Berkeley Cars is a unique case in car manufacturing history. They’ve only been active for 4 years in 1956-1960, but now they are considered a legendary vintage brand. Their choice of cars is a bit bizarre, too – they’ve been making small sports cars almost exclusively. It’s a fairly rare combination, especially for that time.
Meaning and History
Berkeley emblem isn’t unfamiliar to a larger public, even though it was only used officially for 4 years. Many people know how it looks from a huge heap of cars the brand left after its dissolution. It’s nothing really special, just a big B letter on a multicolored disc.
1956 – 1960
Some people manage to confuse this brand with Bentley – mostly because of the similarities in their emblems, but the names don’t help either. Berkeley doesn’t have anything to do with Bentley, however.
They even wrote their name in big black letters over the entire top half of the metal ring where the logo is located. These letters are fairly thin, but the intervals in-between allow them to space out across the entire upper part of this circle.
Likewise, the bottom part is occupied by five evenly spaced stars. The number of tips, as well as other characteristics, could differ. Some depictions portray them as a sort of asterisks, while on others they just look like normal 5-tip stars.
Inside was a big capital B made from metal. It was bold and strict, unlike the Bentley’s one. It was put in the middle of the emblem, and behind it was a background with two colors (red on top, white in bottom). These two details were also frequently separated by a thin metal line.
The logo was active for 4 years, and was never updated. However, the variations for some cars could change their palette slightly – for instance, white & black or with the grey bottom half grey. It has a lot to do with the coloring of cars themselves – a red badge wouldn’t look great on a red car. There are many versions with different coloring.
2020 – Today
Considering that the brand image was created back in the 1950s, it was logical to give it an update and create a more modern brand image. The designers achieved it by giving the gray color, which is present in the border, and the big “B” in the center, a metallic, chrome appearance. The red was also more saturated and full of life, while the bottom half of the circle was made lighter to create a beautiful contrast. In addition, they printed the full name in white and made the stars white as well. The logo now had a three-dimensional, stylish appearance.
Emblem and Symbol
This emblem was initially designed as a car badge, that’s why a lot of its elements had a metallic look. This badge would mostly be featured on the tip of the hood or right below it. They also liked to lift it a bit in the middle in order to give it more volume and prominence.
During the 4 years of their existence, Berkeley managed to create a surprising variety of models, which culminated in 1960 Bandit – Ford-powered sports mini-car which didn’t live to see the larger market.
Many people were evidently intrigued, because some independent engineers decided to revive this car and launch it in spring 2021. The concept won’t change, but the power and the look are going to be modernized.