Everything Old is New Again

In 1966, Paul Rand presented a logo redesign proposal to the Ford Motor Company. His argument was that Ford’s familiar script was stuck in the days of “raised pinky elegance,” and that the everyman buyer of modern times had no interest in such an attitude and brand.


From the proposal: “The house mark of Ford Motor Company should reflect the authority and confidence the company and its products merit. It should look functional and it should be functional. It should not be characterized by melodramatic swirls and theatrical flourishes, but by a frank and unpretentious, almost disarming simplicity, achieved by means of geometry and ordered relationships, with simple lines and forms that are measurable and manageable, and which reflect the precision of the machines they help to identify. It should suggest strength, speed, efficiency and utility. It should be clear and concise, with a kind of beauty and precision which flow not from the quill but from the compass and ruling pen. It will then emerge an integral part of the machine design, rather than decorative decalcomania."


In his redesign, Rand preserved a more lozenge-shaped version of Ford’s oval badge. He also modernized the script face and the company’s trademark blue. While Ford didn’t move ahead with the designer’s ideas, Rand’s work has certainly proved prescient, given the ongoing trend among car manufacturers to simplify and flatten their logos to better meet the needs of digital technology.

Rand’s full proposal can be viewed here: https://www.paulrand.design/work/Ford.html


A history of the Ford logo can be viewed here: 




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