Many luxury car manufacturers tend to be Italian, so McLaren is unique. McLaren Automotive stands out because it was founded by a British man in 1963. In modern times, McLaren is still located in Great Britain. Bruce McLaren started the company with dreams of creating some of the fastest road and racing vehicles possible. The company distinguishes itself from other luxury car brands with a bold and simple logo. Instead of being an elaborate crest or shield, the logo at McLaren is straightforward and basic. This article will examine the many design decisions that went into creating the iconic McLaren logo.
McLaren Logo Design Elements
The McLaren logo uses a basic, red and black color scheme. The main feature of the logo’s design is the brand name, “McLaren Automotive.” The word is a thick, white font that is very short and wide. Most of the letters in the logo are bold and straight. However, the M at the front is an italic letter instead.
This angled M conveys a sense of speed and movement as it leans forward. The angle of the M mirrors the angle of the crescent graphic at the end of the logo. The bright red crescent shape loops around the top of the last N in the name. The crescent shape is bordered by a shadowed outline that looks three dimensional. Both the shape and the words are on a black background. Unlike other car symbols, like the Lamborghini logo, McLaren have kept it low-key and minimal both with their color scheme and graphic design.
Changes and Evolution
The McLaren logo design has changed greatly in the past few decades. At first, the logo was a shield that contained a checkered flag, a kiwi silhouette, and a race car silhouette. This logo primarily appeared on items for the racing team. Eventually, the company merged to create McLaren International.
The new 1981 logo featured the brand’s name below a checkered design of chevrons. In 1991, this logo shrunk down to just one chevron above the brand name. In 1998, a redesign turned the chevron shape into a crescent curve. The logo has remained essentially the same since then. The last major change was in 2012 when a rectangle appeared around the rest of the logo.
The original logo is the only one in McLaren logo history to feature a green color. The rest of the logos have been black, red, and white. Most versions of the logo had black text and a red shape above the text. The newest version has white text with a black background.
McLaren originally used a very bold, thick font for its logos. Modern versions are slightly thinner and more stylized. The logo uses a proprietary, modified version of the Serene font. This custom designed font has been on all logos between 2003 and the present.
The modern logo is a reference to many of the other logo creations in McLaren logo history. It gradually evolved as the 1981 logo became more streamlined and simplified. The modern logo is almost identical to the 1991 version. McLaren eventually settled on the modern logo because they felt that it was an accurate representation of their company. The crescent shape at the top of the logo is officially referred to as “the McLaren Speedmark.”According to the company, it “bares similarities to the vortices created by our rear wing. It appeared on the top of our cars’ side-pods. They evoke the aggressive markings found on predatory animals and insects.”
There have been many different designers and artists involved in the logo for McLaren. Michael Turner designed the original logo. Michael Turner creates many popular racing paintings, and he met the brand’s founder at Formula 1 racetracks. Raymond Loewy, a very successful logo designer, created the second iteration. Other design companies were involved in the creation of other versions of the logo. The newest version of the logo was only created because the company was moving to a high-tech building at the McLaren Technology Centre.
In modern times, McLaren primarily produces cars in the Sports, Super, Ultimate, and Legacy series. The McLaren logo is also on some concept cars and collaboration products done with Mercedes-Benz. The company continues to use physics and engineering to design extremely fast cars. They combine racetrack expertise with sports vehicle standards to create road-going cars for enthusiasts who love speed. Their simple, understated logo clearly depicts McLaren’s devotion to quality design and extreme speed.