McLaren Logo

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McLaren logo
McLaren is a British auto making company, which was established in 1963 and today the brand’s name is synonymous to high-end sports cars, known and respected for its design and quality.

Meaning and history

McLaren Logo history


McLaren is one of the most popular speed car brands in the world, founded in 1963, the company’s name became synonymous to luxury and racing cars.
The brand’s visual identity is based on principles of simplicity and style. The first version of the current McLaren logo was designed in 1981 and stayed with the brand until today, being modified during the years.

1963 — 1966

The first McLaren logo was created in 1963 when the company was just founded. The designer, Michael Turner, draw a crest-like emblem in a green red and white color palette with a black silhouette of a kiwi bird. The kiwi image was a tribute to the company’s founder, Bruce McLaren, motherland.

1966 — 1981

The logo from 1966 features a stylized abstract image of a kiwi bird, which is stylish and modern. The logo gets the name “Speedy Kiwi” and becomes a symbol of the McLaren race team, being used even today.
The black color of the bird looks great on both white and brand’s signature orange backgrounds, evoking a sense of confidence and expertise.

1981 — 1991

The Speedy Kiwi was replaced by a new logo in 1981. A bold and decent wordmark with the brand’s new emblem was designed by Raymond Loewy.
The strict and masculine logo is composed of a black thick wordmark and a stylized tricolor (black-red-white) checkered flag.
According to one of the versions, the emblem was a tribute to the Marlboro sponsorship of the McLaren team.

1991 — 1997

The checkered flag was replaced by one red chevron, which made the logo look more modern and balanced. The color palette wasn’t changed and the typeface was only slightly refined.

1997 — 2002

The sharp-angled chevron was replaced by a smooth swoosh symbol, keeping traditional for the brand color scheme. The swoosh symbolizes the speed mark.
With the bold and soft lines of the wordmark, the logo now looks more harmonized than it was with the previous geometrical emblems.

2002 — 2012

McLaren Logo
The main element that was changed in 2002 was the typeface.
The lettering features more delicate and elegant lines, with a futuristic style and a sense of moving. The iconic swoosh emblem stays with the brand, as well as its color palette.

2012 — Today

The last big redesign of the McLaren logo was held in 2012. The most significant change for the brand’s visual identity was about adding a rectangular framing.
The McLaren logo is laconic and modern, it reflects the power of the brand and its progressive approach to manufacturing and design. The simplicity of the McLaren visual identity only adds luxury and style to the brand’s image.

The Emblem

McLaren emblem
The iconic McLaren Speedmark, which is the emblem of the brand, has several versions of its meaning. One of them is a reference to the original Speedy Kiwi emblem. The smooth looks like a stylized Kiwi head.
Another version is a modernized and softened chevron from the logo the brand has during the Marlboro sponsorship period.
The brand itself says that the swoosh is a representation of the swirling vorticles, which appear on the top of the cars’ side-pods.