Smart is an automobile brand from Germany and also a technical division of Daimler AG. It offers small cars and microcars produced at sites outside the country – mainly in France and Slovenia. Even though the brand had a very difficult path of formation, its products are in demand in 46 countries today. The head office is located in Böblingen, where it was opened in 1994 on Nicolas Hayek’s initiative.
Meaning and History
The concept of manufacturing unusual cars of compact size originated in the 70-the 80s of the last century. It was suggested by the CEO of SMH, the manufacturer of smartwatches Swatch. He believed that the new project would popularize his products and increase demand for them, so he seriously set out to release a miniature machine with electronic personalization functions. Nicolas Hayek was confident that it would adequately represent the niche of small, compact, and stylish city cars. Soon, his idea turned into the Swatchmobile project. Hayek Engineering AG took over the technical and design issues.
But already at the stage of drafting development, the author understood: Swatchmobile is a threat to large car manufacturers. Therefore, he went not through competition, but cooperation, offering it to several transport manufacturers. The startup initiator contacted several major market representatives but was refused.
However, in the summer of 1991, he was lucky: Volkswagen became interested in the project. Alas, their joint work did not last long: the corporation’s new head terminated the agreement. Then the innovative company entered into a contract with the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz cars – Daimler-Benz AG. This was announced in the spring of 1994 in Stuttgart.
Then the management finally seriously thought about the identity for the new structure. The name Smart, which is the basis for the logo, initially caused considerable controversy and controversy among directors. Nicolas Hayek insisted on “Swatchmobile” or “Swatch Car” options. But Daimler-Benz management wanted something neutral.
Therefore, as a result, Smart appeared – an acronym that comes from the phrase “Swatch Mercedes ART.” Its abbreviation used to be a working name and was used internally by MCC. The word “Smart” is taken from S (watch) M (ercedes) Art. For the logo, the manufacturer chose a lower case lettering, highlighting the letter “c,” which means “cute” and “compact.” The brand currently has only two emblems.
1998 – 2002
The debut logo appeared later than the date of forming the trademark: it appeared only to release conceptually new cars. The mark consists of the company name in lower case, which ideally supports the concept of small and compact cars. The word “smart” is written in rounded symbols that do not have a single sharp corner, which is very reminiscent of semicircular motorways. The letter “r” looks like a curved stroke, the “t” has the left half of the crossbar cut off, “a” is supplemented with a triangular arrow that points to the right and expresses movement.
2002 – today
The current emblem also consists of the name of the trademark, but it is decorated in a different style because, in addition to the text part, a graphic one appeared in it. On the right side is the word “smart.” It is light gray and two-dimensional (flat). On the left is a large “C” icon with a pointer. It is three-dimensional, graphite, with gradient highlights.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
To beat the size of small cars, the company opted for lowercase characters. Only the letter used in a separate icon is capitalized. This is “C,” which the management has endowed with two functions: dynamics and information. The first is expressed by a yellow triangular pointer, the second – by the letter itself, denoting the concepts “compact” and “cute.”
You can see that the typeface used in the logo is very similar to HoratioDMed with the changed “s.” But in fact, this is a special SmartCourier font, custom-designed by Dalton Maag, Ltd.
The color palette consists mainly of different shades of gray, including those with a gradient – these are graphite, ash, and silver. In addition to them, golden ocher is used.