Porsche Takes 3rd Place in the Best Car Logos of All Time

Luxurious features and high-performing engines aren’t the only qualities that all Porsche models share; each vehicle also wears the famous Porsche logo and name. It is a classic symbol that has hardly changed at all in its lifetime. This underlines the confidence of a brand that is one of the top car manufacturers in the world, producing about 10 billion cars a year. In fact, Porsche is the most successful company ever in motorsport. Let’s have a look at the history of its renowned logo. 

Porsche Logo Creation

How the logo was created is not set in stone; Americans believe it was sketched on a napkin by Ferry, Ferdinand Porsche’s son, whilst he ate with the American Porsche distributor, Max Hoffman. Germans, however, insist that the crest was designed by an engineer named Franz Xaver Reimpiess. If the truth of its origin lacks clarity, what can be agreed is when the iconic Porsche symbol was introduced to the U.S. market. It was in 1952, and since then it has been recognised as a symbol synonymous with power and luxury in the automotive world.

Porsche Logo on a car

Porsche Logo History

A question often asked about the Porsche logo is, “Why did they choose a horse as the animal to represent their brand?” One of the reasons is because of the headquarters’ location, in Stuttgart, southwest Germany. Believe it or not, Porsche’s headquarters were built atop a horse-breeding farm. Stuttgart has horses in its city seal, which inspired Porsche to have a black horse as the centrepiece on its logo, representing power, excellence, and the seal of Stuttgart. Even the red and black stripes were another nod to Stuttgart, as the state colours are red and black. The Porsche logo also honoured Swabia, which was the Porsche family’s second place of residence.

1922 – 1938

Porsche Logo 1922 - 1938

In those early years, the Porsche logo combined the Wurttemberg coat of arms in the middle, supported either side by a yellow deer.  Stylised tree branches decorated with a ribbon were beneath the coat of arms. The prime colour was yellow, with the deers, branches and ribbon depicted in this colour with a black outline.

The shield itself was divided into 4 parts. The upper left and lower right parts were yellow with three furrows on them, each with four protruding spikes. The upper right and lower left parts contained alternating black and red stripes, two of each colour. The shield was framed by a yellow border. It was a shield that came from the Wurttemberg house, which ruled the country in the 19th century. At the beginning of that century,  the flag of Wurttemberg had the same black and red combination.

1938 – 1948

Porsche Logo 1938 - 1948

During this decade the logo was a coat of arms shield, pared back to a rampant black horse on a yellow background, framed by a black border.

1948 – 1952

Porsche Logo 1948 - 1952

The logo then went back to the Wurttemberg coat of arms. Divided into 4 parts; two with the three black furrows on a yellow background, and two filled with alternating black and red stripes.

1952 – 1963

Porsche Logo 1952 - 1963

This is when the two previous logos were merged. The Wurttemberg coat of arms became the background, with the horse placed in the centre. The yellow colour was altered to a richer, golden hue.

1963 – Present

Porsche Logo 1963 - Present

The recipe that concocted Porsche’s emblem is rather simple. It’s a combination of two historical symbols, along with two significant names. 

The top of the shield holds the company name, written in a thin black font. Due to the heraldic rules, the top of the shield is curved, and therefore the text has a slight curve to fit the shields shape.

The first historical symbol is directly beneath the ‘PORSCHE’ text – the coat of arms of Wurttemberg. The second historical symbol is placed in the centre of the shield – the coat of arms of Stuttgart. It depicts a black horse on its rear legs, on a gold/bronze background. ‘Stuttgart’ is written at the top of this smaller shield in a similar slim font.

The main difference between this Stuttgart horse and its prototype is the realistic design. The historical animal was more artistic, whereas this one has been specifically drawn to look more realistic – most likely to inspire Porsche’s love for quality, detail, and power.

1931 – Present (Text)

Porsche Logo Text

The logo is usually shown with the brand’s name below it, but it’s often used separately. The text is in the same font as on the top of the shield, with each letter made of strict lines with rounded turns. They are slightly wider than in the emblem, and straight rather than curved.

While the emblem part is reserved for cars, the black ‘PORSCHE’ text is primarily used on the corporate building and the company’s other properties that may not have anything to do with automobiles. However, most of the time, Porsche uses both the emblem and the brand name beside each other.

Porsche Logo History

Symbol and Emblem

The emblem part has been used on all Porsche cars since 1931. There may have been slight differences, like the texture of the surface or shade of the colours. For example,  the logo as it currently stands is depicted with small bumps over the surface of the shield. Though the emblem has had minimal changes in its lifetime, the current design oozes class and epitomises the exceptional quality of the Porsche brand.

Click here to find out which car logo came in 2nd place in the best car logos of all time.

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