There are a lot of logos in the market. If we ask you about what is your favorite one, you might think about Apple, Google, Nike, and maybe Starbucks. But, we are sure that you didn’t think about Volkswagen and its new logo design. Have you wondered how they got their innovative and memorable identity? How did they get started?
It was like Isaac Newton’s discovery of his law of gravity. History tells us he was sitting under the tree when an apple fell on his head. Then he perceived that he almost found the answer to his doubts. But you must know that even the super genius Newton couldn’t come to his impressive theory in a single fleeting moment. Instead, he had to work on his premises and principles over and over to get the most authentic one.
We know that what Newton did is inevitably incredible, but the base is the same. Brands also need to have endless sessions to get ideas for their logos. Then, they might need to review their target audience, their message, or their symbol. Early in Sep 2019, the Auto giant unveiled a new VW logo, some say it’s not really new. However, the company confirmed what changes they have made to the new Volkswagen Logo.
To know what drove the German vehicle company to get Volkswagen a new logo, we have to know what stood behind the VW old logo. As you know a logo is part of branding which is part of the identity that explains or communicates the reason for being of any company. Therefore, we need to know the history of how this great company was founded.
So, what do you know about the new logo of Volkswagen?
Volkswagen is one of the pioneering automobile manufacturers that the German government established on the 28th of May 1937. It was called “Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH” which means in English “Limited Liability Company for the preparation of the German People’s Car”.
But the story of the enormous automaker started in 1933 when Adolf Hitler thought about how the majority of people could buy a car at a low-price for the sake of building a superhighway known as Autobahn.
This national project aimed at providing Germans with welfare and luxury. After working hard for accomplishing this superhighway, the car was available for $140.
After becoming Germany’s leader, Hitler called the Austrian automobile engineer, Ferdinand Porsche. At that point, Porsche already had extensive experience in design engineering. He had just started manufacturing his design under his name but as a result of an economic crisis, his factory started suffering and couldn’t stand out.
In 1934, Porsche received an official contract from Hitler to energize his cars. And in the same year, Bela Barney, who is the father of safety in automotive design, invented several protection systems that were later revealed in the car.
Less than a year later, the long name of “Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH” was shortened to “Volkswagenwerk GmbH”. In the meantime, marketers embarked on a promotional campaign targeting all germans. The advertising message highlighted the concepts of happiness and feeling powerful.
World War II
With the outbreak of the war, the factories affiliated to the German company were demolished. Then, Ivan Hirst, British Army officer and engineer, turned to the new chief of the factory. Then, the British soldiers started to repair the machines that disappeared under the sand. They planned to rebuild what the war destroyed. Later, they succeeded to revive it. The story of the re-establishment of the auto factory was an epic achievement.
After bringing life to over 200 vehicles, Britain flooded production with funds with the purpose of expansion. The Number of vehicles was able to increase by more than 10,000 pieces.
That’s when the “Volkswagenwerk GmbH” turned into Volkswagen, the brand we know today. Due to the circumstances of World War II, VW management saw it would be better to reshape its logo.
This Nazi symbol had a circle around it like an arsenal. Once the war was over, Britain had to walk away from the leadership and administration of the manufacturing firm.
In 1949, the British army decided to withdraw from the authority of the company, and hand over it to Germany. Because of this, New Zealand and the United States decided to help energizing the company to develop it into what we know today, a remarkable company.
The history of the Volkswagen logo
As the world experienced historical events, Volkswagen also went through them. If we look at the history and evolution of its identity and thus, its logo, we can think of this as a story of survival.
The name of this company means people’s cars as “Volks” means people in German and “Wagen” means car.
VW logo is considered as one of the most outstanding and memorable ones in the automobile industry.
Here, we will see the evolution of the symbol. Before WW II, the logo was more complicated with four black vanes which were inspired by the Nazi symbol as we mentioned before.
During the war, between 1939 to 1945, the VW symbol became a circle, resembling a waterwheel, and the W and V letters were blended inside this circle.
From 1960 to 1967, a square was added around the whole shape. And from 1967, the logo became blue and the square died out. And from this date until now, there were no significant changes.
So, how is the new logo of Volkswagen?
The Volkswagen new logo has a modest appearance but it’s still unique.
The company decided to get rid of the 3D-styling of the old one.
Thus, this new logo now has a 2D design with a circle surrounding the VW.
It was done like this to send a message of flexibility and usability.
What we can learn from Volkswagen?
According to an official statement, the new logo of Volkswagen emerges after the new company policy on taking action on pollution emissions. It now has the motto of “digital-first” and “no filter”, as the officials said.
Although you can think that this logo is subtle or simple, and doesn’t need more work, the truth is that 19 internal teams and 17 external agencies worked together to create a new one with their new goals.
Abstract branding is not an easy task because changing a fundamental icon like a logo means changing your identity.
Maybe it became a common approach for many business companies, but you have to take the right track when it comes to rebranding. We should take a look at the new logo of Volkswagen as an example if you are thinking about rebranding your business.
1. Your business has insanely expanded
The VW chief said that the new logo of Volkswagen came as a result of the new electronic era. Likewise, VW has expanded the manufacturing of electric vehicles.
So, growing your industry seems to be reasonable to justify redesigning your identity. Besides, you are going to look more conscious.
The VW director also announced that the new logo comes after extending its targeting areas towards countries like China, North, and South America as well.
Therefore, if your business is going to reach new regions with different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles, you can do it. But if your new target audience doesn’t seem to be all that different, there is no need to rebrand.
2. Refreshing or rebuilding?
Indeed, it depends on what you want to achieve through changing your symbol.
Refreshing is like you going to the Barber to get a stylish haircut. Or like buying shoes and getting a decent suit to go to a crucial meeting or a pleasant date.
Redesigning is like undergoing cosmetic surgery in order to change your looks definitely. For instance, what Apple did from 1976 to 2014 is a complete plastic surgery. The old logo was complicated to follow and had too many details.
With the new logo of Volkswagen, the automotive manufacturer chooses the safe side. They kept the old and trusty VW with some slight tweaks to support their growth plan.
The safe side also includes updating the color palette to boost its current message or using a different writing font. If you don’t want to include the name of your company in the logo, like what MasterCard did, it’s still acceptable as just renewing.
3. It never to be late
Over the years, while the German firm had changed its identity, maybe they thought that they never needed a new logo.
But everything around us is changing every day. Even ourselves, as we are going to become older.
Equally, it could happen that when designers created your old visual image, you were very confident about it.
Now, you may not be pleased with it and feel like it doesn’t convey what you wanted. Thus, you want something more glamorous and enchanting.
VW has changed its image several times. Each time, they added a new concept and adopted new goals. They also came up with a new strategy to be more transparent and vivid.
4. Overcome bad reputation through redesigning
Volkswagen has struggled with accusations related to the cheating scandal where it affected the health of children in the United States. And ultimately, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago diesel found that every 1,000 cars increased rates of low birth weight and acute asthma attacks among children by 1.9% and 8.0%, respectively.
The story started when a handful of scientists found out that the German manufacturer had used devices on its “clean diesel” models in September 2015.
The new software detects whether a car is on the test bench – and only then does it comply with the exhaust emission limits. Instead, once it’s on the road, pollutant emissions are many times higher. At least eleven million vehicles worldwide are affected. Most of them travel within Europe, including more than two million in Germany.
In a further development related to this case, the German authorities charged the chief executive, chairman, and former chief executive with market manipulation. The reason for this was that the VW management covered up information about the emissions cheating scandal.
So, the German automaker thought that it was time to not only refresh their brand and displaying the new logo of Volkswagen. But also to release a statement about how the company would provide its customers with more eco-friendly cars without any harmful pollutants. This was considered a worthy excuse for the public.
5. Coping trendy issues
What are the most significant global concerns today? I bet you the first thing that pops in your mind is climate change and global warming.
Consequently, you present yourself as someone who cares about these issues. Their worries are all you consider. As well as you are searching for solutions to resolve these problems.
You should let people trust you. Show them you have already reacted to their fears. The initial step is to redesign your visual items. That’s what VW has done. It tells us that perfectionism in the vehicle doesn’t matter anymore. What really matters is us.
That doesn’t mean you have to change your identity as well as your message with each global concerns. But such an issue like climate change is worth it. You can change your logo and policy to accommodate these consequences.
6. Making people your Priority
“We want to become more human and more lively, to adopt the customer’s perspective to a greater extent and to tell authentic stories,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, Chief Marketing Officer.
What do you think about these words? Feeling overwhelmed, right? I want to admit that I like it. Even, I couldn’t afford to have a VW car now, but I like this brand. Everyone likes to feel that someone understands them and understands their interests.
And we deem this is a valuable lesson from the Volkswagen new logo that we should consider.
If you decide to go for a new one, you should emphasize that this measure is going in the interest of life and a healthier planet. Only in this case, potential customers will listen to you and you will gain more sales. If you’re thinking about rebranding or changing your design don’t worry BluCactus has you covered. Choose the safe side like the new logo of Volkswagen and contact us.