By on July 24, 2013

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Cadillac is making a major change to its logo for the first time since 1999, rumored to be appearing for the first time next month at Pebble Beach. If Cadillac does use the Pebble Beach festivities to introduce the large RWD flagship sedan that Dan Akerson recently announced, you can expect to see it bearing the new logo for its public debut as well. The current logo is rather long in the tooth for a Cadillac emblem. It’s usually changed more frequently, 40 times since it was first used in 1906. The latest iteration will not have the laurel wreath that currently surrounds the coat of arms.

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According to Cadillac PR, the original Cadillac crest was inspired by the family coat of arms of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Apparently, though, the founder of Detroit and the namesake of the car company was really named Antoine Laumet and he not only borrowed the la Mothe Cadillac name from an actual French nobleman (in the New World, who would know?) he also borrowed elements of the crest of the la Mothe Cadillac family to create his own (that’s where the ducks, marlettes, or swans came from). The car company borrowed from Laumet/Cadillac’s crest when designing their first logo, which included the wreath.

The change is apparently in reaction to the desires of both consumers and Cadillac designers. Cadillac has been trying to have a more youthful image and focus groups reported perceiving the wreaths as “outdated and obsolete”. Considering  the wreath first appeared in 1906, that makes sense. Actually, Cadillac’s logo didn’t have that element from 1920 until it was restored in 1968. Of course to most young people, anything from 1968 might indeed seem outdated and obsolete. Cadillac designers would also prefer a simpler, one-piece emblem because it gives them more flexibility in terms of placement. It also may look better with the cars’ lines. While the Art and Science theme that identifies current Cadillacs is changing, introducing more sculpted elements, from the look of the new CTS, hard edges will be part of Cadillacs’ look for the foreseeable future and round wreaths don’t work so well with designs that have sharp creases.

While Cadillac marketers and designers may cheer the change, dealers will have to pay for new signs and anything else that bears the logo.

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35 Comments on “Escalades to Lose Basketball Sized Laurels, Cadillac to Prune Wreaths...”


  • avatar
    jaydez

    Bring back the ducks!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    *sigh*…First the fins and now this

  • avatar

    The current logo looks cheap and plastic-crappy, fit for a blingy 2006 Escalade but not at all right for what GM wants Cadillac to be. Speaking both as a professional industry-watcher as well as a Cadillac owner, I sincerely hope they come up with something more elegant that references the marque’s rich history. They could do worse than to bring back that chrome V under the shield in some form.

    I’m also all for a hint of fins on future Cadillacs too — the Ciel had ‘em. Reclaim that heritage, guys, even if you have to stick with the silly alphabet-soup names for the global market.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    About time an American brand divested itself of all this homage to perfumed wigs and nauseating opulence.

    Just whip up an emblem showing an M-4 and a bar of gold.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The Cadillac Escalade Prepper edition.

      Includes run flat tires and an aluminum foil headliner.

      • 0 avatar
        April

        And a radio that only receives nutty right-wing stations…

        :D

        • 0 avatar
          Caboose

          Are you KIDDING?! You can be TRACKED via the radio, you Commie!

          No radio! Also, no bluetooth, no nav, no OnStar, no CUE, no radio-frequency “smart” car keys.

          What it *needs* are double deadbolts on the door-locks, a shielded engine bay to
          1. prevent the driver from being picked up by satellites by its relatively unique harmonic frequency,
          2. make sure it won’t be knocked out by space-based nuke EMPs.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I would like to see less abstract logos – they lose their meaning, not only for Cadillac, but for all makes & models.

    The size of emblems had also gotten out of hand. For example, the Escalade’s was simply ridiculous, as was Toyota’s on the last-gen Camry. That thing gave the car its panned eagle-beak, and was hated by everyone.

    What would I like to see?

    Well:

    The return of proper crossed-flags on the top-end Impala – mine could wear them easily, as it’s an LTZ. Especially now, for the 2014 MY, as the crossed flags denoted the top-of-the-line engine. On second thought, on mine, as all model levels had the same motor, I guess it could not wear them after all… Oh, well… Next time?

    A more traditional Chrysler logo – the restyled one is modern enough, but you need good glasses to read “Chrysler” embedded deep within.

    Ford and Chevy have the most iconic, but need to be smaller. I don’t need to see a gold bowtie or blue oval taking up half my windshield’s viewing area every time one pulls in front of me to know what I’m following.

    Oh, that gold bowtie for Chevy? PLEASE go back to blue as originally designed.

    Buick needs the tri-shield IN COLOR, not outlined!

    Cadillac just needs to stay classy, and a more intricate logo adds class to my way of thinking.

    Dodge/Ram? Smaller, please – I don’t need to feel as if I’m about to get the wind butted out of me!

    The rest? You get the idea, and I’m not that interested, even if I do hate the Honda, Acura, Kia and Hyundai logos. Nissan? Not bad. Mazda? OK.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      The gold bowtie has bothered me since it came out… I always thought it looked cheap compared with blue or silver, but silver wouldn’t show up on the horizontal-bar grilles of Chevy trucks.

      I’ve seen some previous-generation half-ton Silverados with an interesting package – black truck, black bowtie on a chrome grille, big sporty silver (maybe some of ‘em had chrome) five-spokes. Not bad, in a vaguely drug-dealerish way.

  • avatar

    looking forward to seeing the handiwork and hoping this car will have not only an attractive new crest but also a real name.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The last bastion of authentic automotive heraldry. In a land where every car once wore a crest or coat of arms with broughmtastic glory, it’s a little sad to it fall away piece by piece. Until one day, even the steadfast Cadillac emblem loses it’s wreath. For shame.

    Where have all the Broughams gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the Broughams gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the Broughams gone?
    Gone to boneyards everyone.
    Oh, When will they ever learn?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Watched Counting Cars last night. Danny took a very nice nearly original (by checking the #s he figured out that engine was not original) 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible and gave it a modern engine/transmission and modern brakes. Even in original form I turned to my wife and said; “Now that’s when a Cadillac was a by God Cadillac.” She agreed.

      FWIW my Pandora started to play “Cadillac Style” by Sammy Kershaw as I was typing this. – perfect…

  • avatar

    That giant V from the 40′s-60′s alone would be very nice on a Caddy.

  • avatar
    segfault

    “While Cadillac marketers and designers may cheer the change, dealers will have to pay for new signs and anything else that bears the logo.”

    Those kind of upgrades are often heavily incentivized by the manufacturer.

  • avatar
    tikki50

    here’s a novel idea for caddy, drop the logo all together, yep NO logo on the front, people will love it, designers have ultimate freedom and will love it. On the sides or rear use the script Cadillac and be done with it. See now everyone is happy except the brand manager and I’m fine with that, tell him to go have a drink.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      What good is conspicuous consumption if it doesn’t bellow to the world how good you are at conspicuous consumption? Non car people, which is to say everyone that counts, wouldn’t know your $600 per month achievement badge from a Hyundai. Unacceptable.

      • 0 avatar
        tikki50

        see I’m fine with that. Id rather people wonder what I was driving and leave them wondering what they just saw as I drive away smiling.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I’m like you, but most people aren’t like us. When someone pays too much money for a car, they want everyone to know they paid too much. This is how BMW, Mercedes and Audi gained prominence in the US in the 80′s. The cars cost an absurd amount for what you got, and that was the point. The same went for the Caddies of the 70′s and what should be happening with future Caddillacs.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Youthful image? How about an emblem of Justin Bieber grabbing his crotch?

    I think the BMW emblem is “long in the tooth”….Whatever that cliche means. Maybe cliches are “outdated and obsolete”. Like the “Nothing to write home about” that programmed people like to use. How bouts “Nothing to email home about”?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Isn’t “long in the tooth” a referijg to a horse?

      I believe horses teeth keep growing like rodents’ teeth, and when the horse starts getting tired and eating less they no longer wear away the extra tooth.

      I can’t comment on how this applies to BMW, since the logo just tells me that the driver will cut me off within 30 seconds of my spotting the vehicle, regardless of whether such an action will accomplish anything. Any logo which warns about the driver’s lack of skill/margins/respect/courtesy/class/manners in time for me to take evasive action would suit me just fine.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The 1957 one is probably my favorite of the bunch. Monochromatic, lean, and classy. I always preferred the “V” to the wreath, though even the “V” is probably unnecessary as a version of form already appears in many chrome design elements of present-day Cadillacs (the decklid trim and those emblems embedded in the seats, for instance).

  • avatar
    Waterview

    This comes at an opportune time as I find myself looking at new trucks (including SUV’s). In most cases, I’ve found myself wondering (after looking at features and cost) how tricky it would be to have the dealer’s service department strip the thing of all the annoying badges. Unfortunately, many are now molded/stamped in (e.g. Ford’s tailgate). A simple, tasteful logo or nameplate is fine, but when it exceeds a few inches in size it becomes detracting to the vehicles lines.
    I guess this is the automotive equivalent of “you kids get off my lawn!”.

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    I can kind of understand the design aspect of getting rid of the wreath, but getting rid of it because it is outdated and obsolete? What and the whole idea of a “Coat of Arms” from the old world customs and traditions isn’t?

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    It’s always interesting to learn about the many implications of and motivations behind designing something as simple as a logo. THe Cadillac logo change is fairly obvious, but sometimes massive amounts of money are spent making very subtle logo changes that, ironically, most people won’t even notice. How is brand identity quantified when making marketing decisions like this?

  • avatar
    Manos

    Not a laurel wreath but a ring of Tulips.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Since they vertically stretched the Corvette logo for 2014, I’d like to see if a similar vertical treatment of the 1959 Cadillac logo wouldn’t fit with the Art & Science design vocabulary.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I like the idea above of no logo on the front – it would stand out. Nowdays everyone has a logo on the front center, and one on the rear center typically flanked by the model name and trim.


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