A logo is one of the most important elements of a company. It is the first thing a potential client sees and must convey the characteristics of the company at a glance. It is the first impression, which must be shielded later by the brand identity and its slogan.
The product arrives later . If a logo does not enter through the eyes, it is difficult for an interested party to inquire more about the brand and, probably, will look for other options.
The design of a logo is an artistic and creative process that defines the philosophy of a brand and its integration into today’s society. That is why the vast majority of brands in the world have evolved their emblems throughout history, adapting to new generations and new distribution channels for their message.
With the digitization and the entry of the digital channel into advertising, the opposite was not going to happen and hundreds of brands from all sectors, including a good handful of automotive firms, have worked to adapt their logo to current needs.
The current trend is to simplify as much as possible . Say a lot with very little and everything in a format that adapts to the screens. Logos without a background or with a transparent background that are easily identifiable. In the automotive sector, in addition to digitization, the electrification of mobility is playing a key role in this image renewal process that many brands have carried out.
Automobile companies are ceasing to be car brands to being mobility services companies , with a brand committed to electric cars, and this transition begins with the change in corporate identity.
Many brands have changed their logo in the last two years. Starting with Volkswagen , which revolutionized its brand identity at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show , others, such as BMW , Kia , Nissan , Renault or Peugeot , among others, have followed. Others, such as Citroën , have not changed their logo, but they have redefined their communication strategy by betting on electrification .
Simplification, the general rule
All, except Peugeot , have opted to simplify their banner, making it more friendly to the digital ecosystem that prevails in today’s society. Taking the example of Volkswagen , the Wolfsburg firm opted for a smooth two-dimensional design , simplifying the elements that compose it to the essentials.
It also incorporated a new color scheme made up of different shades of blue and white, so that whatever background it is played on, it will be recognizable. This logo change came with the first acoustic logofrom the history of the brand, some notes that culminate in a female voice saying “Volkswagen”.
The brand admitted its willingness to adapt to electrification and to adapt to digitization, in addition to seeking an approach to a younger customer, more aware of the environment. The premiere of his new image coincided with that of the ID. 3 , the first electric of the ID family.
The next company to adopt a new approach to electrification was Citroën , which did not opt for an update of its logo, already perfectly adapted to digital channels, but for a new signature for its electric models.
Following its well-known slogan, Inspired by You, the chevron firm opted for a new claim : Inspirëd by You All. Its will is clear, to introduce a differential element of its electric vehicles, the ‘ë’ with umlaut, and to position itself as a brand that will democratize electromobility by alluding to all (‘all’) who read the slogan.
BMW followed in Volkswagen’s footsteps with a new logo, although its move was less radical as it essentially maintains its design and also the logo on its vehicles will not change. The Bavarian firm wanted to redefine its image only in the digital medium and in corporate communication.
Hence, the background was removed to adapt to the digital channel and, incidentally, highlight the central area of the logo, that is, the Bavarian flag. BMW also redesigned the BMW i and BMW M logos , that is, the image of its electric range and its sports range. Again, it was decided to eliminate the three-dimensionality, making the shape of the logo draw the ‘M’ and the ‘i’.
After the two German brands and Citroën, in the summer of 2020 three more companies followed in their footsteps: Opel , Nissan and Toyota . The one that varied its proposal the most was Nissan , with a totally renewed design that, again, had its reason for being in simplification.
Easily reproducible in digital and print media, Nissan justified the new logo in the search for “a refined, digital and familiar appearance.” “It demonstrates Nissan’s evolution from a traditional vehicle manufacturer to a mobility and service provider.” Less edges, less distractions. Only the word ‘Nissan’ shielded with two circular lines.
Opel and Toyota maintained their design although with minor modifications. The German refined the ring that forms the logo, giving more presence to the lightning, a clear nod to electrification. He kept the inscription ‘ Opel ‘ in the lower area of the ring, although it is almost imperceptible despite the fact that the brand defends that “this shows German precision.”
In addition, he changed his corporate color to a yellow that, in his words, “defines electricity, the new gasoline in the automotive sector.”
Toyota , for its part, revised its logo and typography for European markets. “The new logo condenses the emblem into a simple two-dimensional design, without the word Toyota, as the emblem itself is already highly recognizable throughout Europe .”
The efforts of the Japanese were to achieve “total integration in mobile devices, a more premium sensation and great coherence between all business units and sub-brands.”
Finally, this year 2021 the new emblems of Kia , General Motors , Peugeot and Renault have arrived . The first to change was Kia, with a profound redesign of its brand image.
The South Korean company emphasized its desire to take a leadership position in the mobility industry with a new logo, consisting of the word ‘Kia’ in a modern, two-dimensional design, and a new slogan, ‘ Movement that inspires ‘. The first car to display the new emblem was the EV6 , a recently introduced electric.
A Kia was followed by Peugeot , a curious and interesting case. The French firm wanted to adapt to the digital channel, but wanted to emphasize its heritage and its centuries-old history, renouncing the minimalism prevailing in the rest of the industry with a more complex logo than the previous one, but also adapted to the new advertising media.
In the shape of a shield, a lion with very defined features stands out in the center, in addition to the word ‘Peugeot’ in the upper area.
Across the pond, General Motors created a new shield to accelerate the acceptance of electrification among its customers. The color blue reinforces this direction of the group and looks to the future despite remembering its past with typography, classic but with a modern approach. Everything, in a simpler set, also easier to reproduce in digital media.
Finally, Renault was the last to present a new logo. The French brand did so to complete the presentation of ‘Renaulution’ its new product strategy that will seek, under the leadership of Luca de Meo, to increase the added value of each unit and to reposition the group’s brands in the global market.
For the signature of the rhombus, the new emblem is a mix between modernity and tradition, recovering the 1972 logo , made up of several lines, and simplifying it to create a clean, minimalist and simple image. His debut was on the hood of the R5 prototype , an electric that resurrects the design of the classic Renault 5 and will arrive in the middle of the decade.