BMW M Logo

BMW M Logo

BMW M is a division of Germany’s largest luxury car manufacturer. It specializes in modified racing vehicles that differ from their counterparts in sports components. These are high-performance versions of popular machines. The company was founded in 1972 and was known as BMW Motorsport GmbH for the next 20 years. It was renamed only in 1993, marking a new round of development.

Meaning and History

BMW M Logo History
Evolution of the BMW M Logo

From the archives of the BMW Group, it is known that the first version of the BMW M logo was introduced in 1973. It adorned the legendary 3.0 CSL car from the New Six family, which at that time was making its debut in the races. The final design of the model was developed by two people: Manfred Rennen (an employee of the company responsible for the exterior) and Pierre Mendell (a hired specialist). True, there was only a color scheme combined from red, purple, and blue at that time. And the letter “M” appeared much later – in 1978 when the BMW M1 left the track.

Over time, the logo has been improved. Instead of purple, a completely different color is used – dark blue. White has also been added to highlight the “M,” which used to be voluminous and silver but is now 2D in a 2020 update.

It is known that many people worked on the emblem of the unit. In addition to Manfred Rennen, who came up with the stripes, Wolfgang Seehaus (automotive interior designer) was involved in the process. Specialists of the Italian design bureau Italdesign were responsible for the “M” symbol, employees of the Swiss company Müller were responsible for the first version of the logo, and representatives of the German agency Pierre Mendell were responsible for the final version. Together, they managed to create an iconic sign that has hardly changed over the decades.

1972 – 2020

BMW M Logo 1972

In 1972, the BMW Motorsport brand was born, later renamed BMW M. The racing cars of this division needed their recognizable symbol. It was a combination of three diagonal stripes of blue, dark blue, and red, based on a silver-gray letter “M.” The angles of the three-color lines and the leftmost stroke “M” coincided. For the design, the designers used a linear gradient. They also added darkened thin outlines to some elements.

2020 – today

BMW M Logo

BMW M executives decided to simplify the color scheme to make the logo easier to reproduce in printed materials. So the gradient disappeared, and the letter became just white. Shadows have also been removed. As far as we know, the employees of the Pierre Mendell studio worked on this option.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

BMW M Emblem

Given that the division produces racing modifications to cars, its graphic should be dynamic. Designers conveyed the energy of movement through speed lines – three stripes pressed against the “M.” The fact that they are directed in the same direction, and their identical width and length emphasize the high speed of sports cars. This emblem was given the unofficial name Giugiaro M.

BMW M Symbol

The large “M” for the brand name is in italic, bold sans-serif. The current version is white, and the lines adjacent to it have three colors: blue, dark blue, and red. In the past, purple was used instead of dark blue. He represented a combination of red and blue, in which the side stripes were painted. There is a possibility that the red originally symbolized the Texaco Grand Prix, while the blue was taken from the BMW logo. As director Jochen Neerpasch admitted, this color scheme was chosen because the shades did not merge in black and white shots.