The ‘Mercedes’ name was registered right back in 1902, but at that time there was no logo or trademark to accompany it. The idea for the ‘Star’ logo came when Paul and Adolf Daimler, the two sons of the company’s founder (and then in charge of the business), remembered that their father had once used a star symbol in his family correspondence.
Their father, Gottlieb Daimler, had been technical director of the Deutz gas engine factory from 1872 until 1881. At the beginning of his employment there, he had marked a star above his own house on a picture postcard of Cologne and Deutz, and had written to his wife that this star would one day shine over his own factory to symbolize prosperity.
In June 1909 the company registered both three-pointed and four-pointed stars as trademarks. Although both designs were legally protected, only the three-pointed star was ever used. From 1910 onwards it began to appear at the front of the cars as a design feature on the radiator.
The three points of the star were supposed to represent Daimler’s ambition of universal motorization: “on land, on water and in the air”.
Over the years the logo evolved, to include the ‘Benz’ laurel wreath, and then, in 1923, the three-pointed star enclosed in a circle was registered as a trademark.
Since then it has changed little, and is now a powerful symbol and integral part of the Mercedes-Benz brand.