On the power of traditional brand identities (the Spirit of Ecstasy)

๐Ÿ’Ž On the power of traditional brand identities (the Spirit of Ecstasy)

The Spirit of Ecstasy wasnโ€™t an original Rolls Royce feature. The fashion was to have your own emblem made to personalise your vehicle. Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, asked his friend Sykes, recently graduated from Londonโ€™s Royal College of Art to design his mascot, and itโ€™s believed to have been modelled on his secretary, mistress and love of his life, Eleanor Velasco Thornton.

Charles Sykes described it as โ€œa graceful little goddess, the Spirit of Ecstasy, who has selected road travel as her supreme and alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies.โ€œ

When Rolls Royce noticed that some personal mascots did not reflect their vision of their beautiful vehicles, they commissioned Sykes to manufacture the Spirit of Ecstasy for them.

Now itโ€™s 100 years old and a huge part of their brand identity. At times designers must have been tempted to modernise it, but apart from a smaller version for sports cars and the US โ€œFlying Ladyโ€ it stays the same.

Excerpt from: 100 Great Branding Ideas (100 Great Ideas) by Sarah McCartney

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