McLaren Logo

McLaren LogoMcLaren Logo PNG

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.

What is McLaren?
McLaren is the name of a luxury automaker from Great Britain, which was established at the beginning of the 1960s, and has been one of the world’s leaders in the production of sports cars since then. McLaren also has its Formula One Team.

1963 – 1965

McLaren Logo 1963

1965 – 1967

McLaren Logo 1965

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.

1967 – 1981

McLaren Logo 1966

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

McLaren Logo 1981

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 – 1998

McLaren Logo 1991

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.

1998 – 2003

McLaren Logo 1997

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.

2003 – 2012

McLaren Logo 2002

The main element that was changed in 2003 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 – 2018

McLaren Logo 2012

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.

2018 – now

McLaren Logo

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.

Font and color

The bold stylized lettering from the primary McLaren badge is set in a custom sans-serif typeface with smooth shapes of the heavy title case characters. The closest fonts to the one, used for the McLaren insignia, are, probably, Snasm Heavy and Strelka Ultra, but with some contours modified.

As for the color palette of the McLaren visual identity, until 2012 it was based on black and red, but with the last redesign the red was suspended, making up black the primary color. The white lettering on the solid black banner can sometimes be set in a light shade of gray, cold, and professional.

What does the McLaren logo mean?
The logo of the luxury car manufacturer McLaren is called “The Speedmark”.It is an abstract geometric element with arched sides and sharp ends, which is placed in the upper right corner of the badge, above the last letter of the McLaren wordmark. The speedmark has been the symbol of the iconic automaker since 1998, evolving from the red chevron, which was the previous emblem of the brand.

Is McLaren emblem a kiwi?
McLaren used to have a kiwi bird as the hero of its emblem at the very beginning of the company’s history. The logo with the symbolic New Zealand bird on it was designed in 1963, and modified in 1967. The creator of the famous kiwi badge was Michael Turner, a famous Motorsport artist from New Zealand.

Why is the McLaren logo a kiwi?
Today the McLaren logo is a Speedmark, an abstract geometric element, resembling a boomerang. But in the very first years of the company’s history, it used to have a kiwi bird on its emblem. The first badges for McLaren were created by a famous New Zealand artist Michael Turner, who wanted to celebrate his motherland this way.

Is McLaren a Ferrari?
McLaren is not a Ferrari, it is a completely different brand of the racing car, which was established in Great Britain in 1963, and today is owned by the royal family of Bahrain, through the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company.