The Dodge car brand is named after the brothers Horace and John Dodge. They started with the production of bicycles, for which, in 1899, they opened their factory. Then they had to switch to serial production of components for Ford because it brought more profit. The first car under the Dodge Brothers brand appeared in 1914 and quickly became popular. Six years later, Horace and John died due to the Spanish flu pandemic, and their relatives sold the business. Since 1928, the company has been owned by the Chrysler Corporation.
Meaning and History
The Dodge brand had many different logos. They were used on the radiator grilles and changed depending on the car model. Over the past hundred years, many icons have become a thing of the past. These include, for example, the Dodge family crest, which first appeared on the hood of a sedan in 1946. And the most popular of the old symbols – the head of a mountain goat – was created based on the hood mascot of 1951. However, now the company has abandoned the traditional design and chose in favor of a simple wordmark.
1910 – 1914
The original logo looked like a round car detail. Inside was a monogram of the letters “D” and “B,” representing the Dodge Brothers’ name.
1914 – 1928
In 1914, the company began mass production of passenger cars, so it switched to a new emblem. The main element is a six-pointed star made of two intersecting triangles. The geometric figure was set against the background of the globe, which was supposed to show the worldwide fame of Dodge. The map was surrounded by a black ring that said DODGE BROTHERS MOTOR VEHICLES. A modified “DB” monogram has been placed in the center of the star.
1928 – 1955
When the word “Brothers” was dropped from trucks and cars’ names, the company got a logo with the black lettering “DODGE.” The designers used a bold rectangular font with rounded sides.
1955 – 1962
In 1955, the Forward Look made its debut. Simultaneously, the world saw the new Dodge emblem, which Virgil Exner developed. They were two multi-colored boomerangs (black and red) superimposed on each other. They symbolized development, movement, and technological progress. The badge was associated with rocket propulsion systems because the Chrysler Corporation produced rockets for the space program.
1962 – 1968
The first Custom 880 and Polara 500 cars, produced in 1962, featured the Fratzog logo with a stylized triangular shape. The symbol looked like three arrowheads stacked together and pointing in different directions. The designer who created the design wanted to depict the center of the hub and the steering wheel. And he came up with the name Fratzog himself at the management’s request, which means nothing.
1964 – 1993
For several decades, a red wordmark written in bold italics has been used. The font resembled Plymouth. The moderate slope conveyed speed.
1969 – 1993
The Pentastar emblem was added to the inscription: a pentagonal figure with a narrow five-pointed star in the center. Lippincott & Marguiles studio developed it specifically for Chrysler. Only Chrysler had this symbol is blue, while Dodge had it in red.
1993 – 2010
In 1993, the company began using the ram’s head logo. It was an interpretation of the old Dodge badge: the jumping ram mascot appeared on cars back in 1932, and by 1951 only the head remained of it. Then they forgot about him for a long time. When the classic symbol returned, the designers depicted long-horned argali inside a white shield with a red outline and placed a black “DODGE” lettering at the bottom.
2010 – today
In 2010, Chrysler spun off the Ram line of trucks into a separate company and gave it the ram’s head logo. For Dodge, advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy has developed a new sign: a silver lettering with two red diagonal stripes at the end. Double slanting lines symbolized agility and speed, personified the sporty character of the brand.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The most talked-about Dodge emblem is the 1914 six-pointed star. There are many versions of why Horace and John chose this particular symbol. According to one legend, the brand owners used the Jewish Star of David sign to anger their rival, the anti-Semite Henry Ford. Other sources claim that they were friends with Ford and did not intend to anger him. Also, the brothers were not very religious and attended the Presbyterian church.
There were also rumors that the founders of the company borrowed money from Jewish bankers, so they were forced to put it on the Star of David logo. But carmaker Dodge Brothers never took out loans. According to other assumptions, the hexagram represented Solomon’s Seal and personified the union of brothers. In this case, the black triangle stood for the body and the white one for the soul.
According to Chrysler, the hex star consisted of two Greek letters, delta, which symbolized engineering excellence. And some claimed it was copied from a Dodge City police badge because Horace Dodge liked to communicate with local law enforcement. In any case, Horace and John did not have time to confirm or deny any of the versions during their lifetime.
The creators of the current logo used a custom bold sans serif for the company name. The main colors are red, white, and gray in several shades.