The Ford oval trademark is one of the best-known corporate symbols in the world and has been in regular use for more than 50 years. The script trademark dates back to the very beginning of the company when Henry Ford's engineering assistant developed a stylised version of the words Ford Motor Company.
1903 - Letters and logos.
The script lettering was first used on company communications in 1903 but the first production car, the Model A, received special treatment. Ford produced the first logo for the car, complete with an art nouveau border, very fashionable at the time.
1906 - Script with wings.
By 1906, a more developed form of script appeared with long-tailed "F" and "D" letters and known as the "script with wings". This logo was used on all Ford cars up to the end of 1910 when the lettering was revised again in the form that is still in use today. The Ford script trademark was registered at the United States Patent Office in 1909.
1907 - First oval.
The first Ford oval was first used in 1907 by British agents Perry, Thornton and Schreiber - the forerunners of the original Ford Motor Company Limited of Great Britain. This oval was used to advertise the Ford as the "hallmark for reliability and economy".
1911 - Definitive oval.
By combining the script and oval, Ford created the definitive logo in 1911 and used it primarily to identify Ford dealers in the UK. However, the Ford vehicles and company communications continued to use the script lettering until the late 1920s.
1912 - The Universal Car.
For a brief time, Ford did move away from the oval design and used a winged triangle design on their cars. Originally designed to symbolise speed, lightness, grace and stability, the logo was produced in orange or dark blue and carried the words "The Universal Car". Henry Ford disliked the design and it was swiftly discontinued.
1927 - Ford oval Badge.
The new Model A for 1927 was the first Ford vehicle to carry the Ford oval as a radiator badge. With the familiar deep royal blue background that we know today, the logo was used on many cars until the end of the 1950s. Although used consistently on company communications, the Ford oval badge was not used on Ford vehicles again until the mid-1970s.
The Blue oval today.
Since 1976, the blue and silver Ford oval has been used as an identification badge on all Ford vehicles to provide an easily recognisable and consistent branding for all the company's plants, facilities and products around the world.
(source: Ford Motor Company)
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