Chris – Craft Wartime Logo Confusion

During the war logo – Tomorrow Command Your own

For the record, I was not there at Chris-Craft during the war time in the mid 1940’s. Not sure if even I was a thought in my parents minds. Most likely not. But as an ad person for close to 40 years, sometimes you can look at ads and tell whats going on at a glance. So it’s with that arm chair knowledge that I will pontificate on the subject. Notice I am using big words to add credibility.

Note logo on boat!

Pre War variation. Not corporate

During the war 1945 ish

So as you see ads from the mid wartime for Chris Craft it’s interesting to see that they were having a bit of a logo ID issue. They were not sure what to use. Not the Pre War Logo, and not the Post War logo used today. They kinda were all over the place. Which would have caused the marking conscious team at Chris Craft great pain, not to mention Copyright and trademark lawyers.

Logo or type? Its in place of the logo?

You can see during the war, it was just regular type, and later a more scripted look, and then a fat version of the later logo. Not sure what this all means, other than we have just about covered every topic on the planet, many times, including toilets and yes. Kitchen Sinks.


1947 Logo, fatter than the later Post War logo we all know. I am assuming the Star is a reference to Command, and the military.

Still Command Your Own as a tag line. – In 1948 the line became. Make A Date With A 1948

With Command A new. But note the fatter logo. Should this be the logo on the side of 1946-1948 boats?

Seems to be some confusion, or a weak marketing director who let it get sloppy

It appears around 1952 -1953 is the first time we see the logo we see today.

So you may think I am nuts. Which is true. But from 1947-1952 should there be a fat Post War Logo? See the difference?

I would say that from 1952 until today the logo hasn’t changed. But! The 1947-1952 logo on the side of your show boat..well. Sorry, could be WRONG! OUCH!Wait.. Oh crap, thats me?

To add to the confusion. Here is a factory image of a 1948?1949 Logo on the side of a 25 Sportsman. Now, Note the t in Craft and how it extends? This makes my head hurt.

1948 Boat decal?

So for 1948 ads, The THick logo on ads? But the extended t on the boats? This is called brand confusion.

So? Anyone have a 100% original 1946-50 boat? Photo of side to see what was put on boats as decals?

11 replies
  1. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    Mom still has dads ol’1954 23 ft Chris-craft express cruiser.The same one if you google: Dale Prothero and his Chris-craft.Love the sound of that old motor.

  2. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Sorry Matt, side logo was the same on the smaller boats from 1946 onward. I have several hundred photos showing this but have not been able to upload lately for some reason.

  3. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Unless removed during refinishing after we sold “Itchin” – It had the unmolested, original logo and Commander hand-painted script, which we had traced before we stripped and re-stained the cabin sides. Fred Bush, who used to do most of the lettering on the restored boats in the NW did the work. It was the typical post-war script. I’m glad Mark brought up the Red & White pre-war, art deco script – Another unique, Red & White only application. During the war, they were keeping the name alive, showing all sorts of “over the top” boat renderings/designs which were never built, but I suspect the bright colors and bold scripts were as much marketing and “rah-rah” positivity as anything else.

  4. Lee Wangstad
    Lee Wangstad says:

    Because that’s what advertising people do when faced with too much time on their hands…….they stay busy and design. Like this advertisement from May of 1943, How about boats that look great in theory and on the board, but would be hell to build? Throw a new logo in there and see what the reaction is. Who knows? Anyway, interesting segment.

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