The iconic prancing black stallion by Italian sport car manufacturer Ferrari is one of the most recognizable logos in the world.
You know how brand design works today: it would proceed from constant, endless and tedious market researches and millions of iterations dreamed up by some keen and experienced corporate-branding agency.
Well, forget about it: none of this! The genesis of Ferrari’s leaping black stallion was distinctly more spontaneous than this, as this fascinating video from the Italian carmaker reveals.
According to Ferrari, its founder Enzo Ferrari took the logo from the image of a red horse painted on the fuselage of Count Francesco Baracca airplane, an ace pilot in the Italian air force and a World War I hero.
Baracca died in action in 1918, possibly after his airplane got shot by ground troops, crashed and than caught fire. Apparently, Enzo only ever spoke of the logo’s provenance once.
Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your cars. It will bring you good luck!
In 1923, Enzo Ferrari met Count Enrico Baracca, the hero’s father and then his mother, Countess Paolina, who said to him one: Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your cars. It will bring you good luck. The horse was, and still is, black. He added the canary-yellow background, official color of Modena, the city where Enzo born.
There is a touching detail in this story, and it is the reason Ferrari’s horse is black, not red: that is because it was meant to be a symbol of mourning for the fallen pilot.
So this is the story behind one of the most iconic brands in the world. Did you know it?