[YesAuto car logo story] Horses, antlers, horizontal striped flags and the words “Stuttgart” at the golden section. The shield-shaped Porsche logo has been popular around the world more than half a century ago, with red, yellow, and black colors. The logo is getting more and more popular. But what does the seemingly complex elements actually mean? What is the past and present of the seemingly unchanging shield logo? Few people can make it clear about the Porsche logo, but that’s okay. After reading the article, you may have an answer in your mind.
Background introduction: Porsche's hometown Württemberg (Wurttemberg)
In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded a car design company named Dr. Ing. hc F. Porsche GmbH in Stuttgart, a major industrial town in Germany, which was mainly responsible for the development and consulting of auto parts. Since then, the 56-year-old Mr. Porsche has truly owned a business of his own.
The company did not engage in vehicle production for a long time after its establishment, but only engaged in some car-related corner businesses. At this time, the logo of Porsche Design is not the well-known shield logo, but a small shield shape. , There are two special logos of bucks on both sides. Before we figure out its origin, let us know about the state of Wurttemberg in southwestern Germany.
In the 1st century AD, in order to consolidate war fortifications and resist foreign enemies, the Romans began to build walls and enclosures in Württemberg (Württemberg). Over time, Württemberg gradually evolved into a fully functional living space. After the decisive battle in 496 AD, Württemberg became part of the Holy Roman Empire at that time. The concept of state and county was really introduced in this area in the 12th century, when its identity was a strategically important state capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
It was also from that time that Württemberg began to have a shield-shaped logo representing the region. Since Wurttemberg has been an excellent hunting place since ancient times, various creatures dominated by deer appear frequently, so 1259 The main element of the Württemberg logo in 2015 was the three antlers. Back then, it not only symbolized Württemberg, it was also a sign of the registration of local people. Since then, the rather concrete three antlers have become an important element in the Wurttemberg shield logo, so that it was later adopted by Porsche.
However, the shield logo style at that time was not complicated, and the elements included were just as simple as the shield shape, antlers, and text. Since 1495, there has been a wave of shield-shaped logo design on the European continent, and more and more regional logos with a “quadrant” design concept have appeared in European countries. The logo of Württemberg has also changed as a result. The antler element can be retained in the corner of the shield, and the remaining parts represent the weapons used by people at the time for hunting; the different areas divided within the state and a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The basic design concept for the logo of Württemberg and Porsche has been laid since then.
In 1871, Württemberg became one of the major states and counties when the German Empire was founded, and the signs that symbolized regions changed accordingly. The new shield logo uses bright yellow as the background color, with deer antlers and black dragon elements on the left and right. In the center of the logo is a smaller shield with black and yellow diamonds. This logo was used from 1871 to after the First World War. Germany ended the period of monarchy.
Friends who have knowledge of German history should be no strangers to The Weimar Republic after the First World War. It was a semi-presidential representative democratic republic that existed between the German Empire and later Nazi Germany. German Empire”. The Weimar Republic uses black, red, and yellow stripes as its flag elements, and a new shield-shaped logo is used. Württemberg has also been identified as an important state and county in Weimar German.
Free People's State of Württemberg was the name given to the state of Württemberg at that time. Due to the continuous and stable political and economic development of Württemberg, it soon became one of the most influential states in Germany, even though Württemberg In the 1920s and 1930s, it also inevitably suffered many economic crises, but its economic development was still better than many other state capitals. At this time, Stuttgart, the capital, gradually became the financial and cultural center of Germany.
The Porsche logo is born
Although there has not been any change in the geographical division, the new era of Württemberg has made significant changes to the shield logo. The four central areas of the shield logo are diagonally symmetrical, which are the classic antler elements and the Wurttem of the year. The black and red flag of Baozhou, and the stags on the left and right are the animal totems that Wurttemberg is proud of.
It was at this time that Ferdinand Porsche's “Porsche Design Company” was established in Stuttgart, the capital of Wurttemberg. At that time, the domestic political situation in Germany was relatively chaotic, the Nazi power was gradually growing, and the company was still in its infancy after its establishment. In this general environment, Porsche did not have much time to struggle with what kind of graphic image to design for its own company. Instead, it directly used the Wurttemberg logo at the time as its corporate logo. In a certain sense, it was regarded as The first corporate logo in Porsche's history.
However, the Great Depression of the late 1920s eventually brought down the Weimar Republic, which was based on democracy. Due to political and economic constraints, the Weimar Republic government was unable to bear the huge indemnities left over from the First World War. Unemployment, public security and other social issues have become prominent. Under the instigation of the extreme right parties led by Hitler, the Nazi Party (National Socialist Workers’ Party) became the largest party in the Weimar Republic after the 1932 election. Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Germany was born.
The first thing the Third Reich did was to seal up or disband all non-Nazi organizations. During this period, all the original state capitals of Württemberg and Germany were abolished, and Wurttemberg simply joined Hohenzollern (Hohenzollern). Henzollernberg) was integrated into Württemberg-Hohenzollern, but this integration is only formal, and the actual administrative divisions and state functions are the same as before. The state logo has not changed, and Porsche naturally is not involved in the issue of rebranding.
Soon after Hitler assumed power, he proposed the idea of producing a “Volkswagen” car. This task fell on Ferdinand Porsche without any suspense. In 1938, the Porsche, which first tasted the design and production of the whole car, became a great success with the Volkswagen Beetle, and he also started his own car making career. Just a year later, the Porsche Type 64, which shared many components with the Beetle, came into being. , But Porsche did not have a logo suitable for suspension at the time, so the Type 64 front was always empty.
It was also at this time when the Second World War broke out. At the request of the Nazi regime, Ferdinand Porsche had to temporarily put aside his auto business and instead produced two military versions of the beetles called Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen. Porsche was also there. During the war, it was transformed into a thorough military-industrial enterprise, and the car label became a dispensable “non-essential product.”
In 1945, the Second World War ended with the complete defeat of Nazi Germany. After the war, Volkswagen was managed by British Army Major Ivan Hirst. Ferdinand Porsche not only lost his original position as the chairman of the Volkswagen Management Committee. , Was also arrested by the International Court of Justice and sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for “war crimes”. During this period, Porsche Motors was supported by the old Porsche’s son Ferri Porsche.
After nearly two years of silence, Ferdinand Porsche was released from prison and once again devoted himself to the development and production of cars. Soon Porsche and his son developed the Porsche 356 sports car. Under the premise that the number of orders was sufficient to support production, the father and son overcame numerous difficulties and exhausted various means to produce the first batch of Porsche 356. At that time, the Porsche Motor Company still did not have a decent one. Brand identity, so the pre-production 356 did not hang any car logo, but directly expressed the word “Porsche”.
On May 10, 1949, Germany was split into two parts: the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Wurttemberg was divided into three parts: Wurttemberg-Baden, which was actually controlled by the Americans, Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern, which was occupied by the French, and the relatively small Baden area. Württemberg-Hohenzollern, which was forced to divest, later had its own set of state constitutions, flags and logos.
Württemberg-Hohenzollern adopted a black and red two-color flag and redesigned a shield-shaped logo. This logo is also divided into four areas and is diagonally symmetrical. The upper left and lower right are all figurative antler elements, and the upper right and lower left are filled with red and black state flags. The overall shape is simple and generous, with prominent emphasis. The entire logo looks like it was simplified from the previous Wurttemberg logo, which is now very similar to the Porsche brand logo later.
It was during this period that the Porsche fathers and sons and the leaders of the Porsche company began to design the brand logo. After discussion, their design ideas quickly reached a unified. The logo must first reflect the characteristics of Porsche’s “hometown” Stuttgart, and secondly have The very sporty design and powerful functionality are best to make people unforgettable.
Every company naturally wants to get the most attention to its brand identity, but it’s not easy to say it. Porsche designers started to try. After many failed drafts, the designer Franz Xaver Reimspie (Franz Xavier Remus) His works were finally recognized by most of the core members of the company. This logo draws on the design concept of the Württemberg-Hohenzollern flag and shield logo at the time, stylized the antler elements, and used red and black striped flags as the main colors inside the shield logo. What's interesting is that the designer of this Porsche logo is exactly the designer of the Volkswagen “VW” logo.
It is also worth mentioning that this logo has only existed for a few years before it was abolished due to the re-merger of Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Württemberg-Baden. Now people can only see this logo in the Porsche car logo. The precious patterns, the original uncomplicated logo, therefore carry a past that should not be forgotten.
If this is the case, then this logo seems to be missing some important elements. Indeed, there is another important part in the Porsche logo: the background is yellow, the hind legs are pushed on the ground, and the front legs are raised as the main pattern of the black horse. “Small Shield Mark”. However, this Prancing Horse logo has nothing to do with Ferrari. It was originally born in 1938, when it appeared to the public as the logo of Stuttgart, the capital of Wurttemberg, and it had a variety of color versions. It is understandable that Porsche, based in Stuttgart, chose it as an important element of its brand identity.
However, the story about the Prancing Horse shield is much more than that. Since the 13th century, Stuttgart has been inextricably linked with the “horse”. One is because the state of Wurttemberg, especially Stuttgart, is rich in precious steeds. Horse breeding, horse racing, and horse training have become an indispensable part of local people’s lives. Second, the city’s name “Stuttgart” is translated as “Stuotengarten” in Old High German, and the first half of it means “Stuoten”. It is a mare, and the second half of the “garten” is usually understood as the place where the horse lives.
The Porsche Prancing Horse pattern, which also uses a golden background and a pure black color scheme, is obviously different from Ferrari in shape. The Italians obviously pay more attention to the shaping and sculpting of the horse’s own lines and hair, while the Germans are pursuing a kind of gallop. The galloping state of chic, does not demand too much detail, perhaps this also represents the cultural difference between the two car companies.
At this point, the well-known Porsche shield logo was finally born. This logo combines antlers, Württemberg-Hohenzollern logo and Prancing Horse pattern and other symbolic elements, which accurately indicates that Stuttgart is the Porsche dream At the beginning, the dynamic Prancing Horse adds the finishing touch to the entire logo, which largely interprets the demands of Porsche designers for “dynamic”.
However, after the logo design is completed, whether it can be used or not has become a problem again. As the car logo uses the Stuttgart and Wurttemberg logos as the main design elements, Porsche has conducted many arduous negotiations with the local government for this purpose, and finally insisted on Porsche. , The government department recognized their design concept of “commemorating the birthplace of the brand with the car logo”, and the Porsche brand logo that has gone through many waves was only used.
In 1952, the shield-shaped logo first appeared in the position of the Porsche 356 steering wheel horn. Unfortunately, the founder, Mr. Ferdinand Porsche, did not see this scene. On January 30, 1951, Mr. Porsche passed away due to a stroke. 76 years old. Since then, every car produced by Porsche must have a brand logo. In 1955, the shield logo appeared in the center of the Porsche 356 engine compartment cover for the first time. In 1959, the Porsche logo-style wheel cover was born and installed for the first time. Knowing Porsche in the small logo, and from this, you can learn the story behind a well-known car company. Over time, Porsche has also revised the brand identity four times.
Four revisions of the Porsche logo
Unlike most well-known car companies, Porsche does not have the habit of frequently changing car logos. It still basically maintains the appearance of this logo when it was first born in 1954. However, if you are careful enough, you will find that Porsche is actually correct in many details. The car logo has been improved and fine-tuned, but this frequency is also not high, only four times in 62 years.
The first modification of the Porsche logo came from 1963. Since the early 1960s, Porsche has begun to redesign its 356, 550 Spyder and other models, launching a new car with better appearance and performance. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the Porsche 911 (901) made its first appearance in front of the public, and the brand logo hung on the front of the car was also changed.
Frankly speaking, in fact, the revision of the Porsche logo is very small. Compared with the previous ones, the difference is very small. Porsche graphic designers have increased the size of the logo on the basis of the previous logo and optimized the Prancing Horse pattern to make it. Become more handsome and more detailed, and the rest remains the same. This logo also appeared in various public places along with the original 911 (901).
Counting from the birth of the Porsche logo in 1952, the longest lasting period of the same Porsche logo in 62 years is this period. From 1973 to 1994, this shield logo has been used for a total of 22 years. Logo hung on classic Porsche models. Talking about the reason for the evolution of this car standard, we must start with the shareholding reform that took place in Porsche in 1972. The head of the company, Ferry Porsche, believed that Porsche's development has entered a higher stage. In the past, “family” management, The business method is no longer suitable for the current forms faced by enterprises. After carefully studying the “de-family membership” management of the enterprise by Honda Soichiro, Ferry Porsche began to rectify Porsche.
This reorganization brought not only the departure of FA Porsche and Ferdinand Piech, but also the second evolution of the Porsche logo. Due to the establishment of a joint-stock company, Porsche needs to improve the original brand logo and announce the successful restructuring of the company with a new image. The most obvious change of this improvement is to deepen the red part of the logo, making it black and dark red. . In addition, the designers continued to improve the Prancing Horse pattern and further enriched the details. The adjusted logo became fuller and more expressive.
Many friends know that these 22 years have been a period when Porsche brand models flourish. Many classic models are still talked about by fans today, and this logo is the witness and witness of that glorious time.
The third modification of the Porsche logo is also closely related to the state of the company at the time. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Porsche once became very weak under the wrong leadership, just when Porsche was about to be acquired by a larger car company. , Wendelin Wiedeking became the new CEO of Porsche Motors in 1993. Under his correct leadership, Porsche quickly reversed the decline and became a very profitable car company again.
That is, shortly after Wendelin Wiedeking took office, the Porsche logo changed for the third time. The new logo, which was born in 1994, still doesn't look much change from before, but as long as you observe carefully, you will still find many differences. The designers first changed the “PORSCHE” font on the logo to make it more prominent. Secondly, they adjusted the shape and proportion of the small central shield logo, making the overall shape thinner and slenderer, and the overall shape of the shield logo has also been added. Kind of delicate.
In addition, the designers continued to optimize the prancing horse pattern in the center, and the posture of the prancing horse after adjustment has changed. The overall feeling is more convergent and dignified, a bit less wild, but a bit more graceful. It seems that the unruly war horse that had been hidden in the Porsche logo before jumped into a dressage.
If you compare the two generations of logos together, you will easily find that the overall design of the third-improved logo has become more sophisticated and meticulous, and more attention to detail. Works that were classic enough before will also be slightly rough at this time. The evolution of the car logo also marked the subtle changes that were taking place in Porsche in that era. Porsche, which became more and more luxurious and considered market demand, completed the salvation of its own company during this period, and also brought the classic Porsche logo more and more. More and more come into people's lives.
The last time Porsche modified the logo was in 2008. At that time, they were preparing to “eat” the Volkswagen Group with a bite. Perhaps considering that the company should face the upcoming merger and acquisition with a new image, Porsche again modified the brand logo slightly. . The most significant change after this modification is to make the original dark red part bright and bright, and adjust the shape of the Prancing Horse again to make it more restrained and elegant. Although Porsche failed to fulfill its wish for various reasons and was eventually acquired by Volkswagen, the fourth improved logo was retained and hung on all Porsche models produced since then.
It is also worth mentioning that until today, the Porsche Restoration Department still maintains the tradition and skills of hand-made car logos. These shield-shaped logos not only condense Porsche’s persistent pursuit of details, but also reflect the exquisite skills of craftsmen. The logos follow the Porsche cars in all corners of the world.
to sum up:
From the difficult finalization in a complex environment that year, to four major and minor improvements, the Porsche shield logo has now become more luxurious and sophisticated under the guidance of the brand's development ideas. The repeatedly carved prancing horse pattern may lack the original free and easy and natural, but it has not lost the original intention of designing the Porsche logo. Stuttgart, Wurttemberg is an important message that Porsche people are eager to tell the world. This is the hometown of Porsche, a dream. Where it started, and this logo, which carries history, culture and people’s infinite sustenance, is spreading across all corners of the world at an unprecedented speed. The classic combination of Württemberg logo and Stuttgart Prancing Horse has long been indelibly engraved in people’s hearts. .