Buick is considered the oldest carmaker in the United States to produce luxury cars. The company is named after its creator – David Dunbar Buick. For a long time, he was engaged in plumbing and then became interested in internal combustion engines. In 1899, the engineer started making cars, but this business did not bring him profit. When William C. Durant took over, things went up. However, David sold all shares to pursue other projects. As a result, he spent the rest of his life in poverty, and the brand that bears his last name is still growing.
Meaning and History
The current logo keeps David Dunbar Buick’s memory, or rather, of his family coat of arms. The design was based on a short description of the heraldic shield: the Buick family’s family symbol. This information was mentioned in the British genealogical publication Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. By coincidence, the book fell into the hands of Ralph Pew, who was studying the corporate identity of General Motors (a holding company where Buick entered in 1908).
In addition to emblems with shields, the brand had badges with car decorations. Many of them were manufactured by Ternstedt Manufacturing Co. Despite this, the modern design is based on the three-shield symbol that appeared in 1959.
1903 – 1905
The first logo looked like an image of the globe with continents, oceans, parallels, and meridians. The center of the map was the inscription “KNOWN ALL OVER THE WORLD,” and at the bottom – THE BUICK MOTOR COMPANY FLINT MICH. U.S.A. “. Uncle Sam, the national symbol of the United States, walked across the planet. He rolled behind him a small cart with a car.
1905 – 1911
The Buick badge first appeared on cars in 1905. It was a brass badge that adorned the Buick Model C radiator grill. The word was inside a dark circle placed in a ring bearing the slogan “THE CAR OF QUALITY.”
1911 – 1913
In 1911, the company began using a monogrammed logo: a large, stylized B with capital U, I, C, and K.
1913 – 1930
Two years later, the designers used a handwritten underlined font for the word “Buick.” They made the lettering white, rotated it 45 degrees, and positioned it over a blue square with a wide light border.
1930 – 1937
In the early 1930s, a new brand name has appeared on the radiator grilles: the brand name is written diagonally and supplemented with the number “8”. Both parts were red. Figure-eight stood for the eight-cylinder power of the engine.
1937 – 1939
When Ralph Pew found a Buick family coat of arms edition, the company decided to use that symbol instead of a logo. There were no illustrations in the book, so the designers relied only on short text. They recreated a red shield crossed by a diagonal checkered line. In one corner was a gold deer head, and in the other, across with a round hole in the middle.
1939 – 1942
In 1939, a new interpretation of the emblem appeared: the shield was extended vertically and turned pink-red.
1942 – 1947
The designers changed the shield’s shape, supplemented it with classic heraldic patterns, and placed it inside a large black circle. This badge was used only in 1942, and then the company began to produce military equipment.
1947 – 1949
The new interpretation of the Buick coat of arms contained a shield over which the engine element was located. The decorative patterns and circles have been removed.
1949 – 1959
In 1949, a shiny frame with a metallic sheen appeared around the shield. It was added to make the logo match the style of the cars.
1959 – 1997
Buick revolutionized identity when it introduced an emblem with three overlaid shields. One of them was blue, the second was silver-gray, and the third was red. They were located inside a wide ring and represented three brands: Electra, Invicta, and LeSabre.
1975 – 1976
The Skyhawk cars had their badge: a black hawk inside the ring. It turned out to be very successful, so in 1976 it switched to all car lines.
1976 – 1990
In the second version, a golden hawk landed on the word “BUICK.”
1990 – 2002
When the company retired the red-tailed hawk Happy (it was Buick’s mascot and was featured in the commercial), it noticed a three-shield emblem. The designers removed the crest, repainted the checkered diagonal white, and placed the blue word “BUICK” under the ring. In addition to the main 2D version, there was a 3D version with a darker palette.
2002 – 2015
The shields’ insides have turned white, and all the outlines and diagonal lines have been repainted in the color of chromed metal.
2015 – present
On the right side of the logo, there is a minimalistic black inscription “BUICK.” The previous colors returned to the shields: red, silver, and blue. This badge first adorned LaCrosse vehicles in 2017.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The modern brand symbol no longer resembles the David Dunbar Buick family crest. After many redesigns, no deer heads, no crosses, or chess patterns remained on the shields. It is now simply a recognizable emblem associated with the Buick brand.
The designers used the Avenir font for the wordmark, a geometric sans-serif developed in 1988. The color scheme contains several shades of red, blue, and silver. They are complemented by white and black, which accentuate the gradient and enhance the 3D effect.