(Robert Stanley is the creator of the orignial
It was 1962 when then-Chrysler president Lynn Townsend wanted a new corporate symbol to represent all of the corporation’s brands. It had to be a symbol with a strong, classic look, instantly recognizable and universal. Wherever you were, in whatever country, that symbol had to say “Chrysler.”
I was a vice president and Chrysler account executive at Lippincott & Margulies, the design firm charged with coming up with the symbol. We wanted something simple, a classic, dynamic but stable shape for a mark that would lend itself to a highly designed, styled product. What that meant, basically, was a classic geometric form.
We wanted something that was not stolid. That’s the reason that we broke up the pentagonal form that became the Pentastar. It provides a certain tension and a dynamic quality. One of the execs called me up and asked, “What do I call this thing?” And I said, “Call it the Pentastar.” That’s where the name came from.
In 1962, the Pentastar logo began appearing on the right front quarter panel of Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth vehicles. That was also the year comedian Bob Hope strutted onto the stage in front of the Pentastar at the beginning of his weekly TV show “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre.”
Soon the Pentastar was put to work as a hood ornament, particularly in the 1980s. It also appeared at the top of dealership signs, office stationary, annual reports, the headquarters building … just about anywhere and everywhere. Even after the merger with Daimler, it was used on the glass of Chrysler brand products. Look in the lower right corner and there you’ll see it, right on the glass. I’m pleased the Pentastar will continue to symbolize The New Chrysler.
Robert Stanley (left), holding the new Pentastar back in 1962, with Lippincott & Margulies CEO Chairman Gordon Lippincott (middle) and L&M President Walter Margulies (right).