TBT: How the Blue Oval Beat Out Other Logos to Represent Ford Motor Company

Sep 28, 2023

Ford’s iconic Blue Oval logo is world-renowned today, but it took several decades before it became the go-to symbol for not only Ford products, but the entirety of Ford Motor Company. 

The Ford script, a key element of the famed Blue Oval we all know and love, dates back to the company’s inception. C.H. Wills, an engineer and draftsman with a background in typography, was an early Ford employee. He is credited with designing the original logo, which adorned Ford models spanning from the Model C in 1904 through the last of the Model Ts in 1927. The script followed an ornate 1903 emblem from the Model C, which included the company’s hometown of Detroit. A more stylized form of the script, known as “script with wings,” was used on all Ford cars in 1906, and the Ford script would be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1909. 

The significance of the Blue Oval was again on full display later in the early 2000s. While facing financial constraints in 2006, Ford leveraged the Blue Oval, as well as the F-150 and Mustang trademarks, among other assets, as collateral to secure a loan package. A return to investment grade status for Ford’s stock a couple years later meant the Blue Oval would stay with its rightful owners.

“When we pledged the Ford Blue Oval as part of the loan package, we were not just pledging an asset. We pledged our heritage,” Executive Chair Bill Ford said in 2012. “The Ford Blue Oval is one of the most recognized symbols in the world, and it is a source of great pride and passion, both inside and outside our company. Getting the Ford Blue Oval back feels amazing, and it is one of the best days that I can remember.”

Stylistically, the oval was further refined in 2019, as a flat blue is now used inside the oval, with the previous version still used in some instances. 


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