Many car manufacturers have recently redesigned their brand symbols (BMW, Mini, Opel, VW, Audi, Citroën, Seat and most recently Nissan). However, those modernized brand designs do not only concern the logo design alone, but often secondary style elements and typographic adjustments alike so that the brand as such is not lagging behind the logo redesign.
FROM "OLD STINKER" TO "ZERO EMISSION"
The automotive industry sees the need for an image shift from "old stinker" to "zero emission". The motto is: a clear commitment to a more sustainable future. This new perception of a brand naturally requires a corresponding visual adjustment.
The fact that valuable raw materials for the car batteries’ production are mined from the earth (thus keeping the exploitation of our planet going), the fact that most of the electricity for "fueling" e-cars is generated "not so environmentally friendly" and the question of how to dispose the electric cars’ toxic waste in future - all of this is of course a completely different topic and shall not be the subject of this article.
HIGHER REQUIREMENTS FOR LOGOS - NO MATTER WHICH BUSINESS
Our everyday lives are increasingly accompanied by different sizes of communication touchpoints - be it an app icon on a smartphone or an XXL billboard on a football stadium’s side. This extreme balancing act must be mastered by a great logo design.
A professional logo design always creates the perfect balance between simplicity and uniqueness. In addition, it also has to work in small size as well as in large size. Scalability is one of eight things that make a good logo design.
LOGO REDESIGN FOR AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS
Here you see an overview of old and new logos of automotive brands; and how they look like on the corresponding websites.
As a corporate designer, I find the "moving frame" as Volkswagen’s secondary style element really beneficial and executed very successfully. The frame ensures maximum flexibility in connection with the new VW logo in flat design style:
WHAT THE NEW LOGO DESIGNS HAVE IN COMMON
All these new logo designs have one unmistakable goal: the clear reduction from the former 3-dimensional appearance to a flat symbol in the flat design style.
Flat design has been on the surface (haha, great wordplay) since the introduction of Windows 8 (it's been a long time). Even if Apple is mostly seen as a design pioneer in the IT industry, it was Microsoft’s designers who really introduced flat design into our everyday lives and thus created a worldwide design revolution that has since gained a foothold in all industries.
With new brand designs, the automotive industry is trying to fulfill the society’s demand for electric mobility and the ever increasing challenge of different sizes of logos. Flat design is driven to the extreme here - in most cases it works out nicely, although the customers need some time to get used to the new logos - as it always is with a logo redesign.