Chevy Impala Emblem Set to Change for 2014


Wall Street Journal - April 10, 2013

This month, Gen­eral Motors Co. debuts its revamped 2014 Chevro­let Impala sedan and with it, a refreshed Chevy Impala emblem—a first in almost 20 years.

Learn more about the Chevro­let design team strat­egy in emblem changing.

The vehicle’s long-horned, sil­ver African ante­lope logo has had only a hand­ful of alter­ations dur­ing its almost five-decade run. The new look accents mus­cle, agility and speed, said Joann Kallio, lead cre­ative designer for Chevro­let global brand iden­tity, as the auto maker attempts to mar­ket the car as a more lux­u­ri­ous vehicle.

“We are try­ing to reflect an ele­gant sim­plic­ity while tying in the crisp­ness of the lines run­ning across the exte­rior of the vehi­cle,” said Ms. Kallio, who han­dled the emblem’s update, which was a process that took almost a year. “The vehi­cle has a much more mus­cu­lar stance and we wanted to bring those cues from the vehi­cle into the emblem.”

GM reversed its deci­sion in 1994 and revived the Impala name­plate. The work of inject­ing new life into the emblem fell to Anne-Marie LaVerge-Webb, who now over­sees GM’s brand iden­ti­ties in North America. At that time, Ms. Webb said, the goal was to give the emblem a more sculpted look empha­siz­ing the con­tours of the body and mov­ing it away from a sta­tic flat look of the past.

Today, Impala designer John Cafaro said the logo was basi­cally put on a fit­ness pro­gram. “It looks more buffed and chis­eled,” Mr. Cafaro said.

The emblem, which appears on both sides of the vehi­cle on the rear top pan­els is always posi­tioned point­ing toward the front of the vehi­cle so the Impala is seen as run­ning forward.

“There was some dis­cus­sion about not putting the emblem back on the exte­rior,” added Mr. Cafaro, “but when we looked at it with­out it, we knew some­thing was miss­ing. It’s that piece of jew­elry the vehi­cle needs.”

While the ani­mal may have changed, the Impala design team decided to keep the oval Ms. Webb intro­duced to the logo in 1994. Until that time, the ante­lope was either seen sail­ing over flags, leap­ing on its own, dash­ing through a cir­cle or jump­ing through a spoke­like sym­bol that almost resem­bled a target.

“We chose the thick and thin oval to replace the cir­cle because it por­trays a sense of move­ment,” Ms. Webb said. “It also pro­vides a more con­tem­po­rary look.”