Meaning and History
Jeep was first produced as a cheap and simple all-round vehicle. In other words it was a GP vehicle which stood for “General Purpose”. This can be one of the explanations regarding the name of the brand. Its cars were minimal with lack of comfort and built within a short period of time. This is why Jeep could also possibly stand for “Just Enough Essential Parts”.
At the same time many auto enthusiasts associate the name of the brand with an imaginary animal that was famous as the fort jeep. It was believed to have special supernatural powers that were later proudly attributed to the vehicles made under Jeep brand.
The most interesting fact about Jeep’s badge is that it can hardly be found on early and current models. They usually only put the name of the company on their vehicles while the logo is mainly used for various promotions and advertising campaigns.
In spite of all abovementioned facts the name Jeep made its way to fame after WWII becoming the most efficient and capable vehicle for military needs. Very few people doubted that it would eventually hit the headlines during the war.
At that time, however, the cars produced under the brand’s name did not actually hold any logo. It was in 1963 when the first object close to the now famous emblem appeared on the vehicles’ bodies.
1941 – 1945
Their first logo consisted mostly of written bits. The most prominent was the word ‘Jeep’, written in big orange letters. The font is a bold, regular sans-serif. The characters are short and placed quite far from one another. Because the letter ‘J’ extends a bit further down than others, the other written bits are crammed beneath the rest of the word. Those are three black words: ‘Bantam’, ‘Willys’ & ‘Ford’. They are smaller, separated by dots and written in much more mundane fonts.
1945 – 1963
The next logo is just the word ‘Jeep’, written in a more artistic serif font. They colored it black and included the quotation marks on both ends. There are also lowercase letters there in addition to the capitalized ‘J’, unlike the fully capitalized name in the 1941 logotype.
1963 – 1970
This was the time of serious changes for the whole american car company. It changed its name and adopted a circle depicting two red and gold quarters with letters ”Jeep” located in the center of the circle. Later the gold color was replaced by blue. The appearance of the written bit inside is very similar to the one in the previous logo, except the color is now gold and they had to make the letters rather shorter.
1970 – today
In 1970, they started using just the black wordmark as their logo once more. This time, they got rid of the quotation marks and changed the font. The letters became fully sans-serif with the same continuous width throughout the letters (unlike before, when lines had different sizes). They also became more streamlined and attractive. The layout itself didn’t change at all.
1970 – 1987
This logo depicted the same wordmark, but with an additional detail to its left. The latter consisted of two parts. There was a red triangle with a tall left side, a short upper side and a hypotenuse at an angle. Directly to its right, there was a light blue rectangle with tall sides. Both of these were as tall as the letter ‘J’ to their right.
1987 – 1993
The 1987 emblem uses the Chrysler imagery to remind people that it was (and still is) a division of Chrysler. As such, the logo was a black square with rounded corners. Inside, they placed the Chrysler star – a pentagon, whose tips coincided with the tops of a thin star, located inside. The pentagon was white, while the star – black. Beneath this bit was the word ‘Jeep’, written in exactly the same way as before, but colored white.
1993 – today
The brand kept using the old wordmark into the 90s. In 1993, however, they released a version of that name that used an olive green coloring instead of the classic black. Since then, the logotypes were used in parallel.
The Jeep logo shows a car bonnet surrounded by two rounded figures located on both sides of the bonnet symbolizing headlights of the vehicle. The badge actually uses classic Helvetica Bold typeface. At the same time green vertical lines can also be found here. They are used to typify grills located between the headlights. As a rule the word “Jeep” is located above the grill and car bonnet on the dark-green background.
The shape of the Jeep logo differs from all other badges. It does not have any circles, shields, ovals, etc. It is actually made in form of typical classic radiator grill with two headlights on both sides and the company’s name above the bonnet.
The color of the Jeep emblem has been changed several times throughout the brand’s history. The first badge that was officially registered in 1963 depicted a circle with gold and red quarters. Later on gold color was replaced with blue after the company had been acquired by AMC. The latest version of the logo has dark-green color. It was probably made to honor the glorious military past of “General Purpose” vehicles that proved to be reliable and practical. You will hardly meet this logo on the body of any model produced by Jeep. It is often used for promotions and ad campaigns. On the other hand the word “Jeep” is always placed above the bonnet of every model produced under the brand’s name making them recognizable all over the globe.