The Chevrolet bowtie logo was introduced by company co-founder William C. Durant in late 1913.
According to an official company publication titled The Chevrolet Story of 1961, the logo 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 Sport Wallpapers and kept it to show friends, with the thought that it would make a good nameplate for a car. However, in an interview with Durant's widow, Catherine published in a 1986 issue of Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine, Catherine recalled how she and her husband were on holiday in Hot Springs, Va., in 1912. While reading a newspaper in their hotel room, Durant spotted a design and exclaimed, "I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet." Unfortunately, at the time, Mrs. Durant didn't clarify what the motif was or how it was used. Ken Kaufmann, historian and editor of The Chevrolet Review, discovered in a Nov. 12, 1911 edition of The Constitution newspaper, published in Atlanta, an advertisement appeared from by the Southern Compressed Coal Company for "Coalettes", a refined fuel product for fires. The Coalettes logo, as published in the ad, had a slanted bowtie form, very similar to the shape that would soon become the Chevrolet icon. The date of the paper was just nine days after the incorporation of the Chevrolet Motor Co. One other explanation attributes the design to a stylized version of the cross of the Swiss flag. Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchatel, to French parents, on Christmas Day 1878. An October 2, 1913 edition of The Washington Post seems, so far, to be the earliest known example of the symbol being used to advertise the brand.
The first bowtie logo without embedded text first appeared in 1985, as part of the Heartbeat of America ad campaign. In 2004, Chevrolet began to phase-in the gold bowtie that serves as the brand identity for all of its cars and trucks marketed globally.
The Klavika Condensed font was designed by type design studio Process Type Foundry under the art direction of Aaron Carámbula for General Motors marketer FutureBrand as part of Chevrolet's 2006 redesign. After the expiry of the exclusivity period, the commercial version of the font (Klavika Condensed) was released to the public in the fall of 2008. In the Young Creative Chevrolet corporate identity guidelines, Klavika is listed for use in all communication materials. Klavika was phased out beginning in 2012 and replaced by Knockout (from Hoefler & Frere-Jones) while the campaign was still ongoing. Currently, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is utilizing the typeface families Louis, a group of simplified, legible grotesque gothics named after co-founder Louis Chevrolet, and Durant, a roman group, just as simplified and legible, named after co-founder William Durant, on print, television and Chevrolet's website advertisements.
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