Within the automotive industry in Britain, there are a few iconic brands that have stood the test of time because of their popular models and rich history, and one of those brands is Lotus. This brand, which has a full business name of Lotus Cars Limited, is a British automotive company that in 1948 in Norfolk, England.
Since its founding up to the present time, Lotus Cars has primarily focused on building or manufacturing cars that are made for racing or for road performance. Lotus Cars is a prominent brand in the racing world, as their models are known for their lightweight exterior and interior, as well as their smooth handling. In addition to being popular because of their cars, Lotus is also iconic because of its logo, which features a bright yellow circular background with a dark green triangle inside that contains the Lotus name on the bottom and the initials of the company’s founder that looks like a lotus flower from afar. To know more about it, here is the interesting history of the Lotus logo.
The Original Lotus Logo
The original Lotus logo was introduced in 1948, which is the year that the company was founded. The first Lotus logo features a black circular background that has a silver border. Inside the circular background is a black triangle shape that also has a silver border and contains the Lotus brand name that is written in a bold san-serif font and the letters “ACBC” placed on top of each other in different font sizes to resemble a lotus flower. The “ACBC” featured on the emblem stands for the founder’s name, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.
Although historical records say that Lotus was founded in 1948, the first official company that features the Lotus brand name was only formed in 1952 by Colin Chapman and fellow University College London (UCL) graduate Colin Dare. However, Chapman had already used the Lotus brand and logo when he built his first racing car in 1948.
The silver and black-colored Lotus logo has remained for more than 30 years, but to adapt to the more colorful and “hippy” vibe that was becoming a trend during the 80s, the brand eventually let go of the silver and black logo and replaced it with a new one in 1984.
The Two Lotus Logos of the 80s
In 1984, Lotus changed its logo to one that has a mustard yellow triangular background, and its shape matches well with the less pronounced dark green triangle inside the background that bears the Lotus brand name in mustard yellow. This first 80s logo doesn’t feature that lotus emblem at the top of the company’s name, so it is significantly smaller in proportion compared to the first logo. In addition, the letters of the brand’s name are scrunched so that some parts of the letters overlap with each other.
Two years before Lotus changed its logo, founder Colin Chapman died of a heart attack at the age of 54. Because the company was being run without its captain, it eventually went to near bankruptcy in 1983. Fortunately, David Wickins, who was the founder of British Car Auctions, signed a contract that made him the new chairman of Lotus. Through his leadership, Lotus regained its popularity in the market, and because of his help, he is often deemed as “the savior of Lotus.”
In 1986, the company placed the ACBC lotus emblem back in honor of the founder. Much like the brand name on the logo, the lotus emblem features a mustard yellow font color. Although they did add the lotus emblem back, the overall shape and proportion of the logo remained unchanged until 1989, when Lotus decided to change the logo once again.
The Lotus Logo of the 90s and 2000s
In 1989, Lotus brought back the circular background design that was used on the original logo. However, instead of having a black background, the new Lotus logo features a yellow background color with a silver border. The triangle shape at the center of the logo is colored green, and it also has a silver border like the background.
Instead of having a yellow font color, the Lotus brand name and the lotus emblem feature a silver font color to make it stand out more. Whenever this Lotus logo is utilized in documents that are only printed in black, white, and gray, it would look like the original Lotus logo that was made in 1948.
Throughout the 90s, the Lotus car company constantly changed ownership, with one being GM or General Motors, who sold the company for 30 million euros in 1993 to ACBN Holdings SA, which was managed by Italian businessman Romano Artioli and also owned Bugatti during that period. In 1996, a majority share in the car company was sold to Proton Holding Berhad, a Malaysian business.
The 2010s Lotus Logo
The redesign done for the Lotus logo in 2010 was not that significant, as it still looks like the logo created in 1989 but has a much thicker and shinier silver border for the yellow circle and the dark green triangle.
In the early 2010s, not much has changed in the operations of the company. However, in 2017, a Chinese multinational company called Geely took hold of 51% of Lotus’ stake. The remaining 49% of the stake was then taken by Etika Automotive, which was owned by Proton’s major shareholder, Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.
The 2020s Lotus Logo
In 2019, the Lotus logo received a major redesign, as the silver borders for the yellow circle and the dark green triangle were removed to make the logo look much simpler. The font style of the Lotus brand name was also changed to a simple san-serif typeface. Moreover, the font style for the lotus emblem is also thinner compared to the ones used before. As simplicity is the trend during the 2010s and 2020s, it is no surprise that Lotus made their logo simpler to keep up with the minimalistic trends in design.