except the capital “B.” The developers made the dot above the “i” oval; the in-letter gaps were painted black. All characters now have a dark outline, so the contrast makes white characters appear hollow.
1972 – 1995
Having delved into the topic of the text logo, the designers changed its style. The letters are now serif, printed, and gold-colored.
1995 – present
At the turn of the millennium, the brand regained one of its old emblems – 1932. The adjustments mainly affected the colors and internal elements. The developers painted the laurel wreath green, the lion, the stars and the earth white, the sky, and the background metallic. Also, they removed short strokes around the stars, which gave them a radiant effect. In the center, as before, is the company name taken from the previous logo.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The current emblem looks like a silver medallion, from which horizontal lines extend to both sides. A shadow is cast on the lower half of the circle, creating a gradient effect.
Inside is a green wreath with detailed leaves. It surrounds the rest of the elements. Below is a lion walking to the left. Above – three white stars with black outlines. In the very center is the name of the company. Previously, the word “Benelli” was placed in a red rectangle, but now it is not limited by any borders.
The font of the inscription is antique, with short serifs. It cannot be considered a classic one because the designers used original typographic techniques. The tops “n,” “l” and “i” are slightly chamfered. The connecting strokes “e” is also uneven: they stretch upwards along the diagonal.