Founder: James Starley, William Hillman
Headquarters: Bournbrook, Birmingham, UK
Ariel is the name of a former British motorcycle manufacturer, which was established in 1870 and started with the production of bicycles. The first motorcycle was released by the brand in 1902. Throughout its pretty long history, Ariel managed to design and produce some truly iconic models and gained a good reputation for the international market.
1870 – 1902
The bicycle manufacturing business was created by James Starley and William Hillman in 1870 in Birmingham. For the first thirty years of its existence, the brand was successfully providing England with bicycles and tricycles.
1902 – 1911
The company was acquired by Components Ltd in 1902 and the w first Ariel motorcycle was manufactured in the same year. It got the name “Arielette” and had three words and two strokes.
1911 – 1951
After 191q Ariel expands its portfolio, introducing Black Ariel and Ariel Square Four models. During World War II, the company was manufacturing military bikes — Ariel W/NG 350.
1951 – 1970
The company was sold to BSA in 1951, and this is when its final era started. During almost two decades Ariel designed several popular models: KH and Huntmaster in the early 1959s, Mark 2 Square Four in the mid-1959s, and a 250 FC Ariel Leader in 1959. The 1960s were not too productive and only Pixie (1963) and Arrow 200 (1965) saw the light.
The last model under the Ariel brand was produced in 1970. It was Ariel 3, a tricycle.
1902 – 1932
The visual identity of Ariel was based on a very elegant yet laconic badge with bold lettering in the middle. A circular emblem with a burgundy background and a thick gold framing looked professional and bright, while the horizontally oriented banner in the center of the badge was set in black, and had gold capital letters on it.
The central part of the emblem had a vertical striped pattern in gold and black, resembling a classic column.
1932 – 1951
1951 – 1970
2001 – now
Emblem and Symbol
The symbol of the British motorcycle manufacturer boasted a light yet delightful color palette and sleek smooth shapes. It was a yellow wheel “outlined” with the white snake, which had its tail intertwined with the thin gold vertical line, set behind the wheel. The “Ariel” lettering was diagonally placed on a smooth yellow banner, and sometimes additional wordmark was used — arched above the emblem.
Font and Color
The Ariel lettering from the official badge of the brand was set in all capitals of a slightly narrowed sans-serif typeface with clean straight lines and neat contours. The typeface of the logo was handwritten, though resembles such fonts as Opinion Pro Extended Extra Bold and Science Fair JNL.
The burgundy and gold color palette of the Ariel logo is a reflection of the professionalism and the value of the quality. The combination of two royal colors is complemented by black details, which add professionalism and stability to the overall look of the badge.
The most well-known models of Arial were 350 CC Red Hunter and Square Four, which was refreshed and modified several times throughout the years. As for the very last model of the brand, Ariel 3, unfortunately, it was a complete disappointment, which failed.