The History of the Ferrari Logo

Ferrari Logo

One of the most recognizable logos in the world is the simple prancing hose that is featured as a trademark symbol of the magnificent Ferrari automobiles. They vehicles embody elegance, class, style and power. Although the logo may appear simplistic, there is really quite a history behind it and it is one that is well worth retelling. Each element of the Ferrari logo has significance and meaning for the founders of the empire. Unless you know the story behind it, they may not mean a lot. There is a fascinating story that explains the significance of the horse.

The story of the prancing horse

This story was shared one time by Enzo Ferrari. He met the parents of an airmain named Francesco Baracca during world war one in 1923. This heroic man was of noble blood as his father was Count Enrico Barraca. He also met the Countess Paulina who was Francesco’s mother. It was here that Ferrari first saw the prancing horse. It was the symbol that painted onto the fuselage of Bracca’s fighter plane.

She told Enzo that she would like for him to use the same picture of the horse on his racing car. She assured him that if he did, it would bring him the best of luck. Enzo took her advice and this was his inspiration for using the black prancing horse as a symbol of the Ferrari motor cars.At the time of the meeting Enzo Ferrari had just completed and won a race in Ravenna at the Savio track.

He was not allowed to use the symbol until eleven years had passed. At the first opportunity Alfa would get to use the symbol he did, and he won the race. Believing that it had in fact brought him luck, he kept using it.

A representation of admiration and bravery

Ferrari added a background of canary yellow as it is the color of the city of his birth, Modena. He also added the letters SF which stand for Scuderia Ferrari. This symbol had even greater significance as Count francesco Barraca died at a very early age. He led several valiant battles for the Italian air force and was shot down after completing thirty four victorious missions. Barraca was a national hero and had earned a reputation for his bravery.

Deeper into the history of the prancing horse

Baracca may well have been inspired to paint the rampant horse on the side of his fighter when he saw the design on the aircraft of a German fighter who had been shot down during the war. In addition to this, the Baracca family was very wealthy and maintained a large stable of horses. They were avid horse lovers.

Explanation of Scuderia Ferrari coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart

The city of Stuttgart maintained with prancing horse as its’ emblem. It was also used by the Porsche car manufacturer which is from Stuttgart. The name of the city itself is a version of the older German word Gestut which means stud farm (relating to horses). When translated into Italian, the word is Scuderia. These are the believed origins of the name.

Other uses of the prancing horse

Ferrari motorcars were not the only company to use the rampant horse. It was also used as a logo for Ducati motorbikes. It is not known why Fabio Taglioni abandoned his use of the logo, but it is assumed that it was due to a gentlemen agreement to allow Ferrari sole use of the brand logo. The prancing horse is now the trademark logo for Ferrari automobiles.

Differences in Ferrari’s symbol and Baracca’s

Enzo Ferrari did make some changes to the symbol of the prancing horse that gave it distinction from Baracca’s. The horse that Baracca painted on the fuselage of his fighter was red and it was enveloped in a cloud. Ferrari decided to go with a black color instead. It is believed that the reason Ferrari chose the color black is because it is the color of grief and mourning. The untimely death of Baracca left many of his fellow airmen in great distress as well as his parents, other family members and friends. The horses also had different markings including differences in the tail. Baraccas pointed downward whereas Ferrari’s does not.

Meaning of the Ferrari horse

The Ferrari horse is also a symbol of power, speed and the sense of sportiness. This is the interpretation that is most commonly associated with the vehicle and the logo is strongly associated with these traits. Most avid fans of Ferrari cars are not familiar with the history of the logo or the story of Baracca’s prancing horse, but they are familiar with the performance and style of Ferrari vehicles.

Explanation of the other elements of the Ferrari logo

In addition to the canary yellow background, The symbol features a crowning of red, green and white stripes. The reason for his is that they are the national colors of Italy. We see that it has been carefully crafted to include the elements that were important to the Ferrari family.

Final thoughts

The Ferrari logo was first used by the Ferrari racing team and as the Countess Paulina Baracca had promised, it brought them round after round of good luck in their racing endeavors. The logo soon became a symbol of style, elegance and high performance. It lends an impressive aire of the finer things in life and unbridled power that must be reigned in. This effective use of branding has promoted the Ferrari throughout the years and has done its job with regard to creating a memorable image that people can easily associate with.

It is famous throughout the world and although most people do not know the story of the prancing horse, they certainly are familiar with the history of the Ferrari automobiles. This fascinating story gives us great insight into the brilliance of Enzo Ferrari in his crafting of the awesome logo that has become a symbol of power, status and high performance.


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