La Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati was established July 4, 1926 by brothers Bruno, Adriano and Marcello Cavalieri Ducati. We don't know exactly when, but a logo did exist by 1927 and it is officially recognized as the first Ducati logo. The symbol depicts two S's crossed above a thunderbolt, the symbol of electricity.
La Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati expanded and commenced its relocation from Via Guidotti in the heart of Bologna to Borgo Panigale, site of the current headquarters. It was the height of fascism, and in keeping with the graphic design of the era, Ducati changed its logo. It would remain the official symbol until around 1954, the year in which the company was split to differentiate its electro-technical production from mechanical and motorcycle production.
In 1949, the year Ducati started production of complete motorcycles, it became necessary to mark the tank with the name of the manufacturer. The SSR symbol was too small, thus the appearance of the "DUCATI" name along with the motorcycle's displacement. The style of the logo remained unchanged until 1975.
In the fifties,
thanks to the victories of the brilliant motorcycles engineered by Fabio
Taglioni, Ducati gained world fame. This epoch also gave rise to the
two emblems perhaps best known and loved by enthusiasts of the
motorcycles from Borgo Panigale.
The logo picturing a "D" flanked by a laurel wreath appeared in 1958 on all production and racing motorcycles, whereas the official symbol of the "Meccanica" section, which manufactured the motorcycles, was used on all
publicity material, pennants included.
The success of the two marques was no doubt attributed to a valid design decision, complemented by the victories Ducati was gathering in those years, but most decisive to this success was that for the first time the place of origin of these motorcycles could be identified.
sixties were the so-called "Wing" years. Following a tradition dear to
other manufacturers (Moto Guzzi and Moto Morini), the tanks on Ducati
bikes were adorned with an eagle. The first were on the small
two-stroke mopeds and scooters. Later the four-stroke bikes would use
the eagle as their symbol, too.
With the youth movement and "Easy Rider" spirit, Ducati adopted an emblem that would become the symbol of a motorcycle destined to play a big role in the company's history, the Scrambler.
The logo identifying the 250 to 450 cc Ducatis was the famous black wing, with the Ducati name written in cursive. It became so popular with young riders of the era that it is still identified as the "wing of the Scrambler."
seventies - 1975 to be exact - the classic Ducati logo ceased to
appear. It was a time of change, and Ducati decided to launch itself
into the world of design. Several studies of motorcycles and the design
of a new logo were put into the hands of one of the most celebrated
names in Italian design of the day, Giorgetto Giugiaro, who had achieved
fame for fashioning the first Volkswagen Golf.
The first Ducati symbol created by the designer was introduced in these years. The lettering is flat, with the letter "A" not yet squared.
A newer version of the logo was made necessary in 1977, resulting in the easily recognizable symbol that would also mark the racing bikes of the era. The motorcycle of Mike HailwoodTM at the Tourist Trophy displayed the symbol in its definitive interpretation. This logo would be used at least until 1985, the year when the Castiglioni brothers (owners of Cagiva) took over the company. The Ducati symbol was again redesigned to conform to the style of the motorcycles from Varese. In spite of this, the Ducati logo designed by Giugiaro had a second life, appearing on the tank of the Ducati's latest creation, the MH900e.
As mentioned, the eighties saw Cagiva take over the helm of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.
The first motorcycles denoting the Ducati symbol with the elephant, in keeping with a Cagiva tradition, were the last MHRs produced by Ducati. The company used the Cagiva-styled logo until 1977. The SBK triumphs and titles won over and over would become milestones for Ducati fans, who still associate the first years of the championship with this emblem.
The 1990s and beyond
At the end of 1997, one year after the takeover by TPG, a new symbol was proposed for Ducati.
The choice was extremely rational: out with the elaborate style of the former Cagiva management, and in with simple cursive lettering, flanked by a circular symbol echoing the shape of a stylized "D".
Ducati fans were initially dubious, but in short order, thanks also to the extensive use of the marque and its well-defined image, the logo has come to penetrate the Ducati philosophy of life.
Everything in the world of Ducati echoes the symbol - from racing suits, helmets, gadgets to official announcements. The intent of this marque's design has been to give back Ducati a bona fide lifestyle, just as in the 1930s.
A final note: Because there was some difficulty in the beginning to grasp the meaning of the Ducati symbol - the stylized "D"- many affectionately dubbed it the "coffee bean"!
2000 and beyond
And so we arrive at the present. In September 2008, almost two years
after the takeover by Investindustrial, a new symbol was proposed for
The new logo celebrates the unique thrill of the corner, where a Ducati bike really packs a punch like no other. A curve is framed within a red shield, symbolising victory and the Italian racing colour, with the classic Ducati script emblazoned above it.