The most famous car brand is named after Antoine de la Motte Cadillac, one of Detroit’s city founders. The company has been striving to offer its customers cars of the best design and quality from the very beginning. The company’s cars’ legendary visual style can be easily guessed in-car bodies’ shapes even today; the logo had gone through many transformations since its appearance back in 1906. During the existence of the company, the logo has changed about 30 times.
Meaning and History
There are many versions about the origin of the Cadillac car emblem:
- One version claims that the badge was developed before Christopher Columbus discovered America.
- According to another version, the luxury car brand’s logo was based on images of old Toulouse accounts and was associated with shares held by the King of France.
1902 – 1905
At the moment, there are several theories about the original origin of the logo. There is a legend among fans of the company’s cars that the logo in its original embodiment first appeared before the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus – it was the coat of arms of one of the oldest families of the counts of Toulouse. That is why the logo’s structure in shape and color resembles the coats of old France’s arms.
After extensive research, it became known that Antoine de la Cadillac was not officially associated with any noble family in France. The automobile company’s legendary founder likely invented much of his aristocratic past to advertise a then-little-known automobile company. The coat of arms that can be seen on the brand’s logo belongs to the famous French family, La Motte.
1905 – 1908
In the first years of its existence, the logo was minimalistic and completely repeated the lines and outlines of the supposedly French noble coat of arms. The basis of the logo is a coat of arms with swans and parallel lines. The crown at the top complemented the composition. There was a circle with a decorative frame around the coat of arms, emphasizing the aristocratic logo. At the bottom of the coat of arms was the inscription “La Mothe Cadillac,” which was placed at the bottom of the logo. Designers of the time drew inspiration from the coat of arms of the Detroit founder’s family. The Cadillac car trademark was registered in 1906.
1908 – 1914
Before World War I, while the automotive industry experienced its first boom, the Cadillac brand logo became more graphic and bold, emphasizing active development and presentability. The logo plate has become significantly thicker and is now located above the main emblem, with the same stylized crown on top. The slogan “World Standard” now replaces the original inscription and is located under the arms’ coat.
1914 – 1915
At the beginning of the First World War, the company logo underwent only minor changes. The brand’s design was already recognizable in much of the United States. Its corporate identity had yet to play such a key role in its operations due to the small number of competitors. The strokes and outlines of the coat of arms and the inscription’s font have changed a bit. Simultaneously, the emblem has become more round as the angular outlines of the first cars of the brand have changed.
1915 – 1920
In the second half of the First World War, the logo was significantly redesigned with leaves on the sides of the arms’ coat. This decision was made to mitigate the psychological effect of the war’s destructiveness, which was replaced by pacifist beliefs. Cadillac cars began to appear in every corner of the United States and the world. Their brand became recognizable from afar thanks to the stylish addition of the “iron horses” of one of the world’s best car manufacturers with a harmonious and brilliantly designed logo design.
1920 – 1933
With the advent of the 1920s, the lettering was completely removed from the Cadillac logo. A decorative tulip ring from the original emblem was added to the logo to emphasize the brightness and brand awareness. The graphic embodiment of the crown at the top was completely redesigned. The crown had seven pommels, and the ridge part of the logo remained practically intact, perhaps more detailed.
1933 – 1939
With the advent and proliferation of American aviation, Cadillac also decided to use a universal optimistic motive for its corporate identity. Wings have been added to the logo.
1939 – 1942
A new version of the Cadillac logo was introduced in 1939, at the very dawn of World War II. Now the logo has become more industrialized – the wings have taken on a rigid shape in the form of a triangle with a crown at the top. Inside the triangle was the swan coat of arms and the corporate colors of the original company crest. The chrome reflections of the logo accentuated the crisp metallic lines, giving the impression of advertising the vehicles themselves’ modern interior.
1942 – 1948
In 1942, the company’s new corporate identity presentation took place, where a new emblem was presented. The new external incarnation of the automobile giant received an updated shape – now the wings were directed upwards. A stylized crown was placed in the center of the composition. The classic coat of arms was complemented by the image of a shield below, focusing the consumers’ attention on the comfort and safety of the company’s vehicles.
1948 – 1957
The Cadillac automobile company’s post-war logo is a shape familiar to modern owners of the company’s cars. Symmetrical V-shaped symbol and the same signature accessory – the crown. The logo colors have not changed, but the car owners necessarily polished the checkmark to give their iron horses technological brilliance and visual prestige.
1957 – 1963
The middle of the last century is the time of the formation of many automotive industry giants. In conditions of fierce competition with Japanese and European manufacturers, it was decided to emphasize the American component of the brand and return the classic outlines, complementing them with new details – for example, the symbol in the form of the letter V has already become recognizable to millions of consumers. The coat of arms was lengthened in width, and the classic crown became the graphic accent of the original logo.
1963 – 2000
The most famous form of the Cadillac logo was created back in 1963 and has existed as the company’s main corporate identity for over 40 years. The classic company logo is a colorful classic coat of arms, framed by a silver wreath. The coat of arms was painted yellow, blue, and fuchsia with white and black details, giving the logo an extremely creative and modern look that stood out from many competitors.
2000 – 2014
At the turn of the century, the logo was significantly detailed and stylized to reflect the new technological discoveries trends. The designers introduced the classic outlines of the coat of arms and the shape of the beginning of the last century, complementing it with a metallic sheen of additional details – this gave the coat of arms a modern look and progressive outlines. The severity of the lines emphasized the elite segment of the car brand.
2014 – present
In 2014, the company decided to remove the decorative elements from its logo completely. Now the main accent of the company’s visual style was a modernized version of the coat of arms with elegant italics, emphasizing the brand’s presentability – Smooth and sophisticated lines of the lettering balance the strict form of the coat of arms.
The Cadillac logo is one of the most striking and memorable in the modern premium car market. The brand continues to use the colors chosen as the basis for its corporate identity at the beginning of the last century, making the coat of arms a classic trademark of the brand for over 100 years. The ridgelines’ varying thickness is reminiscent of a mosaic and testifies to the brand’s heritage and the history of becoming one of the most recognizable automotive companies.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The Cadillac company emblem is a combination of the classic outlines of French coats of arms, which dates back to the Middle Ages. The main colors are blue, yellow, and fuchsia, one of the car manufacturer’s signature touches. The specific burgundy color symbolizes the presentability of the brand’s products. In the first editions of the coat of arms, Yellow meant that the cars belonged to the premium class. Blue, like most other logos, expresses the seriousness of a company.
Initially, the font of the World Standard inscription was handwritten, like many of the brand books. With time, the inscription’s handwritten version has been preserved; only some of the letters’ outlines have changed. The inscription “Cadillac,” which appeared in the latest editions, is made in the company’s corporate font, repeating the handwriting of the founder of the company.