Cupra logo history, symbol, meaning and brand story

Cupra Logo History

How much do you know about Cupra logo history, or the development of the automotive brand itself? Previously SEAT Sport, Cupra has come a long way in the last few years, developing its own identity, and distinguishing itself from the other family members of the Volkswagen group. 

Although the Cupra car logo hasn’t been around as long as some of the other famous symbols of well-known brands, it has had a resounding impact on the landscape already. This powerful image effectively establishes Cupra as an innovator in the sporting vehicle landscape. 

Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the Cupra car brand, and the evolution of the Cupra symbol over the years, exploring the magic behind the image. 

The Cupra car brand: Who makes Cupra cars?

Before we dive into Cupra logo history, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about the Cupra car brand. Cupra is the sports-focused segment of the SEAT organization, which belongs to the Volkswagen Group

In 2018, the “Cupra trim” available on SEAT Sport vehicles, had become popular enough to warrant the launch of a standalone brand. Cupra Racing was established to focus on the development of sports and racing vehicles for SEAT, and eventually replaced SEAT Sport. 

Cupra described itself as an “unconventional challenger brand” thanks to its focus on combining stimulating style with contemporary technology. The brand currently operates from a headquarters in Martorell, in Spain. 

What does Cupra mean? And other insights

The name “Cupra” comes from the Latin word for “Copper”. Initially, the name was chosen for a specific trim in the SEAT Sport line, before Cupra branched out as its own brand. According to the company, the title wasn’t chosen for its Latin origins.

Rather, the moniker was designed to combine the words “Cup”, as in trophy, with “Racing”, as a nod to SEAT’s success in the motorsport landscape. 

When was Cupra founded?

Officially, Cupra chose its new name, and emerged as a standalone brand in 2018. However, the SEAT Sport brand, which preceded Cupra racing was established in 1985. 

Where are Cupra cars made?

Cupra cars, such as the Cupra Leon and Formentor are primarily built within the Martorell factory in Spain. However, other models are produced in different locations. For instance, the Cupra Ateca is produced in the Kvasiny factory in the Czech Republic.

Alternatively, the “Cupra Born” comes from the Volkswagen Zwickau-Mosel plant based in Germany. 

Cupra logo history: The evolution of Cupra car badges

Although the Cupra car brand might not have been around for long, its origins date back to 1985, when SEAT started experimenting with racing products in the motorsport market. 

Since then, the company has used a handful of different logos to separate itself from other Spanish car manufacturers and competing brand. Let’s take a closer look at the Cupra car badges over the years, and their impact on the industry of high-performance cars. 

Cupra Logo History

1999

Back when Cupra Racing was still known as “SEAT Sport”, the company initially had a relatively traditional logo for a brand in the motorsport industry. Like the official SEAT emblems, this logo included the unique “S” shape used by the parent brand on the left side. 

On the right side, we see a checkered flag, associated with the racing landscape. In the middle of the design, is the SEAT wordmark, presented in red. Underneath this, we see the word “Sport” depicted in a similar font, with a slight slant towards the right. 

Cupra Logo History

2012

In 2012, SEAT introduced the first badge for its road cars which included the Cupra name. The combination mark featured an inscription in black on the right side, using a similar font to the one that SEAT uses for its own badges. 

On the left, there’s a bright trapezoid emblem, in the colors of white, black, and red. Towards the left, we see an element of the checkered flag taken from the previous Cupra badge. On the right, is a bright red line intended to convey ideas of vitality, power, and passion. 

Cupra Logo History

2018

In 2018, the Cupra logo took an entirely new turn. The main focus of the design is the graphical image, made using sharp lines and geometric shapes. The image, often depicted in silver, grey, or metallic gradient, almost looks like a spider, with its long legs and sharp points. 

The triangular components of the badge seem to be a way to highlight the car brand’s focus on high-performance and agile vehicles. 

Cupra Logo History

In the version of the Cupra logo that features a wordmark, the design is a little more refined, with smoother curves and lines. Underneath the emblem, we see the name “Cupra” written in a geometric, sans-serif font, which appears to be slightly stretched horizontally. 

Cupra logo meaning: An insight into the symbol

Looking at the history of the Cupra brand, it’s easy to see the company’s quest to find its own unique image in the automotive landscape. Rather than simply building on the SEAT image, Cupra has designed a new identity of its own – featuring an almost aggressive flair. 

The wordmark, executed in all capital letters with a bold, sans-serif font looks strong and stable, highlighting the company’s focus on impressive performance and excellence. 

The Cupra emblem, with its smooth sleek lines and sharp edges gives the image a brutal appearance, highlighting ideas of power and precision. It’s an influential and energetic design. 

According to SEAT, the symbol is intended to look almost like a tribal mark, reminding customers of the idea of belonging to a clan. 

The Cupra car logo: Fonts and colors

Modelled on the designs of tribal civilizations, the Cupra logo with its sharp edges symbolizes courage and daring. It’s a memorable design, whether presented in black and white, silver, or chrome. The Cupra symbol indicates that the car brand has embraced its own DNA in the automotive space. 

This high speed car brand has combined unique shapes with a bold and modern typography, to demonstrate a focus on the future of race cars and innovation.

If you want to see the Cupra car logo in detail, you can find some resources linked here:

What is the Cupra logo font?

The Cupra font, unique to the car brand, is similar in some ways to the geometric typeface used by the SEAT brand. It’s bold and balanced, with each letter elongated horizontally. The sans-serif typeface holds some similarities with Controller Expanded Four, or Bitsumishi Pro Medium. 

Since the Cupra logo was first introduced (with the Cupra name), the logotype has remained more or less the same, although it did become slightly bolder. 

What is the Cupra color palette?

The Cupra logo colors have changed a few times over the years, as the company has experimented with its brand image. The current official color palette of the Cupra company is black and white, similar to that of the SEAT parent brand. 

However, it’s worth noting the Cupra logo does appear in other colors, including copper, metallic shades of chrome, and grey.

Learning from the Cupra symbol 

Although there haven’t been many major changes to mention throughout Cupra logo history, a glance back at the previous designs introduced by the company reveals some interesting insights. Although Cupra originally built its logo with inspiration from SEAT, the design has since evolved. 

The new Cupra logo is a symbol of the available power in the Cupra range, and the company’s focus on precision, speed, and excellence. Cupra has effectively infused their logo with its own soul, using sharp lines and curves to convey deep meaning and spirit. 

The decision to base the logo on tribal designs also highlights the company’s desire to make consumers feel like part of an important community. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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