Skoda (full name Skoda Auto) is a Czech passenger car manufacturer and the world’s fifth oldest representative of the automotive industry. He is engaged in their design and assembly, covering more than a hundred countries. The company was founded by two entrepreneurs – Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement. At the moment, it is a subsidiary of the German concern Volkswagen Group. The year of its appearance is 1895th. The headquarters are located in the city of Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic).
Meaning and History
The beginning of Skoda goes a little further than it is commonly believed: the enterprise was created in 1859 and is associated with the production of weapons. It was only at the end of the 90s of the 19th century that the company changed its specialization. This was started by Vaclav Klement, who worked as a bookseller in a Mlada Boleslav shop (Kingdom of Bohemia). Together with Vaclav Laurin, he founded a repair shop that grew into a bicycle factory called Slavia from Laurin & Klement.
In 1924, the company experienced a devastating fire, so a few months later, it became part of the Škoda Works concern, founded by Emil Škoda in 1859 in Pilsen. In 1948, this enterprise became state-owned. In 1991 it was privatized by the Volkswagen Group, and in 2000 it became its subsidiary. A change of identity accompanied each stage in the history of the automobile company. In total, she has 12 logos.
1895 – 1905
The very first emblem has an unusual shape. In the center is a spoked bicycle wheel entwined with linden branches – a tree symbolizing the Slavs. In the middle, against the background of white and red stripes (the colors of the Czech Republic flag), is the brand name – “Slavia.” It is written in capital letters, in a thin sans serif typeface. The “L” is shaped like a bicycle handlebar, for which a top stroke has been added. Above and below the wheel are cards with the names of the company owners (V Laurin & V Klement) and the indication of its location (Mlada Boleslav).
1900 – 1905
In 1900, the company began exporting Slavia motorcycles. Then 150 copies were sent to London (UK) for the first time for Hewtson. They featured a new logo shaped like a motorcycle tank. By the way, it was there that he was located – on the side of the fuel tank. The brand name is made curly. It contains an ornament of thin white lines with inscriptions on red and white backgrounds: at the top – “Slavia,” at the bottom – “Laurin & Klement” and “Mlada Boleslav.”
1905 – 1925
This is the launch period for passenger cars’ production, so the management decided to rebrand the emblem to look spectacular on the parts and the hood. After renaming it Laurin & Klement, the firm commissioned Blecha to create a new logo. The authors gave it the shape of a round seal using a laurel wreath as it was very symbolic. The name of one of the founders of the company was translated as “Laurin.” In the center on a red background are two large letters – “L” and “K,” connected by an ampersand (&). A wide gold stripe runs along the edge of the logo.
1926 – 1933
After a devastating fire, the car manufacturer Laurin & Klement merged with Škoda Plzeň and changed its name to get a different label. The emblem features an oval with laurel leaves and a new name in coherent italic type.
1933 – 1986
In 1933, the company adopted its legendary winged arrow emblem. It is inspired by Indian motives and looks like an arrow pointing to the right. Above the arrowhead are feathers, which the Indians usually add to the tails of their arrows so that they can more easily cut through the air and quickly fly forward. The white slot is a keen eye and high production precision; the circle is perfection and the globe.
1986 – 2011
After moving to the Volkswagen Group, the Czech car manufacturer again redesigned the emblem, merging its identity with its new owner. This is how a round badge with a wide black edging appeared, in which “Škoda Auto” is written in white letters. The central element remains the same – the winged arrow. Only its color has changed: green has taken the place of blue.
1999 – 2011
In parallel, the 3D version of the new logo was approved. The flat logo was used for paper, advertising, and product labeling, the three-dimensional logo was used for placement on the hood.
2011 – present
The current logo contains the same elements as the older version. The developers have removed the word “Auto” and the wide dark edging, replacing it with two thin stripes – silver and black. The Škoda inscription was taken out of the circle.
The Czech company’s identity has gone through a very difficult path from classic information and text logo to a graphically accurate symbol with a clear semantic load- no wonder this brand name is recognized as one of the most successful in the automotive industry.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Skoda’s older designs of visual identity used various typefaces with one thing in common – they didn’t have serifs. The only exception was the period with two letters, “L” and “K,” which had a serif’s likeness. In the current emblem, the inscription is in a typeface reminiscent of the Eurostile Extended Black font, created by Aldo Novarese and first published in URW ++.
The color palette has also radically changed. Early versions of the logo consisted of red, beige, white, brown, blue, and modern versions of silver, black and green.