Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Do You Know How Chevy Got Its Trademark Bowtie Logo?

Do You Know How Chevy Got Its Trademark Bowtie Logo?

More than 100 years ago, Chevy co-founder William C. Durant introduced the company’s iconic bowtie logo in 1913. Since then, it’s become a classic symbol in American car culture. But, how did the spiffy logo come to be? There’s actually four different theories about this, so let’s take a peek!

Theory 1

The most popular and widely known theory comes from The Chevrolet Story, which was published in 1961 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. According to the publication, Durant got his inspiration for the logo after seeing the wallpaper in his hotel room in Paris, France.

“It originated in Durant’s imagination when, as a world traveler in 1908, he saw the pattern marching off into infinity as a design on wallpaper in a French hotel. He tore off a piece of the wallpaper and kept it to show friends, with the thought that it would make a good nameplate for a car,” the Story noted.

Shutterstock / Catarina Belova

Theory 2

Although Durant himself allegedly confirmed the hotel theory, his daughter, Margery, told a different story. Published in 1929, her book, My Father, states the logo actually came to Durant during a family drawing session at dinner one evening.

“I think it was between the soup and the fried chicken one night that he sketched out the design that is used on the Chevrolet car to this day,” Margery Durant wrote in her book.

Flickr / RCabanilla

Theory 3

The third theory comes from the 1986 issue of Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine, which mentions an interview with Durant’s widow, Catherine, from 13 years prior. Catherine declares the idea came to Durant while he was reading a newspaper in their hotel room in Hot Springs, Virginia. An ad for Coalettes, which was a refined fuel product for fires created by the Southern Compressed Coal company, caught his eye. As a result, the logo was born.

Maybe this one is a little more than a coincidence because Ken Kaufman, historian, and editor of The Chevrolet Review, dig a bit of digging. He discovered the similarity between the two logos, which maybe gives a little more weight to this theory.

Flickr / emaspounder

Theory 4

A less popular theory, this one claims it was actually the Chevy co-founder, Louis Chevrolet, behind the logo. In order to pay tribute to his Swiss roots, some believe the logo represents the cross in the Swiss flag.

Shutterstock / Boris Stroujko

Although where the logo came from is still questionable, we all know for sure the Chevy bowtie symbol has been a great representation of the iconic car company!