Mercedes Logo

Mercedes Logo

The star with three rays ‒ the Mercedes brand logo ‒ is known throughout the world, and for more than a century at that. It was first used in a letter written by the founder of the automobile giant Gottlieb Daimler. It meant neither a car nor even a car brand of the future. Gottlieb used this sign (just an “asterisk” but with three rays) to mark the place of his future house on the map.

History and Meaning Mercedes Logo

Mercedes Logo history

The Mercedes brand “star” was patented in 1901, although it did not appear on the first cars of this brand. The products of that time had the print writing of the word MERCEDES inside a horizontally elongated oval. In 1909 the star became the central and the main (and later the only) element on the brand logo.

In 1916 a white three-rayed star was placed against the background of a red inner circle and a dark grey outward one. This two-color background created an allusion to a bearing, emphasizing the area of specialization of the brand. However, afterwards there was no need in such explanations. Little by little the logo changed from more complex forms to simple ones, and finally it was simplified and brought to perfection ‒ a star inscribed in a circle. It was no longer just the central element (though ordinary), but turned into a logo.

Symbol Mercedes

Symbol Mercedes

The star that became the Mercedes symbol was originally seen by Gottlieb Daimler as an image protecting his own home. Later on this image acquired additional semantic meaning. Three (the number of the rays) was considered to be a sacred number, the number of perfection. Daimler also pointed out that the products of his enterprise were conquering the three elements ‒ water, air and land. After all, the concern produced engines for maritime and river transport, engines for the aviation industry and engines for land transport. Later among the company’s products there were also full-fledged vehicles, first of all, cars.

By the way, for the first time the Mercedes car was presented to the public as a racing car. The car took part in the race with “Monsieur Mercedes” behind the wheel ‒ Emil Jellinek took this nickname for the time of the race (being an aristocrat he could not participate in the race under his own name). By the way, later Emil, according to the aristocratic tradition, added a prefix to his name, and became Mercedes-Jellinek.

The first Mercedes logo was interpreted as a stylized image of the steering wheel. However, this explanation was dragged by the head and ears, especially as Daimler’s biographers definitely claim that the sign, which was later patented as the Mercedes logo, had been used by Gottlieb Daimler long before the company started manufacturing cars.

After the defeat of Germany in the Second World War, Mercedes cars became the life belt that allowed the company to withstand the international ban on the military industry.

Emblem Mercedes

Emblem Mercedes

The Mercedes emblem, with the exception of the first years of the brand’s existence, was in a circle shape. Originally the emblem (the print writing MERCEDES) was made in an oval shape elongated in the horizontal direction. However, the company was faced with the fact that their closest competitor, the Italian brand Maserati, also used an oval logo, though it was elongated in the vertical direction.

Do you know that the name of the brand Mercedes was invented not by Daimler, but by the consul and the French dealer of the Daimler Company Emil Jellinek? He convinced his employer that this name was very attractive for a car, though he did not say that it was his daughter’s name. Formally, it was impossible to find fault with Emil Jellinek’s suggestion, because his daughter’s name was Adrian Manuela Ramona. So the girl’s home name became the name of one of the most successful brands in the history of automotive industry.

The attempt to make the logo look like just an acute-angled star with three rays turned out to be not very successful (nor did a star with four rays find its practical application). The shape of the circle in which the three-rayed star was inscribed was recognized as optimal.

Font

The print element was used in the Mercedes logo only in the first third of the twentieth century. Subsequently, it was decided to abandon it. The reason for such a decision was that the brand had already become well-known by that time.

Since the font has never performed the main function in the logo, it is difficult to say anything about its uniqueness or even any individuality. This is a classic font which is easy enough to read, with the same line thickness in all the letters.

Color

Color Mercedes Logo

During the first three decades of the Mercedes brand’s existence its logo changed a lot. The color solution of the logo changed as well. In the first years the three-rayed star was gold, white, red, blue, crowned with a golden laurel wreath. In 1916 the star, the main element of the logo, was made silver. From 1933 till the end of World War II the star was black, but later the brand returned to the silver logo, having already got rid of all the other decorative elements. Only the star inscribed in a silver circle.

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