Alfa Romeo Logo – Meaning and History of Alfa Romeo Emblem

Alfa Romeo is known as a manufacturer of luxury yet sporty vehicles, although it is less-known than its Italian counterparts Ferrari and Lamborghini. As a manufacturer with over 100 years under its belt, Alfa Romeo certainly has a rich heritage. At the same time, Alfa Romeo logo is one of the most distinctive and attention-grabbing emblems in the automotive industry.

Alfa Romeo Automobile SpA Information

Founded 24 June 1910
Founder Nicola Romeo
Ugo Stella
Alexandre Darracq
Logo creator Romano Cattaneo
Headquarters Turin, Italy
Slogan La meccanica delle emozioni (The mechanics of emotion)
Owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) 
Official website www.alfaromeo.com

Alfa Romeo traces its history back to 1910 when it was established as Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA). In 1915, the company went under control of Nicola Romeo and was subsequently renamed Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili Romeo (Alfa Romeo). Apart from cars, the company produced military hardware for the Italian and Allied forces.

Alfa Romeo Logo

The badge is deeply linked with the company’s birthplace, the city of Milan. Alfa Romeo logo consists of two concentric circles of different sizes that enclose two symbols of Milan – a red cross against white background in a direct reference to the city; and the biscione – a heraldic symbol depicting a crowned snake swallowing a man. As the coat of arms of the House of Visconti, the biscione was representative of the family that ruled the city in the 14th century. Inside the first circle is Alfa Romeo written in capital letters.

Read Also: 10 Alfa Romeo facts you probably didn’t know

Alfa Romeo has a slightly different interpretation of the biscione. In a response to Jalopnik, the brand said the logo’s snake is not eating the human. Rather, the human is emerging out of the snake indicating a rebirth. Alfa Romeo’s clarification also nullifies the unsubstantiated claims that the snake is swallowing a Moor (a Muslim inhabitant of middle-age Maghreb). Nevertheless, Alfa Romeo did hint that the biscione was an adopted badge that was won by Visconti family founder Otone Visconti after defeating a Syrian knight. So quite possible that the logo has some Muslim connection after all.

Alfa Romeo Logo history and evolution

Soon after formation of the company in 1910, the need for a logo was felt and chief engineer Giuseppe Merosi was tasked with it. One of Merosi’s collaborators, Romano Cattaneo came up with an idea of using the biscione in Alfa badge (since it was still just ALFA and hadn’t become Alfa Romeo). Merosi added a few bits from his side and a logo was readied. These bits included the name of ALFA and MILANO in the top and bottom halves of the blue circles that enclosed the two city symbols. The words also included decorative flourishes between them. These flourishes were not merely for decoration but represented the knots of the Savoy dynasty which ruled the city at the time.

The logo underwent several changes over the next years but retained its visual identity as the changes were subtle. This started with changing the text colour from Brass to White. In 1915, the company was renamed Alfa Romeo and this was reflected in the logo.

Most prominent of the modifications came in 1925 when a silver wreath was added to commemorate Alfa Romeo P2’s win in the inaugural Automobile World Championship. The championship was equivalent to the current Formula One so naturally, winning the inaugural version was a big deal.

Another important change occurred in 1946 when Italy became a republic. Alfa Romeo responded by dropping the Savoy dynasty knots and introducing a pair of wavy lines.

In the following years, Alfa Romeo kept on simplifying its logo, dropping several elements starting with the decorative wavy lines in 1972. The logo also got rid of Milano lettering following the opening of its Naples plant. Also gone were the scales, eyes and gills of the serpent.

The wreath was ultimately dropped in 1982, and the colors were redesigned with the simplification of the serpent and the re-composition of ALFA ROMEO in the Futura typeface.

A new logo was introduced in 2015 which saw the white and blue background colours of the new symbols being replaced by a single silver textured background. The name ALFA ROMEO was also recast in a new typeface. This is the logo which is found on all new Alfa Romeo vehicles.

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