Last Updated on August 17, 2023
The Ferrari brand resonates with qualities of speed, wealth, elegance, and luxury. There’s no denying that Ferrari is one of the world’s most fascinating automobile brands.
In addition to their powerful engines and elegant construction, Ferrari cars are also famed for their beautiful horse-based logos. In fact, the company was listed as the most powerful brand in 2014 by Brand Finance, an achievement largely attributable to its badge.
But how did the Ferrari logo come about? That question shall be the focus of this post. First, let’s start by familiarizing ourselves with what the Ferrari brand is all about.
Over the years, Ferrari cars have consistently featured in auto racing. The car is especially noted for its participation in Formula One events, where it’s considered the oldest as well as most successful racing team.
As of the time of writing, Ferrari cars have produced 15 drivers’ championship wins and 16 constructors’ championships, the highest number in both categories. Ferrari is also currently the 10th-largest automaker by market capitalization, with an estimated value of $52.21 billion.
Ferrari Logo Appearance
The most recognizable element of the Ferrari logo is a prancing horse. The horse is set inside an upturned rectangular frame. Above the horse is the Italian flag. The flag is meticulously executed within the uppermost section of the rectangle, such that it fits tightly within the frame.
Beneath the horse is the word ‘Ferrari,’ also set within the upturned rectangular frame. The wordmark is executed in small lettering, except for the letter ‘F.’ You’ll also notice that the upper cross stroke of the letter ‘F’ in ‘Ferrari’ extends nearly the entire length of the wordmark, only stopping at the last letter ‘r.’
The Ferrari logo appears in two colors. Well, technically five if you factor in the Italian flag. The prancing horse and the wordmark are in black, with yellow serving as the background color.
When you examine the horse closely, you’ll notice small white stripes throughout its body. White is also used as the middle color for the Italian flag, which typically features fern green, bright white, and flame scarlet stripes.
Ferrari’s logotype utilizes a unique typeface that was likely created by the automaker’s in-house design team. However, the font looks a lot like the Ferro Rosso.
This font is a fancy, various typeface designed by Font Mesa. The typeface was created based exclusively on Ferrari’s original logo font. It features 226 defined characters, along with 218 unique glyphs.
Although currently available only in the regular style, Ferro Rosso contains a wide range of characters. Examples include UPPERCASE and lowercase alphabetical letters, letterlike symbols, integers, basic punctuation, mathematical operators, currency symbols, etc.
Ferrari Logo Meaning
Meaning of the Prancing Horse
Ferrari isn’t the only famous brand that uses the image of a horse on its logo. Others include Hermes, Burberry, Porsche, to mention but a few. However, Ferrari is definitely one of the only few companies that use the image of a prancing horse. To prance basically means to spring from the hind legs.
Now, a prancing horse symbolizes speed, a quality that’s easily associable with Ferrari cars. A horse also symbolizes power and strength. Again, these are qualities synonymous with Ferrari automobiles, especially if you consider their engine capacity.
However, the use of a prancing horse image on Ferrari’s logo has a deeper history and symbolism. One day, Enzo Ferrari met the parents of celebrated World War One pilot Count Francesco Baracca, whose plane featured a prancing horse on its fuselage.
Baracca’s parents reportedly told Ferrari to consider incorporating the image of a stallion on his cars as it could bring him good luck. Ferrari took the advice, added a color scheme to the stallion, and that’s how the logo came about.
NOTE: Francesco Baracca was shot down on June 19, 1918. By the time of his death, he had won a record 34 duels.
Meaning of the Colors
Black is the color of power and elegance, two attributes associated with Ferrari cars. Black was also likely used to mourn the person who inspired Ferrari’s logo – Francesco Baracca.
Yellow, on the other hand, symbolizes happiness and positivity. Perhaps Ferrari chose this color to symbolize the thrill its cars inspire while driving them along the racing track or freeway.
Yellow is also the color for the official flag of Modena city, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari.
Meaning of the Italian Flag
Enzo Ferrari must have been truly patriotic to incorporate the Italian flag into his company’s logo. Although Enzo was Italian himself, he was under no obligation to use his country’s national colors on his automobiles.
Another reason Enzo may have adopted the Italian national colors for his company’s logo is that he wanted to give his brand a professional touch. The national flag lends huge credence to Ferrari’s reputation. Anyone who comes into contact with the Ferrari brand would think the company has strong ties with the Italian government.
Meaning of the Rectangular Frame
The rectangular frame encloses all other elements in the Ferrari logo, making the badge look neater and more organized. A rectangle also symbolizes power and protection. And the fact that Ferrari’s rectangle is vertically executed makes it look friendlier and more captivating.
Meaning of the Wordmark
Ferrari is one of the many companies named after their founders. The ‘Ferrari’ word was adopted mainly as a tribute to Enzo Ferrari.
Ferrari Logo Evolution
The prancing horse on Ferrari’s logo first appeared in 1929. The horse was executed in black and set on a yellow background, with the two elements appearing in a shield.
In addition to the black and yellow color scheme, the original logo also featured red and white lines on its top. To the bottom of the logo was the monogram ‘SF,’ which stands for Scuderia Ferrari. Ferrari used this logo until 1931.
1931 – 1939
In 1931, the shield on Ferrari’s logo was slightly modified. The upper cusp of the shield became straight horizontal which now featured colors of the Italian flag.
Besides, the shield’s thick black outlines disappeared, making the badge look brighter. The prancing horse also received slight modifications. Its contours were now cleaner and more distinct, while the white accents disappeared and were replaced by yellow.
1939 – 1957
In 1939, the prancing horse became bolder and more graceful. The horse also turned to the right and featured two widespread wings on its back.
1994 – 2002
The shield from Ferrari’s earlier logo versions disappeared and gave way to a vertically located rectangle. The rectangle had its corners rounded. Although the color scheme remained the same, the three stripes of the Italian flag were now separated by thin black lines.
Also, the horse appeared with its original white accents and the ‘SF’ monogram was replaced by the ‘Ferrari’ wordmark.
2002 – Today
The rounded corners of the rectangle became sharper. Also, the contours of the horse became cleaner and more visible. The black lines on the Italian flag disappeared, while the colors became more enhanced.
Ferrari’s logo may have undergone several modifications since the company’s establishment close to a century ago. But the iconic image of the prancing horse has remained the same, which explains why the brand has long been associated with speed, elegance, and power.