Ducati hasn’t always been in the business of motorcycles. It was founded in 1926 as a scientific community that researched broadcasting technology. A year later, its creator died, and his sons took up the business: Bruno, Marcello, and Adriano Cavalieri Ducati. They focused on making parts for radio communications. During the war, the main factory was destroyed, but the brothers resumed production and opened a new motorcycle branch. The Italian company first produced engines for bicycles and then became part of a state holding and was divided into two parts. One of them – Ducati Meccanica – became the basis for the current company. The Volkswagen Group now owns it through Lamborghini and Audi.
Meaning and History
The legendary Ducati motorcycles have their distinctive design, in which the logo takes center stage. It decorates the tank and represents the manufacturer’s name, reflecting its history in the context of different eras. Brand names changed frequently, and some of them were created at a time when the organization did not produce motorcycles. The current emblem is an abstract figure with an inscription. It symbolizes speed and movement on the track.
1926 – 1935
In 1926, the Societá Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati organization was founded, headed by three brothers a year later. She specialized in radio components production and used the logo with the image of two intersecting letters “S,” turned to one another. They were inside a white circle with a thin black border and towered over lightning, the symbol of electricity. The name of the company was written on top of the zipper, and in the last word, instead of “U,” “V” was used, which was a characteristic feature of the fascist era.
1935 – 1949
The manufacturer expanded the range with various radio devices and moved to a new headquarters. This prompted him in the early 1930s to change the emblem. He kept the circle but put italic handwritten letters “SSR” (in the background) and the word “DUCATI” in a rectangle (in the front). Moreover, a completely different logo was used on the products because the design was not regulated.
1949 – 1967
In 1949 the company began mass production of motorcycles (the first Cucciolo was created in 1946). At this point, she needed a new symbol to put on the fuel tanks. The circle with “SSR” seemed too small to the executives, so they decided to focus on the brand name. The word “DUCATI” was written in white sans serif capital letters, each with a triple outline of black, white, and gray lines.
1958 – 1959
In 1956, the company split into two parts: one was engaged in electronics, and the other was in the motorcycle business. After that, a modernized badge appeared on motorcycles: a circle formed from a green laurel wreath (left) and a red and white letter “D” (right). The “D” was the unit’s official symbol. In the foreground were winged with the text “DUCATI MECCANICA BOLOGNA.” The first two words denoted the name of the enterprise, and the third denoted its location.
1959 – 1967
In the 1960s, the “winged” theme continued. The brand’s new symbol is an eagle holding a flag with the inscription “MOTO DUCATI” in its paws. This bird not only personified freedom but was also the favorite mascot of many Italian producers.
1967 – 1977
Influenced by the youth movement, the company adopted a black wing emblem with the handwritten word “Ducati.” This badge adorned the tanks of iconic Scrambler motorcycles, and it was not glued but bolted.
1977 – 1985
In the mid-1970s, the manufacturer entrusted the creation of the Giorgetto Giugiaro logo. In 1977, the designer’s idea was finalized, and the final version appeared: the inscription “DUCATI” with open symmetrical letters.
1985 – 1997
When Cagiva bought the Ducati brand, it decided to adapt its logo to its standards. This is how an elephant was depicted above the verbal sign. Italic bold serifs were in line with the Cagiva style.
1997 – 2009
Another redesign came after the TPG conglomerate took over Ducati. Massimo Vignelli designed the badge with red italic sans serif lettering and a stylized ‘D’ in the shape of a circle.
2009 – today
In 2008, the brand was taken over by Audi. A year later, he got a new logo created by the marketing agency Landor of Milano. The designers retained the typeface and placed the word “DUCATI” on a red triangular shield with rounded corners and a long, white transverse stripe.
The previous symbol stood for the letter “D,” but its characteristic round shape was compared to a coffee bean called “chicco di caffé.” The current emblem represents the love of sports and high speed because the white stripe is a winding road.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The font used in the logo is called Univers Black Italic. Massimo Vignelli proposed it after TPG took over the motorcycle company. The author of the typeface is Adrian Frutiger. The typographer followed classic Swiss standards to make the designs as consistent as possible.
On the other hand, the color red is a manifestation of passion associated with a high-speed sport. It also symbolizes victory, thus confirming the superior quality of Ducati motorcycles. The lettering and line are white for contrast.