The history of Aston Martin dates back to the early 1910s, when founders Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford built their first vehicle in a London workshop under the name Bamford & Martin Ltd. Just one year later, Bamford & Martin became Aston Martin, and once both men returned home from the war, the company emerged as a genuine auto manufacturer and racing tour de force.
But it was more than a decade before Aston Martin got its wings. The original logo was far different from the one we know today, and throughout its 100-plus-year history, the emblem has evolved to match the times – and in some cases, the ownership.
You might not even recognise early Astons on the lawn of your local Concours by looking at the logo. The original emblem, an interlinked "A" and "M" inside of a roundel, was a stark contrast to the winged moniker we know today. And that original logo only lasted six years before new ownership took over and changed it entirely.
The first iteration of the winged logo debuted in 1927, with the company under new ownership. This fresh emblem was bronze atop the hoods of Aston vehicles, and it was the first time we'd seen the name "Aston Martin" written out entirely.
Three years after the switch to a new winged logo, Aston updated its wordmark yet again. This time, the company transitioned from a bronze badge on its cars to a silver one, freshened up the text, and gave the wings a more V-shaped look.
It only took two years after that initial refresh for the Aston Martin logo to change again. And this iteration spawned the iconic winged emblem we know and love today. Originally, this logo had a golden bronze finish and listed the Aston Martin wordmark within a brown rectangle.
After a decade of financial struggle, David Brown Limited purchased Aston Martin. And one of the first big changes the new parent company made was adding its name to the logo. On top of that, David Brown tweaked the shape and added a thicker outline that gave the badge more detail.
Aston Martin’s new owner, a British investment firm led by William Willson, dropped the David Brown name from the logo (of course) and updated the coloration. Now the inner portion of the logo featured white instead of bronze, and the rectangular box surrounding the text shifted from brown to green. A gold outline and inner lining remained, and an even thicker outline was applied to the top of the logo.
The 2003 update to the Aston Martin logo wasn't amongst the biggest changes, but it helped soften up the logo by ditching some of the heavy exterior outlines and thick inner lines. This iteration survived nearly 10 years before the most-recent new version replaced it.
The new-and-improved Aston Martin logo follows a theme that’s all too common these days. Just like BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen before it, Aston flattened and simplified its emblem, ditching any embossing or outlining in place of a more minimalist look. The good news is that the green logo box returns – which we haven’t seen in the lineup since 1972.