The Vauxhall company was founded by Alexander Wilson in 1857 in the London area of Vauxhall as a pump and engine plant for marine vessels. Several years later, in 1903, the company was renamed “The Vauxhall Iron Works Company” and produced its first car. There are several theories about the emergence of the brand logo.
Meaning and History
According to history, the logo of the company takes its name from the area where the company was founded. At the beginning of the 13th century, the famous Norman merchant Fulk le Breant lived on this street. Fulk was also known for producing carts, which were in high demand. Once the inhabitants of the medieval city even saw that one of the carts made by Fulk was rolling by itself. The most impressionable of them even saw devils that were harnessed instead of horses. This mysterious event served as a good advertisement, and Alexander used it to make his brand more popular.
According to the second legend, Alexander Wilson took the image of a griffin for the logo of his new company. This mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion is considered as a symbol of divine power, vigilance, and divine grace – the lineament that Alexander wanted his brand to be associated with.
1857 – 1983
The first logo of the company was adopted in the year 1857 and represented a Griffin, colored in black. In hands, a creature holds a flag with a white printed letter “V” – the first letter of the name of the brand.
1983 – 1989
The original logo lasted for 26 years and in 1983 it was modernized, however, the concept of the logo remained unchanged. The Griffin changed its color to the white one and was placed inside a red square. The letter “V” disappeared from the flag. On the other hand, under the image of a Griffin appeared an inscription with the name of the brand “Vauxhall”.
1989 – 2003
In the year 1989, the shape of the emblem was changed into a circle, but the colors remained the same: white and red. The Griffin became more detailed and acquired more rounded shapes. The letter “V” was returned to the flag and the letters in the name of the company were colored in black and became larger and more expressive.
2003 – 2008
In the year 2003, the company decided to add volume to the icon. The color of the sphere became more saturated red and the creature gained silver color. Thanks to the shadows, the emblem became more modern, luxurious, and powerful, while the wordmark was removed at all.
2008 – 2009 (on advertising), 2008 – nowadays (on vehicles)
The next badge was adopted in 2008 and was used in 2008 and 2009 on advertising, and is still used as the emblem on vehicles. The Griffin has been increased and now we could see only a part of his wing, head, and a paw holding a flag. The background became black and the companies name was engraved on the top of a thin silver frame.
2009 – 2011 (on advertising)
In 2009 the color of the emblem on advertising was changed into dark-red and the wordmark was again was removed from the frame and placed under the emblem. Everything else remained unchanged.
2011 – 2020 (on advertising)
In 2011 designers of the brand decided to play with light and shadow and added more dark lines on the creature’s image. The general icon size was decreased. This type of logo was used only for advertising, while on the vehicles could be seen in the old logo, which was produced in 2008.
2019 – present (on advertising), 2021 (tentative, on vehicles)
In 2019 another logo concept for advertising was introduced. Now the badge lost its volume and presented a red Griffin on the white background. The frame also became red. Inside the circle, we can see only the head of the animal and one paw. The wing and even the flagpole were removed; however, the panel with the letter “V” remains the same. This logo is also tentative for the year 2021.
Emblem and Symbol
The Vauxhall company is one of the few brands that managed to keep the concept of its original logo for more than 165 years! Its magic Griffin – the symbol of power, vigilance, and divine grace highlights the brand’s distinctive features and makes it unique. Bill Parfitt, Managing Director of Vauxhall, once said: “While the new griffin look pays homage to our more than 100 years of UK manufacturing heritage, it also embodies the fresh Vauxhall design philosophy first showcased in the current Astra and set to continue with the Insignia”.
One of the company’s bestsellers is the Vauxhall Victor sedan, which debuted in 1957. It became famous thanks to a rather powerful and economical engine and was presented as a large family car. At one time, Victor was the UK’s most exported car. Production of this model stopped in 1978.