Mini is a UK-based car brand created by Alec Issigonis and originally part of BMC (British Motor Corporation). Now it belongs to the German concern BMW. The brand was founded in 1959 when it was used to denote small cars. In 1969, the department became an independent legal organization, retaining its former name.
Meaning and History
This automaker has repeatedly changed hands, unwittingly changing owners but retaining its original identity. So, in 1966, its owner was a new company formed due to the takeover of several companies by BMC. The newly formed structure was named British Motor Holdings.
Then BMH merged with the Leyland Motors plant and became known as British Leyland (Rover Group). In 1988, it broke up and passed to British Aerospace, subsequently acquired by BMW (in 1994). After the final disappearance of the Rover Group in 2000, the new owner retained the Mini brand. During all this time, its emblem has not lost its originality. The conceptual evolution of the logo only began with BMW. She has six brand names in total.
1959 – 1962
The debut logo features a propeller because the subcompact was first produced in several factories, including the Morris Motors aircraft manufacturer in Cowley, near Oxford. The models that emerged from there were called the Morris Mini-Minor and had a label in an aircraft propeller’s form. Subsequently, the link to the aircraft theme was preserved in all emblems. The center is a double circle with a coat of arms depicting a bull and three wavy lines. At the top is the Morris lettering in large serif type.
1962 – 1968
In the early 60s of the last century, the company entered into cooperation with the designer John Cooper – the author of the famous Mini Cooper compact car. After the car’s release, a new emblem design with a different inscription was immediately approved. In the center of the circle, made in the form of a wreath of tree branches, is the series’s name. Large elongated letters are colored red. The word “Mini” has serifs; “Cooper” does not. To the right and left of the disc, there are four broad lines of different lengths. They personify at the same time two elements – the radiator grille and the wings of the aircraft.
1968 – 1969
For one year, the brand changed its color logo to black and white. In style, it resembles a simplified version of the previous emblem, so it retains the most important thing – the structure. But some of the details have disappeared or have been replaced. For example, the inscription has been reduced to the word “Mini,” the wreath of leaves has been removed, and only two lines remain from the triple edging – light, and dark. The middle of the badge is now black with a white brand name.
1969 – 2001
After the brand passed to Leyland Motors (aka Rover Group), the small car series was officially renamed MINI. In parallel with this, an updated emblem appeared. It consists of a hexagonal shield divided into two parts: a gray bottom and a black top. At the bottom, there are two sky-blue rectangles cut obliquely and thick gray lines along the edges. Above is the name of the car, presented in white.
2001 – 2018
The new owner (BMW) has returned the legendary winged symbol with a circle in the middle to the brand. Moreover, it has undergone modernization to meet modern requirements. The logo features a black circle with chrome trim. From it to the right and the left, the silvery wings of the aircraft are extended. They have sharp corners and a solid fill between the protruding stripes. The word section is made in sans serif letters with neat and even lines. This makes the emblem austere, stylish, recognizable, corresponding to the automotive theme.
2018 – present
The 2D model is used in the current version – a flat sign of visual identity simplified and not overloaded with details. This approach is associated with getting a simple logo that looks equally good as a car marking, as a legal brand symbol, and as a creative advertising element. For this, the designers removed the gray color, leaving the classic combination of black and white. They focused on the brand name and the wings.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The original logo went through a long process of modernization but still returned to simple shapes. They convey the most important thing for the car company – freedom and speed, reflected in wide-spread wings. The prototype of the modern logo is the 1968 version. It is also black and white and as simple as possible.
In early versions, the text was written in a serif typeface reminiscent of Copperplate FS Bold Condensed. Then there were chopped variants with smooth and even letters. They have something in common with Barnaul Grotesk Extra Bold and Motiva Sans ExtraBold. A specially designed typeface called MINI Serif is currently being used.
The corporate palette is monochrome and consists of black and white. But earlier, the logo also featured other colors – red, green, and several shades of gray.