Cadillac Logo History

The Cadillac logo has gone through multiple iterations since it was first designed. See how it has evolved since 1902.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Cadillac’s distinctive crest logo has gone through several prominent changes since 1902. The original emblem was inspired by the coat of arms of Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Although it’s change quite a bit since then, you can still see the crest inspiration in the current design.
Logos aren’t just a symbol. A great logo evokes a brand’s identity and creates a connection with its customers. When done well, it can even attract potential customers. Automakers have done an exceptional job establishing their brands and creating logos that are recognized worldwide with just a glance. 
As with all longstanding brands, the Cadillac’s distinct crest logo has gone through many iterations since 1902 to evolve with the times and become its current form.
Let’s walk through the history of Cadillac’s logo with this guide. We’ll highlight the years when the Cadillac logo was prominently redesigned, the mechanics behind its design, and tips on keeping your Cadillac protected with the right
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Cadillac is a division of General Motors Company founded in 1902 in
, Michigan. The original Cadillac logo paid homage to the city of its birth. It was a wreath and crest inspired by the coat of arms of Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac—the founder of Detroit.
The original design of the Cadillac logo had more graphic elements than we see today. It featured the crest emblem and a wordmark framed by an ornate circle of petals, but it was only in use for three years. Each of the graphic elements tells part of Cadillac’s story.
The Cadillac logo has been redesigned thirteen times to continually reflect the company’s values and brand direction. The last update occurred in 2014, and the laurel wreath was removed in favor of a cleaner design featuring just the coat of arms.
MORE: The best Cadillac station wagons

Cadillac logo changes through time

While there have been over thirty tweaks to the Cadillac over the years, there were thirteen prominent redesigns made to the Cadillac logo from 1902 until now. Below is the evolution of the Cadillac logo in the last 100+ years.
  • 1902: The original logo was inspired by the coat of arms of the La Mothe family in France. It included graphic elements of a crown, crest, and ducks, along with parallel lines, a wordmark, and an ornate circle of petals.
  • 1905: Drawing inspiration from the last logo, this second logo was made of a smaller ring inside a larger one. The smaller ring contained six ducks and checkers with some floral elements. 
  • 1908: The logo was updated in favor of a less ornate design. The ducks and checkers on the crest were still present but also featured a crown, crest, and a tagline. Cadillac was written on top of the crown in caps.
  • 1914: In its third update, the Cadillac logo changed drastically, removing all traces of the coat of arms. The new logo only consisted of the automaker’s name with the year underneath inside a spherical frame.
  • 1915: The logo undergoes another transformation back to its roots, retrieving the crest and ducks. A floral wreath and crown were also added with elongated leaves that looked like angel wings.
  • 1920: Another redesign created a bolder, cleaner, and more modern look. The logo was similar to the 1908 iteration, but with a floral wreath. The crown featured seven pommels and the inscription was removed. 
  • 1933: Taking inspiration from American airlines, Cadillac added wings to its crest, which still housed the ducks and checkers. The crown was also represented by seven pommels.
  • 1939: In this eighth logo, the crest is featured atop a triangular frame. The crown is still present and the frame contains rows and columns of rectangles. This logo came in color and monochrome.
  • 1942: The logo undergoes another drastic redesign where the iconic crest and crown are situated in the center of a shield resembling wings. 
  • 1948: In yet another prominent shift, the logo loses the intricate details. The logo becomes sleeker with the crest above a V symbol.
  • 1957: The V-logo gets updated after nine years. The V-logo gets stretched sideways but the elements remain the same.
  • 1963: The most iconic Cadillac logo was born when Cadillac combined two elements from the past—the floral wreath wrapping around the official coat of arms.
  • 2000: To modernize the logo, the wreath and coat of arms became metallic and the ducks and crown were removed.
  • 2014: The logo finally arrives at its current rendition with the emblem and a wordmark. The wreath has been removed for a sleeker and more elegant look.

What’s behind the Cadillac logo design?

The logo design was influenced by three key elements:
  • The emblem: The crown symbolized glory, power, and nobility. The wing symbolized power, speed, and freedom. The leaf symbolized honor and victory.
  • The font: The calligraphy-style font is similar to the English 157 font and was designed by Vladimir Yefimovi.
  • The color: In the beginning, the Cadillac logo was in black and white. Nowadays, the logo colors include black, silver, white, blue, gold, and red. Each color was picked to evoke Cadillac’s modern image.
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