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Ford files mysterious logo trademark

Initial idea: A new secondary badge could be about to show up on some Ford models, but Ford execs are playing the notion down.

Executives play down minimalist new Ford logo trademark as not destined for vehicles

3 Aug 2021

THE Ford Motor Company has filed a trademark application with IP Australia for what could ultimately be a new badge design, potentially following in the footsteps of several other car brands that have gone for a more minimalist look to their logos.


Officially submitted on July 2, the filing is for a radical reduction of the familiar Ford emblem, replacing with the full word with a simple ‘F’, still in the classic curvaceous font style.


Filed under classes six, nine, 12, 20, 35, 39 and 42, there is seemingly no end to the list of possible uses or applications for the new design and the brand has done little to clear the air.


“We submit trademark applications for various brand assets as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new branding, badging or product plans,” Ford Australia and New Zealand communications director Matt Moran told GoAuto.


Despite the abundance of different classes – including class 12 (motor vehicles, components etc.) – listed in the filing, GoAutounderstands the new design will not replace the current blue oval, with no plans for it to appear on vehicles in at least the short to mid-term future.


Instead, it is thought the new logo is part of an subtle image update the Ford headquarters has implemented across its digital platforms and published documents, with the biggest changes revolving around its colour scheme.


Far from drastic, the shades of blue used on the company’s website have been subtly altered while the font used within the Q2 2021 Earnings Report have shifted to navy blue, contrasted against in the graphics and headings by a new, more vibrant royal blue.


These changes may seem insignificant to some, but the possibility of an updated emblem cannot be totally ruled out – Ford has a history of evolving its emblem, with eight distinct designs used since the company was founded in 1903.


Ford appears to be tweaking its presence and image to keep up with the times, but the fact it included class six in its patent application – ‘badges of metal for vehicles’ – does little to rule out possible down the line, perhaps even a secondary badge for the back or side of certain models. Wheel centre caps and steering wheels could also suit the reductionist emblem design.


As a single initial, the ‘F’ logo also lends itself to corporate social media profile images or app icons for touchscreen devices.


The original Ford emblem was a far cry from the simple blue oval we know today; it was black and white and read ‘Ford Motor Co. Detroit, Mich’ and bordered by a generous dose of filigree.


In 1907 the emblem was updated to the first of the cursive signature designs (the signature was that of chief engineer and designer Childe Harold Wills) with no decorative features, before being replaced in 1912 by a new blue winged pyramid – still with the signature.


It is said that company founder Henry Ford was not a fan of this design, which was why it was replaced during the same year by the first of the oval designs.


Printed on a white background, the black signature was encapsulated by a black oval and stayed this way until 1927 when the oval was filled in with blue, contrasted against by the white signature.


This design stuck around until 1957 when both the shape and colour of the oval was changed to have more definitive curves – think of the newer style as like a lemon and the former as a rugby ball.


 In 1976, the Ford badge as we know it was born, sporting a slimmer design with more consistent edges.


The two-tone white and blue was replaced with silver and a darker shade of blue, the latter of applied with a subtle shade gradient to add an extra sense of three-dimensionality.


2003 saw the return of the white and lighter blue colour scheme, with the chrome border also being replaced by a white stripe, which in turn was circumnavigated by a blue border of its own.


Not only was the blue made lighter, the shade gradient was made more pronounced before a return to the solid dark blue background was made in 2017.


While there have been several subtle adjustments made since 1976, Ford has gone through eight distinct emblems since its founding and while there is every chance the famous blue oval will be sticking around for years to come, it will likely be tweaked or changed again.

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