By on January 28, 2016


I work with logos in my day job and it’s always nice to see a clever logo design. Maybe I’m strange but things like the negative-space arrow in the FedEx brand excite me.

That’s why I’m a bit perplexed about the current badge Ford uses on its F-150 pickup trucks.

Maybe it’s a bit too clever. They decided to make the numeric part of the alphanumeric the same height as the “arms” of the F that precedes the number, and they created the F out of negative space within the outline of the badge. That ends up, at least to my eyes, making part of the F look like the numeral 3. Now, just like the FedEx arrow, I can’t look at the F-150 badge and see it as anything other than I3150.

Can you think of any other car or truck badge that looks like something other than what the designer intended?

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62 Comments on “Adventures in Logoland: Ford’s “I-3150” Pickup?...”

  • avatar

    My wife pointed out that Toyota’s T looks like a guy in a Sombrero. Cannot unsee.

  • avatar

    Pontiac 6000 LE (Gooly)
    Nissan Rouge SL AWD (what happens after Cole)
    Mitsubishi Mirage DE Coupe (Hey! Vito!)

  • avatar

    I dont care for the current F-150 badging either.

    I dont think Cadillac intended the new deformed crest to resemble crap, so the they failed there.

  • avatar

    The GMC emblem looks like CIVIC to these tired eyes.

  • avatar

    Not quite the same thing, but on my ’94 Wrangler the raised metal part of the left and right body panels where “Jeep” stickers go is missing said stickers. Now it just says “Joop.”

  • avatar

    Thanks now I can’t unsee this either. I also do logo design (at times) and the first time I saw the new F-150 logo it looked wrong.

    Hyundai’s H has always bothered me too… its like they didn’t even try, they just did the opposite of Honda’s upright, stiff H and went with a swoopy, drunk H instead. Acura took the H from Honda and squished to form an “A”. I always thought Saturn had a great logo, but it was really just an evaluation of the Oldsmobile “rocket”. I like what Cadillac has done getting rid of the wreaths and making their logo lean and mean to reflect the changes in the brand. Nissan has a terrible logo along with Kia. Ford stays iconic with theirs, but they tend to make logos for individual models like the Mustang (or the F150 here). I prefer the model name with logos instead of just generic letters or numbers. For example what is better: 350Z or Fairlady? OK maybe it doesn’t always work.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve always been fascinated by the individual model branding of Japanese and some other asian domestic markets.

      Some of the kids go nuts over getting the JDM “i” badges for their WRX (for Impreza. The STi got a pink “i” badge which is the holy grail) and other models follow suit there is an “F” badge for Forester and “L7” badges for the Legacy.

      The Japanese marques initially carried some of this branding overseas, I recall the old Supras with some sort of winged logo, and the Z, although not fairlady, survived for a long time as the primary branding of that car. I think it was during the Z32 generation they removed that “Z” on the front and replaced it with a Nissan badge. The Hyundai Genesis kids put the home market Genesis branding on those cars so the South Koreans are into that too.

      Now the marketing geniuses don’t even want us to know the model names, so we get Q30/30/50/60 whatever that is.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the Acura calipers logo a lot.

      Kia’s must be the laziest of all.

  • avatar

    OK, not a car or truck logo, but one of the all-time worst designs that looked nothing like what the designer intended was the Montreal Expos’ “elb” logo.

    All-time best: Milwaukee Brewers’ baseball glove or the Hartford Whaler’s H and whale tail.

  • avatar

    New fiesta. Almost unreadable

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What is the inline 5 cylinder engine capactiy of the Duratorq or Baby PowerStroke?

  • avatar

    Don’t forget the Ram truck logo/uterus connection.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    The original Dodge Viper emblem reminds me of a hand sock-puppet with a little too much eye-liner.

    Today those reptile eyes say to me “I’m Meowth from Team Rocket, hand over Togepi!”

    It’s so sad being a dad and being forced to know these things.

  • avatar

    I liked the ’15 logo from day one because the big F reminded me of the bullnose Fords (my favorite) from ’82-86.

  • avatar

    This reminds me of the joke about the twit that walks into an auto-parts store looking for an air cleaner for her boyfriend’s Fiso truck.

  • avatar

    Maybe Cadillac got rid of the wreath because it implied the imminent death of the brand?

    Either way I’m no fan of spurious coats of arms and the like.

    • 0 avatar

      Please, the brand was dead long ago. Its been “Weekend at Bernies” since at least 2000.

      A better Cadillac emblem would be this, as this is how they think of their customers:

      • 0 avatar

        Larry Wilson: I have an idea!

        Richard Parker: [shouting] What? What is it?

        Larry Wilson: Lomax (GM) told whoever he was talking to not to kill us while he’s around.

        Richard Parker: Yes, but Bernie’s (Caddy’s) dead. He’s not around anymore.

        Larry Wilson: Yeah. I know that. You know that. Nobody else knows that!

    • 0 avatar

      “Either way I’m no fan of spurious coats of arms and the like.”

      Yep, 18th Century French heraldry always seamed incongruous for a nation that the next century spent over 600,000 lives to wipe European-style aristocracy off its continent.

      But I can’t not like the duckies on the older ones.

    • 0 avatar

      “I come here to bury Cadillac, not to praise it”…

  • avatar

    Acura TL;DR;LX



    How many TOWN CA_s have you guys seen lately?

    The best logo is the obnoxious ACTIVEHYBRID3 tape-stuck to the C-pillar of a BMW.

  • avatar

    Kind of like when, as a pump jockey back in the day, we would mess with sports-car owners and comment on how much we liked their “UNDO”. (for those of you not old enough, UNDO was written on knock-off hubs)

  • avatar

    Never noticed before. But thanks for planting that image in my brain.

    Oh….. how about the Blonde who goes to the parts counter saying she needs a new 7I0 cap for her car since she lost hers.

    • 0 avatar

      A blonde was interviewed for a local news broadcast when there were skyrocketing fuel prices a couple years ago.

      She said, “Oh fuel prices don’t affect me. I always just put in $20!”

  • avatar

    Ford finally gave in and elected to use the old Nokia phone naming scheme for their trucks. I think this could work out for Ford. Just imagine how cool the 7160 will be.

  • avatar

    That’s awesome!

    From now on, I’m going to call these trucks “3150s”

    Of course I’ll have to explain it, but it will be worth it.

  • avatar

    Okay this isn’t a car logo but you see it a lot on trucks (at least in the South).
    I always thought the Browning logo was a dude with his arm in a sling and his hair on fire. It took me years to figure out it’s a buck. When I see it now I still see an unfortunate man.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s what I saw for the first 10 years of my life! There used to be a gun shop on the corner of Main Street with the “deer” in the window.

    • 0 avatar

      Hooray, it’s not just me. I never saw the sling, though, to me it looks like he’s running, maybe trying to put out the fire engulfing his head. I guess he never learned about stop, drop and roll. That’s still what I see in the Browning logo, I have to do a conscious mental re-arrangement to perceive it as a buck.

  • avatar

    In Toronto the ambulances are supposed to say “EMS” on the signs, for Emergency Medical Service. The M is negative, which looks like “ELVIS” to me.

  • avatar

    At an auto show a bunch of years ago, I overheard someone say “What’s a 74 Oil?” (740iL)

    I also read “FISO” on older F-150s. Probably a habit after seeing them labeled “LOBO” in Mexico.

    • 0 avatar

      Saw LOBO on an F-Series the other day, and couldn’t figure out what that was all about; makes sense now, given that about 20 percent of the population of the town I was in at the time is Hispanic.

      I read the LOBO badge as “1080” and wondered how that translated into the truck’s payload rating.

  • avatar

    A wild guess: Ford is trying to infer the aluminum frame construction by “boxing in” the “F”

    • 0 avatar

      That’s what I’ve always perceived, that the hollow “F” designates that excess weight has been trimmed in places you can’t see from the outside.

      I find it handy for quickly confirming if an F-150 is a 2015 or later. I haven’t yet picked up on the visual differences in the body design, although I’m sure they’re there.

  • avatar

    Is the Skoda emblem supposed to look like a Cheyenne NA Ceremonial Headdress?

  • avatar

    The script font Porsche ‘Turbo’ badge started looking like ‘Timbo’ to me a few years ago so now I refer to all cars w/ a turbo as Timbos.

  • avatar

    Don’t see them as much now, but I always used to spot the Swedish BMW, the 75 oLI (Ollie)

  • avatar

    Ride behind a new F150 and you will notice the different sheetmetal of the tailgate.

  • avatar

    As the owner of a truck with a pictogram of the female reproductive system on its hood, the first thought that popped into my mind was:

    Wasn’t the “scoop” supposed to be an S-coupe?

  • avatar

    I strongly dislike the “TITANIUM” badges Ford puts on their cars (not trucks). They overpower the badges on the tailgate of whatever they’re on. Oftentimes the Titanium badge is in bright chrome, all caps sans serif, while the name of the car is in dark chrome in script. I bet more than one person has walked into a Ford dealership asking for a “Ford Titanium.”

    Chevy looks to be handling this much better with the badge for their “PREMIER” trim.

    Somehow the new logos for JETTA and PASSAT look very cheap to me. It’s the inflated font combined with the italic, I believe. Looks low-end.

    One of my secret favorites was Plymouth’s “Sundance” badge. Literally looked like it was dancing!

  • avatar

    I3150? Bwahah!!! In a similar vein, I once worked with a guy that was a service advisor at a Ford dealer. He told me that a lady one day showed up and booked her truck in for service and told him it was a “FISO”. You know where this is going right? Having been with Ford for 15 years at that point, he was completely at a loss. Until he walked out to the lot with the customer and realized it was an F-150. LOLZ!

  • avatar
    A strolling player

    The Pioneer logo looks like the lower half of a half-squatting man peeing on the ground, if that’s what you mean.

  • avatar
    Heather Schroeder

    I’m here because I just was behind a F150 with a badge I hadn’t seen before and it looked like 3150 to me and I wondered if it was paying homage to some type of classic Ford series, so I was just going to research it. Like the original poster I cannot unsee it, nor the Fed Ex arrow I learned about recently.

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