Dodge is one of the most internationally famous automakers in the world, despite currently being owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The company has had a long and troubled history over its more than a century of existence. Since it’s survived so many trials, people are starting to think that Dodge and the Dodge logo will never die.
Dodge Logo Design Elements
Founded by the Dodge Brothers, Horace Elgin and John Francis, in the year 1900, Dodge has been through a lot. Still, whether we are talking about the Dodge Ram logo, the Dodge Viper logo, or a different variant, they are all perfectly fitting for the much-beloved automaker.
Throughout its long history, the Dodge logo has gone through a significant number of changes. For one, they used different ones for different vehicle models and types. The company also changed ownership a few times, so that also led to changes in the Dodge logo history.
The first time the Dodge logo was revealed, it consisted of a six-pointed star resembling the star of David. It was on a globe background, and the interlinked D and B letters were in the center of the star. Meanwhile “Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles” was written in the circle surrounding the logo. However, it was far from the last Dodge logo incarnation.
Over the years, it would go through a huge number of changes. Sometimes, it would borrow one or another element of Chrysler’s logos. They even had the Chrysler Pentastar logo at some point, only painted red, to differentiate from the original. Eventually, around 1994, they would settle for the classic ram head Dodge logo. That lasted for sixteen years until the current Dodge logo rolled around in 2010.
Other vehicles, such as the Dodge Viper and the Ram, have their own alternate icons.
Changes and Evolution
Aside from the fundamental components which appear in the emblem, the Dodge logo also has a number of self-referential or meta-design elements. The three most important design elements of the logo are its shape, its color, and its font.
Ever since the company was taken over by FIAT Chrysler Automobiles in 2011, the Dodge logo remained the same. It currently consists of the word DODGE, with two red, oblique lines at the far right, overlapped by the letter E. It is meant to inspire power, strength, trustworthiness, elegance, and competence.
The letters look three-dimensional, particularly with the help of a horizontal line crossing them and different shades of gray.
Of course, there are still the alternate Dodge logos. First off, we have the very well-designed Dodge Viper logo. It depicts a stylized silver viper head facing the public. Particularly detailed and stylized are the fangs, the tongue, the cheeks, and the eyes of the viper. It is meant to stand for power, danger, and strength.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the ram’s head Dodge logo. It has been part of the Dodge logo family for a long time. And it was brought back five years ago, when Dodge, Ram, and Dodge Viper were separated. It has served as the Ram emblem ever since.
The slanted red lines to the right of the logo are meant to be associated with energy, power, and determination.
Red has always been a very emotionally powerful color, used to increase metabolism, blood pressure, and respiration rates. Silver, meanwhile, is used to evoke sentiments of grace, glamor, elegance, and sophistication. It often stands for industrialism, modernism, sleekness, and high-tech.
Plus, both colors have been associated with the Dodge logo for a long time. So, it should come as no surprise that both of the colors are currently in use. The three Dodge logos incorporate red and silver in their designs, with the occasional black background.
The font of the Dodge logo is very important for the company’s image. Using a streamlined custom-made font, the designers elongated it horizontally. They also used different shades of silver, along with the horizontal line, to give the font a 3D effect.
Inspiration and Trivia
Around 1900, when the first Dodge logo appeared, many people talked about how it resembled the star of David. One of the most popular beliefs was that it was meant to spite Henry Ford, the Dodge Brothers’ competitor. Since he was notoriously an anti-Semite, the theory made sense. However, there are several problems with that theory. First of all, the Dodge Brothers were not Jewish. Second of all, the Dodge Brothers Club vehemently denied the origin story.
Speaking of the Dodge Brothers’ deaths, it happened just as Dodge sales had reached an all-time high. First, John Francis died of pneumonia in January of the year. This sent Horace Elgin down a spiral, and he eventually died of cirrhosis some time in December.
The company started losing momentum after the Dodge Brothers’ deaths, eventually dropping three places by 1928. It was then sold to Dillon, Read & Co. by the brothers’ widows, and eventually to Chrysler.
One of the most internationally renowned car makers in the world, Dodge has had an interesting history. Despite going through plenty of changes, the Dodge logo is still as popular as ever.