Oh Look, BMW Completely Redesigned Its Logo

It’s the biggest design change in over 100 years

BMW car logos
The new BMW logo (left) on the Concept i4 versus the one its replacing.
BMW
By Alex Lauer / March 5, 2020 5:44 am

BMW unveiled the Concept i4 this week, an unabashedly glamorous electric concept vehicle that’s basically an amuse-bouche for the company’s i4 sedan coming in 2021. This is some seriously exciting, Tesla-adjacent stuff. But that’s not the BMW news everyone’s talking about.

The big news is that BMW redesigned its iconic logo, and snuck that redesign into the reveal of the Concept i4. This isn’t some font or hue change either — it’s the most drastic logo change since the blue-and-white roundel debuted in 1917.

OK, so there is a new font and slightly different colors, but the biggest difference is that the black ring has been replaced by a transparent one. Here’s how BMW’s Jens Thiemer, senior vice president of customer and brand, explains it in a long blog post that also discusses the history of the logo:

With visual restraint and graphic flexibility, we are equipping ourselves for the vast variety of touch points in communication at which BMW will be present, online and offline, in the future. The new logo and brand design symbolize the brand’s significance and relevance for mobility and driving pleasure in the future.

In short? They’re adapting it for the digital and electric age, and they’re not alone. The simplification of design and transition from 3D to 2D (in other words, from skeuomorphic to flat) is becoming a trend, with brands like Volkswagen and Lotus already having made similar changes.

In BMW’s version, as seen in the Concept i4 above left, it allows for some customization, with the transparent ring taking on the color of the car itself. Will that concession help BMW diehards process this news? Does it matter? As long as they don’t go messing with Alfa Romeo, it doesn’t matter to me.

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