BMW Logo: The symbol for sheer driving pleasure and one of the top 10 most recognized logos

BMW logo history illustration

The BMW logo for the customers has been the promise to receive the quality and sheer driving pleasure for almost 100 years. The company focuses on meeting the clients’ expectations and that is what makes the brand so popular around the world. But how did they invent the picture that has been famous as the sign of quality for so long?

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Sporting, luxurious, high-tech

The brand name is well-known in such industries as motor cycle and aero-engines. Sporting, luxurious, high-tech are the three qualities that the BMW vehicles are known for. The BMW’s M-badged cars (M-Technik range) have aerodynamics and modified engines different from their fellows in the field. This series earned BMW the fan base that other companies can be jealous of.

BMW retro car

The company produces motorcycles and automobiles and is one of the leading German manufacturers of such kind. BMW stands for Bavarian Motor Works or Bayerische Motoren Werke and is located, of course, in Munich, Germany.

The main trait of their logo is simplicity. The roundel, as they call it, is the combination of blue and silver quarters bordered with a black round frame and silver lining. The letters BMW are placed on along the upper part of the black frame.

They always find a way to create stylish vehicles with perfect aerodynamics and that is what makes them so famous. Though their logo style hasn’t changed much since it was first used, the company has come a long way to become what we know now.

Back in those days of WWI, there was the RAPP-Motorenwerke firm that created aircraft engines, and later they merged with the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke factory. The life of BMW started in 1916 based on those two companies.

The BMW logo creation and evolution theories

BMW Logo Evolution and History Timeline
BMW Logo Evolution and History Timeline

The BMW logo is controversial in the meaning that stands behind it. There are several ideas and myths.

Bavarian flag

BMW Bavarian Flag

According to the first version it represents the Bavarian origin since the Bavarian flag combination is white and blue. It seems an obvious conclusion as the products are produced in Bavaria. But could it be that simple?  The Trademark Act prohibited such logo because it seemed to use symbols of national sovereignty which is against the rules, but the BMW marketers are known for solving the problem by inventing another origin history…

Propeller

BMW Propeller Logo

The history of the logo according to this theory starts with the 1929 aircraft magazine cover illustration. The roundel is thought to be a representation of the spinning propeller blades creating silver quarters against the blue sky. The logo creator was so fascinated by the view of the shining disk, so he pictured it in the logo. The BMW letters were also seen through the spinning blades. But this story leads to another myth that the plane was the first thing created by BMW the company originally produced the core engines, not their propeller parts.

Conclusion

There is every reason to believe that the logo was created with the preserving of some old RAPP-company logo features such as the text placement and the Bavarian flag color combination to respect the company origin. But remembering the Trademark Act statements and fact that the propeller version is so popular around the world, we can say that the BMW marketing department did a great job creating the explanation that was meet so well in publicity and has been remembered by the fans as the true logo origin history.

Today, BMW is all over the world. The logo has been a symbol of taste, sophistication and class since it was registered in 1917 and placed on Dixi, the first car to wear it, in 1929. The company rarely changes the logo design and does it do slightly that we can conclude that it is one of the most successful logo ideas ever invented.

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