The Cadillac Crest: A History of Evolution – Nathan Korkus

Classic cues influence the newest rendition of Cadillac’s iconic Crest

The Cadillac Crest has evolved and been revised many times throughout history. Each time Cadillac has updated the Crest, it represented the brand’s evolution in design. That is precisely what’s happening now. Throughout all of renditions, each of them all contained the iconic Crest with three key features of the Cadillac identity: color, texture and grid.

Inspired by the expanded and elevated Cadillac product lineup, our goal with the latest evolution of the Crest was to keep the key elements in tact while making it something iconic, distinctive, and having a premium presence in its own right. Just as our vehicles have become lower, longer, and leaner, the Cadillac Crest needed to evolve into a more modern and progressive statement of today’s time.

The newest Crest had to be – and is – something monumental. In utilizing textured layers, the latest evolution is more technical. While it is now a single piece, the outer pockets are a modern interpretation symbolic of a wreath. While the one-piece design was important, the Crest still maintains a frame, even with the traditional wreath being gone. We have focused in on the core of the Cadillac Crest, allowing the classic grid layout and four colors (gold, blue, black and red) to feature more prominently.

Evolving the iconic aesthetics wasn’t the only concern in revising the Cadillac Crest. Since it will go onto vehicles starting later this year with the 2015 ATS Coupe, manufacturing feasibility was also taken into account. Unlike most logo designs, we started with vehicle implementation and then worked to create a two-dimensional version of the new Crest. On top of looking distinctive, the Crest also has to be functional to adorn car parts such as steering wheels, grilles, deck lids, key fobs, wheel center caps and printed items like business cards and stationery.

Visit to learn more about the evolution of the Cadillac Crest, and check out the photo gallery to the left to see how the Cadillac Crest has evolved on iconic Cadillacs over time.

nate_blog_desaturate[1]Nathan Korkus is part of GM’s Corporate and Brand Identity Studio team work exclusively on the Cadillac brand. In this role, Korkus serves as lead designer and liaison with the Cadillac exterior and interior design studio teams. That knowledge and close collaboration with the vehicle designers and other stakeholders ensures the relationship between the Cadillac emblem and the many different environments it is required to reside in supports the bold evolution of the Art and Science design philosophy and aesthetic the 100-plus year iconic and global brand is known for. Korkus is a 1987 graduate of the College for Creative Studies with a BFA in Illustration.

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