The History of the Chrysler Logo

Chrysler is an American automobile manufacturer founded by Walter Chrysler in 1925. Walter Chrysler took over the Maxwell Motor Company and within three years expanded to acquire multiple other brands. Chrysler has worked hard to create a recognizable image that represents the most important elements of the company. Over the decades the Chrysler logo has enjoyed a rich history of evolutions and yet always returned to its company roots.

Who was involved in creating the Chrysler logo?

Walter Chrysler, the founder of the company, wanted to ensure that the cars he produced would be considered among the ranks of Cadillacs and Lincolns. At the time it was understood that the best logo would help give the impression of a similarly high quality brand. However, it was Oliver Clark, a member of the Chrysler engineering team who initially designed the logos.

When was the Chrysler logo first made?

Oliver Clark produced two logos in 1924:

  1. The first represented a wax seal, the kind of seal that one puts on high-quality items. The intent behind this logo was to conjure the image of something so important and of such premium design that it had to be sealed before given to the customer. On the lower right was the Blue Ribbon emblem.
  2. The second featured a silver winged figure over what would otherwise be the radiator. The wings were indicative of the Roman god of speed, Mercury.

Most people don’t recognize these two individual symbols because the first Chrysler logo was actually a combination of the two. Until 1930 the logo was comprised of the wax seal with a blue ribbon and the wings behind the seal with the word ‘Chrysler’ across the center.

Related: How to trademark a logo

How often was the Chrysler design changed?

But this design didn’t stay. In fact, the Chrysler logo has seen multiple changes to its design over the years.


First there was the combination logo mentioned above.


Two years later the wings were removed but the wax seal remained in place. However, the colors were changed so that instead of a silver Wax Seal with blue in the middle, it was a gold wax seal with red in the middle, reflective of the luxury and quality of the brand.


After the Second World War, the wings were brought back but modified on either side of the same wax seal figure in the middle. The wings were silver with black stripes on both sides indicative of the front of a plane or a car grill. The burgundy and gold colors remained the same, but much more polished.


For one year the brand changed its logo rather drastically and instead of a wax seal featured a black shield on which a gold lion was holding a red crest. While it was stunning, it didn’t last long.


The concept of the wings were reintroduced in 1951 but instead of serving as wings atop a wax seal these were three dimensional bird wings giving the image of a bird in flight. The idea behind this logo change was to reflect the speed and the progress the brand had embodied.


For the next two and a half decades the wings were converted into the longest-running logo in Chrysler history, the v-shaped, sharp wings. These are much more modern and nothing but solid silver. It didn’t have the name of the company or any extra design features beyond the simple Wing emblem meant to stress the strength of the brand.


Chrysler decided that it was time to redesign their logo and bring it forward to modernity and they did so by experimenting with different fonts for a short while. For a decade Chrysler made up for not having any text on their longest running logo by going in the exact opposite direction; this logo featured the Chrysler name only. All capital letters, the futuristic lines were rounded and confident adding individuality to the logo.


But the wings made their comeback. For 3 years Chrysler brought the wings back and combined them with the same modern word mark under the name. The silver wings were similar to the design from 1936 with the sleek and stylish design on either side of the oval center in which was found the wax seal from the company’s early days.


Thereafter Chrysler returned it to its roots by slightly modifying the colors but combining the blue, red, and gold of the first two logos. For 7 years Chrysler featured the wax seal with the blue ribbon across the center.


The pentastar emblem replaced this wax seal for the next decade. It was black and white on a gray background next to which the Chrysler wordmark was featured. The pentastar emblem was different in that it wasn’t used on the radiator grills but served only as the corporate logo.


For 1 year Chrysler changed the location of the pentastar to stand atop the word Chrysler and enlarged the symbol so that it was the central component.


In 2014 Chrysler was acquired by Fiat and this necessitated a new logo, but a logo that still hearkened to the original days of the company. The most recent change brought back the three-dimensional wings with larger, fuller lines but the same sleek nature of the 1990s and the 1940s. The three-dimensional wings feature the Chrysler name in the center with blue and silver and the name Chrysler on top of the wings also in silver. This modern iteration remains the Chrysler theme today.

Common Trends with the Chrysler Logo

Over the years one of the most common Trends featured in the Chrysler emblem are the wings. For over four decades Chrysler experimented with different versions of the Silver Wings and the shield with the wax seal. This theme remains prevalent throughout the Chrysler logos no matter what changes took place around it. Time and time again no matter what modifications were made the company fell back on the wings indicative of their stability and their longevity.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded this trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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