General Motors (or abbreviated GM) is an international automotive corporation from the United States. It is a very ramified structure engaged in the design, production, and sale of cars. Its four main brands are Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet. Manufacturing sites are scattered all over the world. The company’s first appearance dates back to 1908, the second – to 2009 when its restructuring took place. The founder is William Crapo Durant. The world headquarters is located in Detroit, Michigan, in the Renaissance Center building.
Meaning and History
What is General Motors?
It is the largest American carmaker with well-known brands such as Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet.
In the 1900s, entrepreneur William Durant owned a Durant-Dort Carriage company, which made horse-drawn transport and was a leader in its industry. She was in Flint, Michigan. In 1904, James H. Whiting, the Flint Wagon Works owner, sold him the Buick Motor Company. Then the new owner enlisted Charles Stewart Mott, his business partner, and four years later opened the General Motors Company holding company. He had previously agreed on the name with General Electric.
The company’s first acquisition was Buick. It then bought out Oakland (the predecessor of Pontiac) and the brands Elmore, Cadillac Reliance Motor Truck, Rapid Motor Vehicle (GMC’s predecessor). A year later, an attempt was made to get hold of the Ford Motor Company. For the transactions, the head of GM took out loans from banks, which succumbed to the panic of 1910-1911 and demanded that Durant be removed from office because, according to bankers, the company was too young and could not cope with the repayment of loans. The Board of Directors followed her instructions.
William Crapo returned to the automotive industry, founding Chevrolet Motor Company with Swedish race car driver Louis Chevrolet. Since 1915, he managed it himself, and in 1916 GM re-registered the General Motors Corporation. A year later, the founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, which quickly became successful, acquired its controlling stake. In the spring of 1918, he merged the two firms, leaving the name GM. However, two years later, Pierre S. du Pont, who had supported the General Motors purchase, deposed Durant and replaced him with Alfred P. Sloan.
The new leader introduced a rule to change the style of cars every year and used the latest pricing strategy, ranking all models according to a cost grid. That is, they ungrouped the expensive and inexpensive series. His policies led to the company’s heyday, which from 1931 to 2007 occupied more than 50 percent of the United States car market and was the largest manufacturer. Each step of the organization, naturally, was reflected in its identity, which changed seven times.
1908 – 1938
The corporate logo was very simple in the early years and looked more like an information plate than a graphic emblem. It contained the main information: name, year of foundation, registration date, and much more. They were black lettering on a white background.
1938 – 1964
In 1938, the car manufacturer got a real logo. It was a vertical two-color rectangle that was divided into two parts. Above was the designation “GM” – an abbreviation for the full name of the enterprise. The letters were large, elegant, and serif. They were painted light gray in contrast to the black background. The lower zone, on the contrary, was light, and on it, in two lines, there was detailed decoding of the name – “General Motors.” This inscription was made in a more modern font – smooth, bold, grotesque.
1964 – 1967
In the second logo, the designers focused on the abbreviated version of the name and moved the expanded name outside the icon. The letters “GM” were in the center of a square with a double border of alternating white and blue stripes. The developers changed the font of the acronym: they removed the serifs and added a “G” curly element at the bottom.
1967 – 2021
The following emblem has been in use for a very long time. It was as simple as possible since the authors removed almost all of the elements. All that’s left is the abbreviation and the white rectangle below it on a blue background. The designers also removed the edging of the square. Only the colors have survived – blue and white.
2001 – 2010
At the same time, another logo was introduced – a glossy analog of the sign, which has been used since 1967. It had a three-dimensional frame that resembled a ledge with edges. In the center, against the background of “GM,” there was a horizontal wave, dividing the emblem in two. Both the letters and the background had a gradient.
2010 – 2021
In 2010, the developers added a metallic shade to the sign and enhanced the 3D effect. Due to the rearrangement of shadows and highlights, the logo acquired volume. The color was softened, but the gradient remained (both on the letters and the square).
2016 – 2021
The automaker has approved a new lettering style. The company name was written in a wide-spacing sans-serif typeface. All characters were in uppercase. This option was mainly used on the official website, while the branded square with the abbreviation flaunted on the machines.
2021 – present
For the first time since 1964, General Motors undertook a major logo redesign, focusing on sustainability and the latest technology. With its sign, the company tried to emphasize its focus on the production of electric vehicles. The updated version has moved the abbreviated name to lowercase and placed it in a square box with rounded corners.
Such a soft design with a blue and white palette emphasizes the desire to protect the sky, air, and clouds. Especially for this, the developers have depicted the letter “m” in the form of a plug from an electrical cord. There was also a functional use for the stroke at the bottom of the letters: it is an impromptu socket. Located next to them, “g” has a shortened tail section, which looks harmonious in height.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
General Motors has always used an abbreviated version of the name, made up of the first letters. In each version of the logo, the abbreviation is central and has an underscore in the form of a miniature rectangle.
The main typeface for the text part is Gothic FB Cond Medium. It is a sans-serif typeface with straight letters and a curly “G” at the bottom to visually add stability to it.
The color scheme is standard: at any time, it consisted of a combination of white and blue, the shades of which were repeatedly changed. An early version used black.