The Lancia Stratos is one of the most iconic Italian cars. Known for its glorious achievements in motorsport, most notable the a hattrick of WRC championships during 1974-76. It stood out from the crowd thanks to the symmetrical red and green lines of the Alitalia livery.
The Italian national airline’s corporate image was originally created by San Francisco-based designer Walter Landor, whose agency produced some of the most iconic branding ever. Along with Alitalia, the firm is responsible for the “Cotton” logo (on everything), Levi’s, Del Monte, Frito-Lay, the World Wildlife Fund, and FedEx
There are plenty of other cars sporting variants of the Alitalia logo, but this particular combination is the most successful.
Landor’s original design brief from Alitalia was to create graphics that had to be adaptable to a complex variety of aircraft—not an easy challenge. The airline also needed modernising to keep up with the rapid growth in air travel.
The adaption on each side of the car looks as if it has been lifted straight from the side of an airplane, and is equally at home over the rear of the Stratos. The shape of the mirrored tri-color “A” creates sits atop the Stratos perfectly. The lines and shape of the car show off the logo, and the lines and shape of the logo show off the car in equal measure.
Never has a bird’s eye view of a car looked so good—and in helicopter coverage, you can always spot the Stratos from a mile away.
Both the Stratos and Alitalia branding originate from the late ’60s, and when they eventually came together in 1974, there wasn’t much to touch them—and there still isn’t today. The original Alitalia logo still looks as modern and fresh today as it did almost 50 years ago