Rolls-Royce is an internationally renowned British brand that loves experimentation. There were unique cars with refrigerators, bathrooms, pianos, umbrellas, folding tables, and other luxury attributes in its history. Even Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Company founder, drove a Rolls-Royce and spoke with admiration of the engineer Henry Royce.
Meaning and History
What is Rolls-Royce?
Rolls-Royce is a luxury convertible, sedans, coupes, and SUVs owned by a UK-based company of the same name. In turn, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. is part of the German concern BMW AG.
Rolls-Royce is named after its creators: Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. One of them was a vehicle developer, and the other was the owner of a car dealership. They agreed to cooperate and, in 1906, founded Rolls-Royce Limited. During wartime, production focused on aircraft engines. Business went well until 1971, when the company began to have financial problems: the RB211-22 aircraft engines did not profit, so the money ran out.
To get out of the difficult situation, the government decided to privatize Rolls-Royce. As a result, the automobile division became independent, and in 1973 it entered the market under the name Rolls-Royce Motors. The rights to the emblem remained with the company that manufactured the aircraft engines. The automaker could only use traditional visual identity by agreement. In 2003, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars became its direct successor. She licensed the Rolls-Royce logo back in 1998.
1906 – 1934
One of the earliest Rolls-Royce symbols looked like a traditional four-piece coat of arms. At the top left was a picture of the Spirit of Ecstasy. The lower right side had two wings associated with Nike, the goddess of victory. The rest of the elements belonged to traditional heraldry. For example, the lions (a symbol of bravery) and the Red Rose of Lancaster (a sign of the County of Lancashire) were taken from the Manchester coat of arms.
As you know, this is the hometown of Rolls-Royce. And the seahorse depicted below on the left personified reliability and power. A rectangle occupied the central part of the shield with a monogram of two “R” and the inscription “ROLLS ROYCE.”
1911 – 1934
Over time, the logo has acquired a new look. A rectangle with letters and the name of the company began to act as a shield. Two heraldic lions held it. Above were stylized wings, and below – Red Rose of Lancaster and a ribbon with the motto “THE BEST CAR IN THE WORLD.”
1911 – 1973
Together with other emblems, a symbol was used containing the monogram “RR” in an oval inside a figured coat of arms. The design was simple and two-dimensional.
1911 – 2020
The most popular Rolls-Royce emblem was called the Spirit of Ecstasy and looked like a woman leaning forward with her arms outstretched behind her back. The basis for this image was a figurine created in 1909. At that time, bonnet mascots were not popular, but the promoter of the automobile movement, John Walter, wanted to decorate his car with something unique. He turned to the sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes, and he made a figurine, which was called The Whisper. And in 1910, the company ordered Charles a corporate mascot for all Rolls-Royce cars. The sculptor did not develop the proposed idea with the goddess Nike. Instead, he modified The Whisper and turned it into what is now known as the Spirit of Ecstasy.
1973 – 1998
In 1973, the automotive division was incorporated under the name Rolls-Royce Motors. It continued to use the monogrammed logo, but the designers made the letters three-dimensional and placed them inside a dark blue rectangle with rounded sides.
1998 – 2020
In 1998, the BMW Group acquired a subsidiary, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. Since 2003 and, before that, it has been manufacturing automobiles was an engine supplier for Rolls-Royce Motors. The organization’s logo featured the traditional monogram and brand name within a rectangle with round corners. The silvery gradient gave the image a 3D effect. In 2018, the Pentagram studio finalized the design, keeping the double “R.” The new logo was unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow.
2020 – present
In 2020, Rolls-Royce turned to Pentagram again to reimagine its identity to appeal to a younger segment of consumers. Marina Willer led the creation of the new branding. The designers retained the iconic monogram but removed the quadrangular background and inscription that complemented it. Currently, “RR” is only used as a metal badge to decorate cars. “Spirit of Ecstasy” continues to function as a bonnet mascot, but now the image of this figure is a full-fledged logo and is made in an abstract style.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The prototype for “Spirit of Ecstasy” was a real woman – Eleanor Velasco Thornton, John Walter’s secretary. Initially, the emblem was based on the sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes’ work, but then the designers changed the design, reducing the detail and adding a base under the feet. They also turned the figure to the right to symbolize forward movement.
The monogram uses serif letters that look almost the same as when the brand was launched. Previously, it was complemented by the words “ROLLS” and “ROYCE,” written in Rolls-Royce Pioneer grotesque typeface from Colophon Foundry. The standard logo color scheme includes black and white.