Brand History

Behind the Iconic Bowtie of the Chevy Logo

Behind the Iconic Bowtie of the Chevy Logo

It’s very natural for us to tell which company produced a car simply by looking at their emblem. These logos are usually embossed on the hood of the cars or placed at the rear end of the car. So when we look at this symbol, we automatically understand who the automaker is. One of the most elegant looking logos for car companies is the Chevrolet emblem. It is unique looking and is sophisticated as well. A lot of people would often admire and at the same time wonder how the logo was designed. What was the meaning behind this design? Well, you are about to find out.

Why is Chevrolet called Chevy?

In the year 2010, the higher positions of the General Motors hierarchy, which is the parent company of Chevrolet, banned the term Chevy for its Chevrolet cars. The executives released a memo saying that everyone in the company should call their brand properly and formally as Chevrolet. That’s what the brand is actually named, after all, the Chevrolet brand was derived from the Chevrolet brothers which then sold their name to William Crapo Durant, who was the founder of General Motors.

Although it was difficult to track down who was responsible for creating the pet name Chevy, there were some records at the GM Heritage Center that could reveal how the word Chevy was used for the first time. It turned out that an advertisement in 1956 was when it all started. It was when the word Chevy was used for a Chevrolet advertising campaign. Dinah Shore starred in the Chevy show, which was a television show at that time. She encouraged American viewers to See the USA in their Chevrolet. Furthermore, another TV show, which was called “Inside USA with Chevrolet”, Chevy had an advertisement jingle. The lyrics were composed by Leo Corday and Leon Carr, and they also wrote and included the word Chevy Chevrolet a couple of times.

And that is how it all started. A lot more singers and composers would often include Chevy on their songs and lyrics. Some of these singers include Don Mclean, Eric Clapton, Rick Ross, Taylor Swift, Snoop Dogg, and so many more.

How did Chevrolet get its logo?

The Chevrolet bowtie logo started in 1913 when William Durant introduced it to be used for the 1914 Chevrolet H-2 Royal Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand Chevrolet car models. Up until now, there had been a mystery as to how the bow tie came about. But every time some people ask about the origin of the Chevy logo, Durant’s story was always the most famous one. It was said that Durant himself was inspired when he saw a wallpaper design that is similar to a bow tie. He found this intricate design in a Parisian hotel.

This sophisticated emblem originated in Durant’s imagination, especially because he loves traveling the world. It was in 1908, he came across a design that was in patterns, he thought that it was going to look great as a logo emblem so he ripped off some parts of it so he could show it to his colleagues. At that point, the Chevrolet logo was first derived in Durant’s creative imagination and his love for travel. Had he not visited that French hotel, he wouldn’t have found a great iconic symbol that represents the Chevy logo now.

More possible origins of the Chevy’s logo

Although the former story was the usual one, more stories have resurfaced in some circumstances. There were two that were particularly mysterious as these stories came from the Durant family, themselves. However Chevrolet’s employees and staff never discovered which story is accurately the right one.

·        Based on Durant’s daughter, Margery’s book: My Father

She wrote how her father would sometimes spend time on the dinner table doing doodles of some sketches of possible Chevrolet logos. And finally, somewhere in the middle of some meals, they shared at a dinner one night, Durant came to finally derive a logo Chevrolet has used until now.  

·        Based on an Interview of Durant’s widow, Catherine

A 1986 issue of Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine featured their interview with Catherine who was the wife of Durant. She mentioned in the interview about one event in her life with Durant while they were on a vacation in Hot Springs, Va., in 1912. They were in the hotel room, while Durant was reading a newspaper when suddenly he spotted a particular design that could make a great Emblem. There was no definite explanation though as what kind of logo did Durant thought of at that time, or if it was even pursued and used by Chevy.

More questions about the Chevy Logo: where did the bow tie come from?

Another controversial hearsay was that the bowtie design was actually copied from the Southern Compressed Coal Company. It is a company that produces “Coalettes,” a refined fuel product for fires. This company also uses a slanted bowtie as its logo; it relatively looks very similar to the Chevy emblem. There were buzzes that perhaps Chevrolet saw the advertising on the newspaper and finally copied the logo.

Probable information that answers where the origin of the bowtie came from was a flag of some sort. One of the Chevrolet brothers, Louis Chevrolet was actually born in Switzerland. He was born at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel, to French parents, on Christmas Day of the year 1878. Thus, the slanted bowtie mark may symbolize the Swiss flag which is a cross or quite similar to a bowtie that the Chevrolet logo has now.

Whichever story holds true, Chevrolet has never modified nor changed their emblem. It stayed with the company over the years of its operation and expansion. Chevrolet’s logo represents its sophistication and elegance. The Chevy logos have always represented history, heritage, and vision of Chevy automobiles. The logo has been perceived as one of the most successful and reliable car companies in the world up to the present generation and the coming years.

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