The Porsche crest is one of the most recognizable logos in the world, but Porsche considered replacing it at one point—and the proposed alternatives were nothing like the original.
Porsche has gone through its archives and discovered some of the alternative designs that were considered in its history.
Porsche’s alternative logo designs
The crest logo was born in 1952, at which point Porsche’s first sports car, the 356, had already been in production for four years, using simple block lettering spelling out the Porsche name for identification.
At the behest of early fan Dr. Ottomar Domnick, and then later famous U.S. importer Max Hoffman, Porsche in early 1952 hired Franz Xaver Reimspiess, the designer behind the current Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz logos, to create the logo. The idea of using the seal of the city of Stuttgart as inspiration came from Ferry Porsche, son of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche. The seal features the black prancing horse that Porsche has on its crest. The antlers meanwhile come from the coat of arms of the former German state Württemberg-Hohenzollern, which is now part of the Baden-Württemberg state with Stuttgart as its capital.
Revised Porsche crest logo – June 2023
Porsche also added gold into the mix as a mark of victory, and this combination of colors and graphics was difficult to print for sales material at the time, according to the automaker. A number of dealers were also not happy with the design, even writing to Porsche’s head of advertising, Hermann Lapper, in 1961 to complain that the logo was too complicated to be easily recognized. They wanted something simpler like Reimspiess’ design for Volkswagen’s VW or Mercedes-Benz’s three-pointed star.
Porsche then hired Hanns Lohrer, a commercial artist responsible for many influential posters and advertisements at Porsche in the 1950s and ’60s, to create a new logo intended for use on the 911 which would debut in 1963 as the 901. Those new designs, which are now being shown to the public for the first time, mostly relied on Bauhaus influences and the letter P.
Porsche chose to stick with the crest and now the logo is as iconic as the 911 itself. There have been multiple revisions to it over the years, though. These were made in 1954, 1963, 1973, 1994, 2008, and most recently in 2023. Anyone restoring an older Porsche can always find badges with the earlier designs via the Porsche Classic department.