Lotus Cars Limited is a UK-based car manufacturer. It specializes in sports cars and racing cars renowned for lightweight and increased agility. Her cars have repeatedly participated in the Formula One World Championship, where they won seven times. The brand’s founder is Colin Chapman, who founded it in 1948 in Hethel in Norfolk county. Now it is almost equally owned by Geely and Etika Automotive. The company has its subsidiary, an engineering and consulting firm with production sites in Malaysia, China, and the United States.
Meaning and History
The company originated as Lotus Engineering Ltd. Although Colin Chapman is believed to be its founder, there were two of them: the company was also opened by Colin Dare. They are both graduates of University College London. The official year of its appearance was 1952, unofficial – 1948 when Chapman assembled his first racing car in the garage.
The production site was located in the Hornsey district of North London, in the old stables behind the Railway Hotel. In 1954, the plant was divided into two parts: Lotus Engineering and Team Lotus. Then, five years later, a group of the same name was formed, which was represented by Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited. They were engaged in the manufacture of cars of several types. In 1971, the Lotus Components Limited organization received a new name (Lotus Racing Limited), after which it ceased its activities.
The second plant was moved to Cheshunt in 1959, and from 1966 it occupied a modernized site with a test center in Hethel. It was a converted airfield from World War II, and its runway served as a test track. After the death of founder Colin Chapman in 1982, the company entered a period of financial instability. Therefore, the plant was bought by General Motors Corporation, which was later resold to Romano Artioli and DRB-HICOM. The brand is currently owned by the international organization Geely from China and its shareholder Etika Automotive.
Throughout its existence, the trademark had only one logo but several modifications. It has hardly changed since its inception, retaining its original elements, color, and shape. There are six known variations of the emblem.
1948 – 1984
The debut logo looked like a round badge with a silver line along the edge. Inside was an abstract image of a lotus flower, a monogram, and the brand name in uppercase letters. The strokes were neat and subtle. The triangle had rounded corners and a curved bottom.
1984 – 1986
After the first redesign of the emblem, the monogram and the circle disappeared from it – only a schematic triangle remained, which, due to the horizontal lengthening, looked more like an oval. The fill inside the shape is green, and the letters and borders are gold. The title was written in a serif typeface, with each character stacked on top of the other. This technique was probably used due to a lack of space in the logo.
1986 – 1989
In 1986, the developers returned the monogram, which was present in the first version.
1989 – 2010
The debut version was chosen as the logo during this period, but with a slightly changed color scheme. Black and silver are a thing of the past, so the symbol has become much more colorful. The developers painted the inscription and the letter pattern above it in white, the triangle in green, the circle in yellow, and the frame in gray. They also changed the style of the title to use a thin serif font.
2010 – 2019
The logo has acquired three dimensions. To raise the sides of the circle, the designers widened the edging strip, intensified the gray color, and added highlights. They also darkened the edge of the yellow circle, making it visually lower than the frame. The triangle in the center with rounded corners, which personifies the lotus flower, is outlined with a thin silver line and thinned all the letters.
2019 – present
With the advent of the simple and flat identity trend, the company approved a terse version of the logo. Now there are no bulges, edging stripes and frames, and white light in it. Yellow and green predominate. The first is the circle and all the inscriptions; the second is the lotus symbol. In addition, the typeface has been replaced – both in the monogram and in the brand name. It has become stricter, wider, and sans serif.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The monogram in the logo appeared immediately. It consists of the first letters of the full name and surname of the founder of the automobile company – “ACBC.” The abbreviation stands for “Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.” But his original partners (the Allen brothers) were convinced that the monogram was a combination of the initials of the main founder, supplemented by their first and last names. They believed that there was an abbreviation for “Michael Allen, Nigel Allen, Colin Chapman.”
Earlier versions of the logo used a serif typeface. The word “Lotus” is written in a hard and bold grotesque type, close to Wardrum Bold or Lucifer Sans SemiExpanded Bold in the updated version. The difference is in the oblique cuts at the letters “L” and “T.” The first has a leg cut obliquely; the second has an upper transverse line.
The brand has used different color schemes at different times. If earlier the palette was meager and monotonous (black, white, silver), now it is bright and catchy (yellow, green, white). The current combination speaks of the company’s striving for optimism, further growth, and development.