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Ford logo

One little curl

MMDE: No "pigtail" swirl on the F

Current: Has a "pigtail" swirl on the F

Everyone is familiar with the Ford Motor Co. logo, but some remember there never being a curly "pig tail" swirl in the capital F which is seen today.

Those experiencing the Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect are sure it was never there, yet all references and images today show it has been present since 1912.

However, a few instances of the logo without this swirl have been found.

Supposedly, the logo is based on Henry Fords own signature, but no surviving images of that show this little embellishment.

The evolution of the Ford logo

It's changed a fair bit over the years:

ford logos

Many people assume the handwriting must be from Henry himself, since it dates back to when he started and was building the company. The truth is, it's not. It's from the companies first chief engineer/designer named Childe Harold Wills. Wills designed business cards, and took the styling from some used on his own to use on the Ford logo when Henry asked him.

There was a time when the company went through a rebranding phase in the '60's and alsmost took on a much more radical logo. It was still recognisable from the old designs, but used a much slicker and futiristic font and style. It was proposed by the famous logo designer Paul Rand, who did logos for IBM, UPS, Enron and UPS. In the end, the new logo was personally rejected by Henry Ford 2, who hired Rand. Here's how it looked:

ford logo unused 396x192


The evidence for the logo gaining a "pig tail" is intriguing. Here's YouTuber "Better Mankind"s take on this:, who has a particularly close connection since his uncle worked for Ford in melbourne, Austrialia when he was a child growing up: