Holden is an Australian automotive company that emerged in 1856 and began making saddlery and saddlery products. In 1931, she switched to car manufacturing. At the same time, it was acquired by the American holding General Motors. He made the firm his subsidiary and renamed it General Motors-Holden. In 1998, the automaker was named Holden Ltd, and in 2005, GM Holden Ltd. Its founders were representatives of the Holden family – James Alexander and Edward. The head office was located in Port Melbourne (Australia). At the end of 2020, this company, which produced passenger cars mainly with right-hand drive, ceased to exist.
Meaning and History
What is Holden?
It is a long-standing car manufacturer that started in Australia in 1856 and was originally a saddle manufacturer. In 1931, it became a General Motors trademark. GM has decided to liquidate Holden by 2021.
James Alexander Holden immigrated to Australia from the British city of Walsall. Having appeared there in 1852, he opened a saddle and saddle workshop in Adelaide four years later. In 1879, the son of the founder, Henry James Holden, joined the family business. In 1885, the German H. A. Frost became a partner in the business, so later, the company was named Holden & Frost Ltd.
Many years later (in 1905), James’ grandson, Edward Holden, took up the job. He started the active development of the company and took on various orders, including the repair of car upholstery. Then the young industrialist began to re-equip the outdated chassis, install bodies, grind and paint them. The requirements of the war period forced the enterprise in 1917 to completely switch to the manufacture of bodies. To do this, Henry James Holden opened a new company and, in 1919, registered it as Holden’s Motor Body Builders Ltd.
The company specialized in bodywork for a long time, building three factories for this: first in Adelaide, then in Geelong, and Woodville. As a result, it has become the exclusive bodywork supplier for General Motors. They were suitable for platforms for a wide range of world-famous car brands. In 1926, an expanded structure of the Australian enterprise General Motors Limited appeared with production workshops in many continent cities. Only the Woodville plant, which produced body parts and cars, remained independent. Holden’s Motor Body Builders Ltd. merged in 1931. with General Motors (Australia) Pty Ltd, which gave rise to General Motors-Holden Ltd.
Then there were many more transformations with ups and downs until, in the 2010s, production was shaken by the falling Australian dollar. It became unprofitable. In the fall of 2017, the Elizabeth plant was closed, and the Holden Commodore was discontinued. And in the winter of 2020, General Motors Corporation announced that by the beginning of 2021, Holden would be completely liquidated. GM Specialty Vehicles appeared instead. Its tasks include the supply of Chevrolet Silverado and Corvette C8 vehicles. So in December 2020, the logo with the corporate lion and stone disappeared. He moved into the category of rare symbolism.
1928 – 1969
The badge of that time was monochrome and consisted of two colors – black and white. The emblem featured a lion sitting opposite a stone. The animal put its right paw on it. The beast looked proud, majestic. The mouth was open, and the lush mane fell freely over the shoulders. Above the lion’s head was the inscription “Holden” in sans serif capital letters. All elements were enclosed in an oval with curly cutouts on the right and left. A broken line served as a frame. It was wide and consisted of simple ornamentation. The background was black, and the details on it were white.
1969 – 1994
In this version, the lion has changed – he has become more regal, with his head held high. The predator is painted red and sits in profile. The designers rounded the stone and gave it the shape of a wheel. The animal is detailed: it has a distinctly traced mane, paws with claws, hair, muzzle, and tail.
1994 – 2014
The developers suggested a round logo frame. They placed the lion in the center, capturing the head, part of the back, and a stone fragment. The animal is depicted in a dash-like fashion: it seems to appear on a red background. This option was very important for the corporate identity because it served as a model for all subsequent logos. The lines of the talisman have been softened and refined. The authors took the name of the car brand out of the round sign and placed it at the bottom. They also changed the font to make it smoother and more streamlined.
2014 – 2016
The developers took the previous logo and converted it into a 3D sign. To do this, they used shading, highlights, and a gradient that made the lion half a gray. The designers left the double edging. They also made the font larger and bold, added angularity, and placed its motto at the bottom.
2016 – 2019
In the updated logo, everything has remained the same except for the color scheme. Its developers have transformed it into a silvery-white, removing the aggressive red color. They corrected the lettering using a thin font with beveled ends for the “l” and “d.” In addition, the designers replaced the uppercase letters with lowercase (but not the first one – it remained uppercase).
2019 – 2020
The last logo was flat and mournful as it consisted of black elements on a white background. It had a wide single bezel, unlike other versions with a double bezel, which consisted of white and red rings. On December 31, 2020, the production of right-hand drive vehicles under the Holden brand was discontinued.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The visual identity of the Australian company has always been associated with the image of a majestic lion holding his right paw on a round stone. This was probably a hint of right-hand drive vehicles.
For its emblem, the automaker first opted for a typeface with streamlined letters rounded at the ends. It was the NEC Font from typographer Julio Garay. In later versions, large characters with right and sharp corners appeared. The absence of serifs united all the fonts in Holden’s logos.
The signature palette consisted of two classic combinations that were used alternately. Primary colors are white with red or black.