What’s in a badge?


Do you ever think about car badges? I do and I’m not sure why. Is there such a thing as a great car with a rubbish badge, or a bad car with a wonderful emblem? Some badges, in my view, seriously detract from otherwise great vehicles. Some are on cars so special that you just have to forgive them. Here are my views on some of the badges above*.

Alfa: Looks like the coat of arms of some 14th Century order of badass Knights. Pretty cool and full of history. The badge itself is always well made. Where did all those beautiful Alfas of the 50s and 60s go?

Aston Martin: Uber cool. Even when they back it with ghastly green, it still looks fresh -and fast. (It also looks great on T shirts!)

Audi: Boring. Somebody dropped the Olympic rings and one rolled away. At least it’s not offensive and I do like their general efforts to market themselves as the leading edge of Tech.

Bentley: Just a big nothing. Chubby, not classy.

BMW: Despite having been ripped off badly by BMW before, I still love this logo. It’s businesslike and has a history…who doesn’t love that their logo is a spinning propeller? DAKADAKADAKADAKA….

Bugatti: Looks like Blockbuster Video stores used to. I really dislike the recent cars and the badge looks cheap to me.

Citroen: Two boomerangs? I quite like this as a design, but most of their cars are unremarkable and I can’t forgive them for the Deux Chevaux: a car designed to compensate for the poor state of rural roads in France.

Ferrari: Nasty badge. Yellow and black and red and green with some horrible handwritten font. The car superseded the horse…so why are they celebrating that?

Fiat: Very ‘Il Duce’.

Ford: Horrible design.  Il Duce II?. These folk would sell a lot more cars if they took this guy’s signature off the front.

Honda: I quite like it. It has come to mean good things in my mind. A lump of shiny, sculpted metal and the H says who it is.

Chevrolet: Utterly bad. A golden bowtie? Cheap and nasty and design free.

Chrysler: A cat’s anus.

Hummer: Helpful of them to make the badge resemble the vehicle (minus machine guns). I’ve just noticed that the Hyundai emblem looks like someone parked a Hummer on a Honda.

Jaguar: Asymmetry really does not work. The bonnet adornment was super good though, until health-and-safety decided it was a threat to pedestrians. Have you seen the plastic cat’s head steering wheel boss?…looks like it came in a Xmas cracker. Could be worse…see Chrysler.

Jeep: Unpretentious, see Honda.

Lamborghini: I like the bull drawn dramatically in perspective. Not a big fan of all that gold though (See Porsche!)

Land Rover: It’s still 1950 for this little badge. Why the hell couldn’t somebody in Britain manage this brand to success? Directors who went to English public school to learn how to manage an empire long gone, is why. Also, where the hell is the McLaren badge? (it’s a ridiculous, inverted red Nike swoosh thing…really lets down a great car design “bares (sic) similarities to the vortices created by a McLaren’s racing cars” -Wikipedia).

Lexus: Acura after spinning on thin ice.

Lotus: Lots of heritage. Deeply nasty colour combo, though.

Mercedes: Elegant. Pity they gave Adolf Hitler a free one #badproductplacement.

Mini: Notice it’s not called BMC any more (see Land Rover). Silly little winged thing.

Mitsubishi: Is this based on a ninja throwing star? I reckon a large Zero would have been pretty cool.

Porsche: It just shrieks performance. I dislike gold, but it looks shiny and classy on my steering wheel (They once also made the best tank cupolas, but that does not appear in many coffee table books on the marque).

Rolls Royce: Nice logo, but another remnant of the Empire. The noisiest thing may well have been the clock, but they failed to hear it ticking (See Land Rover, etc, etc.). These people used to power the Spitfire, so how could they not make a world class performance car?

Rover: Ughh. Vikings. In the midlands. A car fit only for Jeremy Clarkson to drive on a factfinding visit to Ireland.

Skoda: WTF? Great cars…but what a hellish mess of a badge. Green and asymmetrical. It’s a stylised blobby archer, I think.

Toyota: Ariel view of a roundabout network on the outskirts of Osaka? You could join this up with their Lexus brand’s hairpin bend badge and have a photo-reconnaissance map for a bomb run on the factory…just joking.

Has anyone ever seen a UAZ or a Tavria? Are these even cars?


* Borrowed from http://mymahout.com/automotive/25-collection-best-logo-cars-of-names/attachment/all-cars-logos-list/

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