The Chevrolet bowtie logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. It was introduced as the company’s logo in 1913 by William C. Durant who was one of the company’s cofounders. The logo shape has changed very little over the years, while the color and detail has been different at different times.
How did this logo come to be? There are four different theories about where inspiration come from for the logo and we’ll take a look at each of them.
- French Wallpaper – This theory says that while Durant was travelling in France in 1908 he saw a pattern on wallpaper in a French hotel that caught his eye. He then tore off a piece of the wallpaper and took it home with him and showed others the design and stated he thought it would make a good nameplate for a car.
- Newspaper Ad – An article published in 1986 had an interview with Durant’s wife Catherine, who said that the design for the logo was inspired from a design Durant saw in a newspaper while on holiday in Virginia in 1912.
- Dinner – Durant’s daughter, Margery, published a book about her father in 1929. In this book she discussed how Durant would sometimes doodle on paper during dinner and she said “I think it was between the soup and the fried chicken one night that he sketched out the design that is used on the Chevrolet car to this day.”
- Swiss Flag – This theory says the design comes from a stylized version of the Swiss flag. Durant’s business partner, Louis Chevrolet, was born in Switzerland which could have led to the connection.
We’ll probably never know which is true or even if they’re all wrong.