Buick Logo History

Dating back to David Dunbar Buick’s Scottish coat of arms, this is how the Buick logo has evolved through the years.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
With roots dating back to 1899, Buick’s noble logo has been modernized along with the iconic cars’ designs. As one of the country’s oldest car brands, Buick started with a logo representing David Dunbar Buick’s Scottish lineage and has tweaked its appearance to fit contemporary vehicles.
When we think of our favorite rides, we can’t help but imagine the logos that define them. Logos are meant to make a mark on history, represent the people behind a brand, and are etched with historic influences—especially for manufacturers tracing back to the 19th century.
While you may recognize Buick cars for their shiny shielded logos, their appearance has jumped leaps and bounds from the clunky, colorful logo of 1903.
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In this guide, we’ll cover noteworthy shifts over the years, the purpose behind the design, and how you can keep your Buick running smoothly with top-notch
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Although David Buick launched the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company in 1899, the Buick Motor Company was officially founded in 1903
Spotted in some early documents in 1904, the brand was initially represented by a sepia-tone image of Uncle Sam walking by a globe and wheeling a cart with a Buick engine on it touting the slogan “Known all over the world.” 
While the Uncle Sam logo remains well-known throughout history, it only stuck around for one year. Up until the mid-1930s, the logo sported a bulky, brass cursive “B,” with the remainder of the name in varying positions in each iteration. In 1937, David Dunbar Buick’s family crest took over the logo.
By the 1950s, the logo was modified to become the more recognizable “tri-shield” design you know today.

Buick logo changes through time

From Uncle Sam to a Scottish emblem, the Buick logo has undergone dozens of changes since the early 1900s. Here are Buick’s most memorable logo updates throughout history.
  • 1905 to 1911: “The car of great quality” was stamped on a thick frame around the brand’s name, written with a pronounced letter “B.”
  • 1911 to 1913: Clunky and hard to read, the next logo installment was a wordmark with a large “B” with the “-uick”running through its center.
  • 1913 to 1930: A vibrant blue backdrop punctuated the white, cursive Buick wordmark for several years.
  • 1930 to 1937: The brand’s red hue came into play with a silver lining on the more spaced-out wordmark with Buick on it during the majority of the 30s.
  • 1937 to 1939: David Buick’s ancestral coat of arms debuted with a terracotta orange background, a checkered diagonal line, and gold images of a deer and cross.
  • 1939 to 1942: The design became sleeker, with a toned-down red hue and a narrow, arched silhouette.
  • 1942 to 1947:The crest got a more intricate update with gold ornaments and a black circle serving as a backdrop.
  • 1947 to 1949: Orange returned to the color palette and the black circle was removed, making the crest the only identifiable design element.
  • 1949 to 1959: The color code was cracked during this time, reverting to red and combining it with blue and silver tones.
  • 1959 to 1975: The color combo was locked in, but the prototype for today’s Buick logo came in 1959 with three shields representing the Electra, Invicta, and
  • 1975 to 1980: With the launch of the Buick Skyhawk model came an experimental pivot to a hawk logo that became known as the “happy hawk,” which was retired in 1980.
  • 1980 to 2002: Buick went back to basics and reinstated the tri-shield design with red, silver, and blue, with the brand name in all caps underneath it. 
  • 2002 to 2015: Sleek simplicity took over when the colorful design became all silver and the Buick name was dropped from the design, leaving just the three shields.
  • 2015 to 2022: Tying together the original crest, the wordmark, and the red, silver, and blue palette, the most recent design became a nod to the brand’s roots.
  • 2022 and beyond: Buick’s final logo form elevated the emblem with a monochrome palette and just the three shields representing the original crest.
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What’s behind the Buick logo design?

The Buick logo was always meant to be eye-catching, but one common element persisted throughout its development: Buick’s family crest. As early as 1937, the prestigious symbol inspired the many faces of the logo before becoming the sleek, monochrome emblem you see on Buick grilles today.

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