Jeep is a legendary American brand for which several enterprises have fought for their rights. Despite the controversy, its first creator was American Bantam, supplanted by stronger competitors. In particular, this car model was designed by the design engineer Karl Probst in 1941, which took about five days. Then, in 1943, another automaker began to apply for the registration of this trademark. We are talking about the company Willys-Overland, which in 1945 managed to secure it for itself, despite years of protests from other automakers. The brand is now part of the Stellantis corporation, including Chrysler, which bought it in 1987. The head office is located in Toledo, Ohio.
Meaning and History
The brand began with a contract between the US Army and Bantam. To solve military problems during the Second World War, she needed a light, maneuverable, four-wheel-drive vehicle weighing no more than a quarter of a ton. The order was received immediately for 70 experienced SUVs. The chief engineer of the plant, Karl Probst, took over the work. In less than five days, he presented the necessary option to the management. It was the same draft design that the entire modern world knows as Jeep. The military gave the manufacturer only 49 days to create and assemble the vehicles.
The test series included two batches: the first was a test cavity, the second was revised and modified. After field conditions, the company made more adjustments to the design and immediately signed a contract to supply Armed Forces of America 1,500 models, called the Bantam BRC40. By the end of 1941, she had produced 2,605 units of such equipment.
The military liked the successful design of the Jeep so much that, without asking the consent of the developer and manufacturer (American Bantam), they handed over the drawings to its main competitor, Willys-Overland. Later they did the same with her working sketches, giving them to another automaker (Ford Motor), with whom they signed a deal in 1942 to assemble cars on a large scale. Willys later applied for the rights to the Jeep trademark, which until then was just an army term. This was the slang term for recruits and new vehicles. There are several more versions of the origin of this name, but they are unlikely.
During the registration proceedings, the initial judgment was in favor of Bantam. The FTC then banned Willys-Overland from claiming that it had designed and built the Jeep. But in 1945, the company began to manufacture light all-wheel-drive vehicles under the Civilian Jeep (CJ) trademark. And in 1946, it received the official right to the name Jeep. Remaining the only company that assembled these cars after the war, it became the owner of this trademark in 1950.
Over the years, the brand has had several versions of personal emblems, and all of them are associated with events around this all-wheel-drive vehicle. The litigation between Willys MA, Bantam BRC, and Ford GPW, which claimed the trademark, did not go unnoticed.
1941 – 1945
The logo dates back to that time, where the names of all three companies were combined, where the military turned to create a light SUV. All the companies had blueprints, and each contributed to them. Therefore, under the large red word “Jeep,” it was written “WILLYS. BANTAM. FORD.” The carmakers were listed in the order in which the Armed Forces of America contacted them. The first company designed the car from scratch; the second made some adjustments to the drawings, the third launched the car into the mass assembly. The words were separated by dots, not at the bottom but in the middle.
1945 – 1963
Since 1945, the emblem has been simplified in both the number of elements and colors. The designers removed the companies claiming the copyright and repainted the word “Jeep” in black. In addition, they enlarged the caption, changed the font, and added one oblique stroke at the beginning and the end of the text, denoting quotation marks. The letters have been converted to lowercase (except for the first) and serifs (all but the “e”).
1963 – 1970
In 1963, the car brand approved another logo, in which the developers introduced new elements. So, he got a background, a frame, and a color. A circle with a metalized edge served as a base. This was because the designers made the edging with highlights and shadows, which led to the effect of volume with a mirrored reflection.
The inner part of the disc was lined into five parts: one horizontal rectangle in the middle and four triangles with a rounded outer edge. Two geometric shapes were olive green; two were pastel red. The brand name was placed in the center – on the white stripe. The word was dyed olive.
1970 – present
1970 brought a new typeface – sleek, streamlined, sans serif. The developers chose Neue Haas Grotesk and made the lettering black. Since then, the typeface has never changed, so “Jeep” still has a unified spelling.
1970 – 1987
The designers added an icon to the existing lettering, which consisted of two geometric shapes: a red triangle placed at an acute angle and a blue rectangle placed vertically. According to the concept, they graphically denoted the letters “JP” – an abbreviated version of the word “jeep.”
1987 – 1993
Using the previous inscription, the designers made a visually different emblem based on it. They changed the font color from black to white, added a thin five-pointed star, and placed it in a dark, rounded square. Moreover, the star resembles a geometric sign in shape, consisting of five edges, two of which form an obtuse angle at the top. The pentagon is the distinctive symbol of Chrysler.
1993 – present
The current logo consists of the name of the car brand, made in the style that was approved back in 1970. The large inscription is painted in dark olive green and is placed on a white background.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Brand identity is directly related to its name. It is present in all variants of the logo. Moreover, its style changed once, when the designers proposed a grotesque typeface.
Austere and simple, the Jeep emblem features chopped lettering with classic lettering, bold lines, and clean contours. The typeface is close to such options as Europa Grotesk SH SemiBold, Sequel Sans VF Heavy, and Helvetica Bold. But it’s Neue Haas Grotesk Black, introduced in 1970.
The original palette is solid and restrained. It consists of a combination of white and black or olive. In 1963-1970, the logo also used pastel red, graphite, and silver colors.