Ford Authority

Here’s How The Lincoln Star Evolved Throughout The Years

100 hundred years ago, Ford Motor Company purchased Lincoln Motor Company. However, while the luxury brand has been looking ahead to its future of an all-electric vehicle lineup, it certainly hasn’t turned its back on its past. Recently, Lincoln tipped its hat to its rich history, outlining how its insignia has evolved throughout the years. As it turns out, there have been quite a few iterations of the Lincoln star over the course of the last 100 years.


Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, took the helm of Lincoln in 1922. This Lincoln crest is a far cry from the modern version, appearing as a shield without a star in sight.


The logo took a different turn in 1925, featuring the signature Ford script and “LINCOLN” in bold letters. This logo would be affixed to the front of Lincoln vehicles for the next 16 years.



Just before World War II, the logo changed yet again, incorporating a shield and knight motif with the first true Lincoln star. The brand’s name was taken off the logo.


Lincoln halted regular vehicle production on January 30th, 1942, and began producing engines, bodies, vehicles and parts in order to support the U.S. along with its allies as World War II raged in Europe.


With the war in the rearview, Lincoln once again began producing luxury vehicles in 1945. Color returned to its logo as well, although the knight and shield remained.


The Lincoln badge was once again amended, losing its color for a cell shaded appearance.


Lincoln’s insignia veered away from tradition in 1956, retaining the knight helmet motif but incorporating long chrome “wings” branching out from either side. A notable vehicle from this year was the Lincoln Continental Mark II. Elvis Presley and Elizabeth Taylor each owned one.


The luxury brand moved away from the knight logo in 1957, instead using an eight-point star to represent Lincoln products.


The eight-point Lincoln star received a nip and tuck for 1958.


In 1960, Lincoln once again overhauled its logo, this time taking on a familiar four-point star within a stylized rectangle, marking the first time a modern Lincoln star was used on production vehicles.


The 1961 Lincoln Continental redefined the luxury brand’s styling, and the logo was emblazoned in gold.


The four-point chrome Lincoln star prevailed.


The points of the Lincoln star were brought in a bit in the 1980s, no longer extending far past the bounds of the rectangle.


Lincoln refined the star logo once again, this time by shrinking the sides of the bounding rectangle and extending its height, setting the tone of the logo for decades.


As with the 1968 logo, the Lincoln star took on a chromed appearance with a significant bezel.


Lincoln “flattened” the star in 2001, removing the bezel and giving it a two-dimensional appearance.


Returning to a three-dimensional design, the Lincoln once again embellished the insignia with a chrome finish.


Lincoln reverted to the flat stat logo for 2004.


Lincoln stretched and thinned the logo even further, and the star’s four points extended slightly beyond the rectangle bounds.


The logo was once again given a significant bezel and chrome treatment, giving it a three-dimensional look.


That didn’t last long – the Lincoln star was flattened yet again.


The Lincoln star was given a rounder, smoother look, and the points of the star were drawn within the bounds of the rectangle.


Yet again, the Lincoln star was stripped of its three-dimensional elements, and made to appear cleaner and flat. This shift occurred in conjunction with Ford’s announcement that Lincoln would be its only luxury brand moving forward.

2018 – Present

The logo hasn’t changed much since its shift in 2018, but note that its simple design creates excellent contrast against a dark or light background. As Lincoln marches forward into a future of all-electric vehicles by 2030, a simple, easily communicable logo is a key design element, especially if it wishes to illuminate said logo on the grille of its upcoming EVs.

We’ll keep you up to date on everything Lincoln, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Lincoln news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. JE

    A shame that Lincoln cars, particularly the actual generation have involved. Lincoln without a sedan and a sports coupe is not even an option against their competitors. A shame that a brand that produced excellent cars like the Continental or the Mark series abd had options for all market segments is today nothing but a brand that produces boring and cookie cutter SUV’s and crossovers and leaves complete market segmentos out. Not everybody likes SUV’s or crossovers or even consider them as luxury vehicles.

    1. Joe Matrone Sr

      Lincoln should develop a Bronco version SUV , like the Range Rover Defender! We are American & we can build anything (Ford) then any other car companies.

    2. Joe

      I agree with you 100% that not everyone wants a SUV or Crossover. Lincoln did try to make a go at it with their car line but poor sales made them not profitable. Cars like the Accord and Camry use to lead the list for sales leaders and even now they have slipped and been overtaken by SUVs. There have kept up these models and have improved them, not like Ford did with the Focus and the Fusion. Camry is down 23% and Accord 33% YTD from 2021 numbers. There really isn’t any high volume sales leaders in sport coupes.

    3. Ruben

      Yes it’s a shame especially to see what they have available for the Chinese market. If you haven’t seen it. Look up 2023 Lincoln Zephyr.

    4. Russell Thornburg

      Amen! I tried the SUV route for 11 months then traded it off. Had a Grand Cherokee Limited V8 back in 2000, again trading it after 3 months. Not everyone has a big (or small) family to tote around. And not every single, unattached person wants run ’round town in a Civic. I drive luxury. Just celebrated my half century birthday, too. So I have a few decades left to buy luxury sedans. Wake up FoMoCo. Diversify your lineup giving serious buyers a choice! (I would choose a retro 60’s Continental or 1974-79 Mark IV/V themed model). If not, I will take my $ to MB or Audi or simply find low mileage used cars!

  2. Martin Scott

    You know Lincoln could have used a lot of help in the past 30 years but instead it’s designer we’re $&@?$ing around with the logo. I will bet $100 dollars that a group of 100 people exposed to any one of the multitude of Lincoln logos in the last 30 years would identify that logo as a Lincoln logo – regardless of year.

    1. Rich G

      Yeah, all their designers worked on the logo all the time and did nothing else. Right.

  3. Rich G

    You fired them 4 years ago and you’re still THIS angry? YIKES.



  5. Edward

    I love my 2022 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring. I plan to be a Lincoln owner for the foreseeable future.

    1. Frank Murphy

      Good luck. Make sure you get the extended warranty. Your going to need it next year

  6. John Cline

    So glad that I still have my two Lincoln sedans, not SUVs or Crossovers.
    My 2019 MKZ 3.0TT and my 2006 LS V8– both serve me well!
    As far as wanting an EV, I say… Hell no!!
    My choices!

  7. Sam

    For 1956, you report, “Lincoln’s insignia veered away from tradition in 1956, retaining the knight helmet motif but incorporating long chrome “wings” branching out from either side. A notable vehicle from this year was the Lincoln Continental Mark II. Lincoln never produced a Continental Mark II. That car came from the Continental Division. It was NOT a Lincoln. The Continental Division created a distinct four-point star within a rectangle for the Mark II.

  8. robh

    If i were Ford, I would try and stop messing around with their emblem design. Pick one and stick to it. You want an emblem thats immediately identifiable to the brand. if they keep modifying it, thats bad. the author also got some details wrong and didn’t mention some variations that they did have. For example, the emblem he showed for the 80’s seems to imply thats when that emblem design started. but in actuality, that design started in early 70’s on Continental Town Cars. they had that for quite a while before 1983. then they had a different variation of the emblem design, starting in the 70’s where they applied it to the cover for the trunk keyhole. they had a horizontal design for town cars of that era that i think also went up into the 80’s. then if i didn’t know better, the article seems to say that the emblem was gold colored from 1961 thru 1968. Thats wrong. I’ve had both a 63 and 64 continental and the emblems were silver/chrome. So there are some blatant inaccuracies in this article. But i think the taller 90’s style chrome ornament looks the best. the more current “flat” rendition looks a bit cheesy. I also think they should reimplement putting back hood ornaments. Its a constant reminder to those inside the car that they are in a Lincoln when they look out over the hood and see that emblem. Somehow it just make the feel of the car to be richer when you sit inside and see a tasteful hood ornament versus a plain, flat hood.

  9. Randall Tefft Sundeen

    LINCOLN ( My favorite car brand) is not a blue jeans brand. To me beautiful sedans are the epitome of American class! When ford killed sedans, They killed Style and class.The only american sedan worth having today is (gassp) the Chrysler 300!

  10. Mj ryan

    Hate to break it to the author, but the “88” logo started in 84

    1. Alex Luft

      Hate to break it to you, but you would be breaking it to Lincoln, since these images were provided by Lincoln itself.

  11. MarkV

    The slim version of the Star began with the Mark III in 1968 1/2 not the 1980’s. Marks IV, V and VI used the same slim Star.

    I personally would like to see the greyhound appear on performance models for swiftness and stamina.

    I also prefer the 1960’s bold Star instead of the thin Star currently in use. I think the bold Star would fit the size of the SUV vehicles better and make people take notice of the Brand.

    The Star was originally used for Continental models with the Shield/Knight on regular Lincolns. Maybe a way to bring both back into lineup somehow? Low-end trim vs high end trim for distinction. (Cadillac used the crest for regular models while reserving the crest/wreath for high end models back in the day)

    Off topic: Please bring the tire decklid back. It adds so much distinction and style.

  12. William J.jr. Offutt

    I bought a 2005 Lincoln Town Car -Limited New , and owned it from then to 2011 , when Ireplaced it with a 2016 Ford Flex-Sel ( Bronze Fire) with many features like Sync-3 w’ tow Package ! The Lincoln from 2005Town Car , never improved over it’s lifetime until 2011-Discontinued ! WHY, no Improvements, when Ford was being Updated over the Years ? I have a 1955 Packard 400- 2 Dr. Hardtop with Torsion Bar Suspension, a V- 8 with Motor of 260 Horsepower, and the car is still looking better in 2022 , and built better than the 2005 Lincoln ! Why doesn’t Lincoln Compete better with Cadillac , and Mercedes Bentz of 2023 ?

  13. David Thomas

    Look up on Google images the 1972 U.K. Ford Zodiac MKIV Executive ( must be that) you will see the Lincoln emblem adorning that very long bonnet , sorry hood.🇬🇧🇬🇧

  14. Cliff

    The Lincoln Aviator is the nicest, greatest driver vehicle I have ever experienced. It makes the Japanese and especially the Korean offering look very backwards. The Euro SUV’s are nice, but don’t have the ride quality or level of comfort.

  15. MarkV

    Lincoln needs an emblem that is bolder than what they have now. The current logo is too wimpy in my opinion. There needs to be more substance with the vehicle design as well. The styling should be bolder, edgy, avant-garde. Ford owns the Ghia design house in Italy since the 1970s. Why not utilize custom design for a change.

  16. Jade 76 Mark IV

    As others have pointed out, this is not an exhaustive, or accurate, account. Forgot that the 70s existed did you? A slim rectangular star from the III used again on the IV and V, a similiar to the 60s more square ornament on the 70s Continental, also if you have a 70s you know that the back of the front seat has a sideways rectangular ornament on the back.
    Clearly there was no one in charge of brand continuity during this time period.


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