Let's Look at The New Logo on Cadillac's First Electric Vehicle

Last night Cadillac showed images of its first-ever electric vehicle, a sleek crossover, though its name and any real details have yet to be revealed. One thing that was very much revealed, though, was the new Cadillac logo glowing proudly on the nose of the car. This logo is the first major update to the famous Cadillac shield since 2013, when it abandoned the traditional laurel wreath. Let’s scrutinize it a bit.

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Cadillac’s badge has always been based on a somewhat fictional coat of arms for Le Sieur Antoine De La Mothe Cadillac, the man who founded Detroit in 1701. Over the years, the logo has changed its aspect ratio many times, growing wider and narrower from year to year, and has progressively gotten more and more simplified, first losing the interior details (including those birds, which are martins, not ducks) and then, finally, that wreath.

The resulting, currently-used logo after all those years of refinement and simplification looks like this:

It’s modern, dimensional, and colorful. There’s distinct textures in the various compartments, and while it’s very simplified from earlier iterations, it’s still a relatively complex logo.

Occasionally, on some concept vehicles, Cadillac will attempt to distill the logo down even further, as with this monochrome version used on the Escala concept car:

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The version used on the still-unnamed EV, though, represents the most dramatic simplification of the logo we’ve seen yet from Cadillac.

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It’s not just grayscale now, it’s just two basic colors: black and white, or, since this badge appears to be illuminated, on and off. That on/off, 0/1 idea is fitting, since the new logo seems to be designed to resemble (in a very simple, schematized way) the silver traces of an electronic device’s circuit board. Here, look:

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Clearly, this references the fact that it’s an EV, and as such is likely packed full of electronic circuit boards with traces.

One other interesting thing to note about the new logo; it appears to be that it’s flipped horizontally from the usual Cadillac logo, for some reason. Here, look:

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The key elements retained when the logo gets highly simplified seem to be the mirror image of the logo as we normally see it. Was there some intentional reason for this?

It’s not clear at all if this new logo design is just for this one concept, or if it’s an actual attempt to re-work Cadillac’s whole brand identity. At this point, I suspect it’s just for this concept, but, if Cadillac is actually going to become GM’s primary electric car brand, perhaps a logo like this actually makes sense.

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I guess we’ll see.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)