THE CREST: In 1951 Porsche was finalizing plans for its move from the war time sanctuary of Gmund back to Stuttgart. Importers and agents selling his product made it clear that customers wanted some sort of trademark or badge to identify their vehicles, which till then, only carried the word “Porsche” on the body work. In 1952, Professor Porsche had devised the basic design of the crest. Folklore has it that he sketched it on a serviette during a luncheon. Whether true or not, it was Messrs. Lepper and Riemspiess of the publicity and design studios who carefully finalized the design.
There are three components: the family name, of course, is positioned at the top, while the other two components reflect Porsche’s gratitude for the rebirth of the company in the Stuttgart area. The red and black bars with the antlers are from the coat of arms of the State of Wurttemberg, and the horse is from the coat of arms of Stuttgart, capital of Wurttemberg. The origins of Stuttgart developed from the royal patronage given in historical times to the area. A fine horse stud developed here. So (Stud Garden) Stutt Garten and Stuttgart.
The crest first appeared on a Porsche in 1953, but was limited to the interior of the car – the horn button. It was not till 1957 that the crest joined the word Porsche on the front bonnet of a 356 Coupe.
THE COLOR: Maroon or claret has appeared on the driver’s hand-books, service manuals and official letterheads since 1951. The choice of color was due to necessity rather than any romantic design consideration. After the second World War, colored inks were in very short supply and colored papers were only just being reintroduced. It was in this environment that the first handbooks were produced. To maintain an attractive design within the shortages of the period, black ink and colored stock was chosen. The small printer Glauner happened to have some colored paper – maroon. It was a case of no alternatives. No one could imagine the precedent that this would set. Today, all official stationery, driver’s wallets and even the exterior color schemes of the new factory building in Stuttgart utilize bold stripes of these colors.
THE SCRIPT: The Porsche script has undergone a number of evolutionary phases since it appeared on Porsche No. 1 at Gmund in June 1948.
From the outset, the square shape of the letters was apparent. Initially, letters were placed individually in a curved pattern on the front of the cars. In 1950, a horizontal underlining bar joined all the letters into a single unit. In 1952, the letters became more squat (extended). This design remained unchanged for the remaining life of the 356 series. In 1963-64, the 911 came on the scene. The word Porsche reverted to a series of individual letters of a thinner and more open shape. In 1974, the metal letters were no longer used. Instead they were depicted on the reflective panel separating the tail lights of the 911. To end, I quote Tony Lapine, head of styling studio: “More than any emblem or logo, Professor Porsche himself represents the bond between tradition and progressive technology that makes Porsche such a unique company.”