The Motel 6 logo evolution and history

Motel 6 Logo

If you’ve ever found yourself looking for an affordable place to stay in the United States, you’re probably familiar with the Motel 6 logo. 

One of the best-known motel groups in the world, the Motel 6 brand burst into the hospitality scene with a focus on providing consumers with a safe, budget-friendly environment for short and long stays. 

Over the years, the Motel 6 company has evolved to bring more comfort and style into its locations. However, the organization still concentrates heavily on providing low-cost room rentals for the most part. 

The group also opened the “Studio 6” chain to appeal to a larger audience, providing consumers with temporary housing for extended stays. 

Today, the Motel 6 logo is a recognizable and memorable icon throughout the US. Its bright and engaging design effectively conveys a friendly and welcoming personality. But where did this logo initially come from, and how has it evolved over the years?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Motel 6 brand and logo.

Motel 6 history: How did Motel 6 get its name?

Before we start exploring the evolution of the Motel 6 logo, let’s take a closer look at the brand and its history. The Motel 6 company is a privately owned hospitality brand offering a chain of budget motels to consumers throughout the United States.

The venture was first launched in 1962 by two local contractors in the building landscape, Paul Greene and William Becker.

The pair felt a clear need in the market for a more affordable and economical option for short stays in the hospitality sector. Aiming to support people with a limited budget, the partners developed a plan to create motels with rooms at extremely low-cost rates.

At the time, the two decided each room would cost around $6 per night to rent, equivalent to approximately $54 per night today. This fee would cover everything from building costs and janitorial supplies to land leases. The Motel 6 name was chosen based on the company’s price-focused USP.

Although many companies may have struggled to deliver such low-cost motel options at the time, Greene and Becker already had experience and expertise in the area.

They spent years formulating their business plan, searching for ways to cut costs by offering black and white television instead of color, and creating no on-site dining areas.

The pair also chose more functional interior décor to reduce the time it would take to clean the rooms between each visit.

The Motel 6 brand: Who owns Motel 6?

As Motel 6 became more popular throughout the lodging industry, the organization changed hands a few times. The company was initially sold to the Accor group before eventually being taken over by the “Blackstone” group in 2012 for $1.9 billion.

The purchase included acquiring the Studio 6 line of extended-stay lodging solutions. Following the sale, Blackstone announced the motels would continue to operate standalone, preserving its existing branding and business strategy. 

Notably, Motel 6 couldn’t maintain its price of around $6 per room over the years, thanks to inflation and the changing economy. 

However, the company still commits to offering prices as low as possible to its consumers. The decision to continue using the Motel 6 name was based on the existing reach of the brand and the title’s connection to the organization’s history.

Motel 6 logo evolution: The Motel 6 symbol through the years

Like many popular hospitality companies and other organizations, Motel 6 has adapted its branding to suit a changing audience over the years. The Motel 6 company logo today still maintains some of the elements of the original emblem, with a few fundamental changes.

Motel 6 Logo

1961

The initial Motel 6 logo still contains elements of the logo we know today.

This image featured a large number 6 written in red font on a white clover-style shape. Across the middle of the sign, the word “Motel” was depicted in light blue font. This image was usually presented on a sky-blue background, sometimes with a small cloud in the corner.

Motel 6 Logo

1986

Around 25 years after introducing the first logo, Motel 6 updated and modernized its brand image. The elements of the logo remained largely the same.

However, instead of a sky-style background, the company now uses a deep blue, uniform square. The “Motel” aspect of the emblem was placed on a white banner over the serif-style 6.

Additionally, the clover shape received a more 3D design, intended to help it grab attention in a cluttered hospitality market. 

Motel 6 Logo

1995

In 1995, Motel 6 updated its logo again, making it much more modern. The clover shape was removed entirely, and the positioning of the “6” and “Motel” elements changed. The word “Motel” was now written in white with a blue outline and slightly overlapped the much larger “6”.

The “6” figure had a pixelated background, designed to make it seem like the image was almost glowing. The full design was presented on a dark blue background.

Motel 6 Logo

2010

In 2010, Motel 6 introduced its most recent logo, refined to suit a more modern audience. The white outline on the 6 became more uniform, and the position of the word “Motel” was changed to a vertical design on the top left-hand corner of the blue square.

Motel 6 symbol meaning, colors, and fonts

Though the Motel 6 logo today may seem a little simplistic, it does an excellent job of conveying the brand’s personality. The light blue, red, and white color palette is patriotic to the USA. It also helps highlight the company as creative, energetic, and friendly.

The overall image draws the most attention to the number “6,” which helps to highlight the company’s unique background and USP. Additionally, the use of white and blue in the background of the image help to convey a sense of professionalism and reliability.

The minimalist logo looks contemporary, strong, and eye-catching, great for a hospitality brand in a market with endless competitors. You can find some useful Motel 6 logo resources here:

The Motel 6 font choices have mostly stayed the same over the years. However, the company has switched from serif typography to a sans-serif alternative. The closest font to the image we know today is the Futura Maxi Std Book typeface.

The lowercase letters in the Motel 6 logo font help to highlight the business as being friendly, modern, and accessible. The large and bold “6” draw attention to what makes the company special – its constant and unwavering commitment to low prices.

The Motel 6 logo colors

The Motel 6 logo color palette is warm, engaging, and eye-catching. Red is often associated with passion and creativity, while blue and white are considered reliable, trustworthy, and credible. The color combination is also American, borrowing from the US flag’s red, white, and blue.

Overall, the color choices are simple but effective:

Bright Navy Blue:
Hex: #1476C6
RGB: (20, 118, 198)
CMYK: 0.898, 0.404, 0, 0.223

Lust:
Hex: #EE2722
RGB: (238, 39, 34)
CMYK: 0, 0.836, 0.857, 0.066

The Motel 6 logo today might be relatively simple, but it’s also fantastic at conveying the unique energy and personality of the brand. The minimalist logo is eye-catching and engaging, great for capturing the attention of potential customers in the physical world.

Although the Motel 6 logo has changed a few times over the years, the overall impact of the design has remained broadly consistent. The company has always drawn consistent attention to the “6” in its name as a testament to its heritage and background.

The colors red, white, and blue have also remained with the company for quite a long time.

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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