The Best Car Logo Redesigns We’ve Seen

The Best Car Logo Redesigns We've Seen

In recent times, the automotive industry has witnessed a flurry of logo redesigns. Brands such as Aston Martin, Citroen, Dacia, Skoda, and Kia, to name a few, have dived into rebranding. While some have driven smoothly through this transition, others, like Kia, have encountered a few bumps along their branding journey.

The main motivation behind the current wave of automotive logo redesigns is the desire for a modern, streamlined look. In an era dominated by digital platforms, logos need to be versatile, adapting to various display sizes, from vast billboards to tiny app icons. The challenge here is maintaining a brand identity while ensuring the logo remains effective and recognizable, even in miniature versions such as favicons.

The journey towards simplification can sometimes lead to mundane or generic results. It’s a delicate balancing act – while the intent is to modernize and adapt to contemporary aesthetics, there’s a risk of losing the brand’s unique essence. Yet, amidst these challenges, certain car brands have crafted innovative designs that are modern and rooted in their heritage.

While numerous car brands have embarked on the rebranding voyage, only a select few have managed to strike the perfect balance. These brands have successfully evolved their logos to resonate with modern times while paying homage to their storied pasts. Their redesigned emblems look fresh and up-to-date and echo the legacy and tradition these brands have built over the years.

For those in the design world looking for further inspiration, myriad resources showcase exemplary design work. One such recommendation would be to explore some of the most influential graphic design books. These resources can offer valuable insights and can be instrumental in shaping one’s design perspective.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin Logo

Today’s auto industry is experiencing a significant shift in branding, as many companies revamp their logos to fit the modern age better. However, transitioning from traditional to contemporary doesn’t always have a smooth ride. Two cases that stand out are Kia and Aston Martin.

Kia’s recent logo redesign is a prime example of the potential pitfalls of modernization. Aiming for a fresh, modern look can sometimes lead brands astray from their core identity. The challenge lies in evolving a logo while retaining the essence and recognition associated with the brand.

In stark contrast to Kia’s approach, Aston Martin’s logo evolution demonstrates the elegance of minimalism. Spearheaded by renowned designer Peter Saville, the refreshed Aston Martin emblem exemplifies that sometimes, less is more. By simplifying the brand’s iconic winged badge, Saville made astute alterations. The elimination of gradient backgrounds in favor of a solid racing green hue and the removal of intricate detailing on the wings paved the way for a cleaner and more refined design. While these changes may appear minor, they strike the right chord in aligning the brand’s rich legacy with contemporary aesthetics.

The updated Aston Martin emblem serves as a testament to the adage that, sometimes, subtle changes make the most significant impact. It’s a reminder that modernizing doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul. Respecting the brand’s lineage while making measured design choices can create a harmonious blend of the past and the present. The result is a logo that respects its roots and resonates with modern-day consumers.

The journey to redefine a brand’s identity in the automotive world is fraught with challenges. The key is finding the perfect balance between honoring tradition and embracing the new. Successful redesigns, like Aston Martin’s, showcase that intertwining heritage with contemporary design can lead to truly iconic results.


BMW Logo

In an era of rebranding, BMW’s logo redesign from March 2020 stands out as an exemplar. The refreshment of an iconic brand’s emblem is always a monumental task, and with BMW, the stakes were higher, given its illustrious history.

The notable shift towards transparency in the outer ring, moving away from the symbolic black, signals a contemporary transition. This design decision does more than modernize; it opens up new vistas for the brand to visually adapt across varied backgrounds, enhancing its versatility.

Eliminating the 3D and lighting effects from the previous design translates to a flat yet profoundly impactful logo. In doing so, BMW paves the way for a design that is not only adaptive on digital platforms but also consistent across diverse applications.

Despite the dramatic changes, the essence of the logo remains firmly rooted in its origins. The consistent white and blue colors pay homage to the Bavarian state, ensuring the brand’s identity is still tied to its rich heritage.

Change, especially for iconic brands, can often be met with resistance. The online community was initially divided on the redesign, with critics voicing their apprehensions. However, as the application of the logo widened, both in digital and physical realms, the design’s adaptability and modern flair were recognized and appreciated.

BMW’s emblem redesign is more than just a visual refresh; it is a strategic move that aligns with the evolution of technology and user experiences. By juxtaposing modern design elements with its iconic Bavarian colors, the company has successfully married the past with the present, establishing a blueprint for others in the industry to follow. 


Citroen Logo

In logo redesign, balancing modernity and tradition can be a formidable challenge. Yet, Citroen managed to traverse this tightrope with finesse, crafting a logo that resonates with both the past and the present.

Citroen’s journey to its latest emblem can be likened to a historian uncovering hidden treasures. Delving deep into its brand archives, the company resurrected its emblematic oval design from 1919. This step was not just about nostalgia but a strategic maneuver to encapsulate the brand’s rich lineage.

While the core design harks back to the early 20th century, Citroen was far from sticking solely to antiquity. Incorporating modern elements, they infused the vintage design with a fresh burst of energy. This integration was achieved by refining the overall shape, enhancing its sharpness, and introducing a vibrant, contemporary color scheme.

The outcome of Citroen’s logo revamp is a brilliant synthesis of two eras. The design preserves the timeless elegance of the past while resonating with the aesthetics of the 21st century. It’s a testament to the idea that drawing inspiration from history can sometimes lead to groundbreaking innovations.

While looking back to move ahead might work wonders in design, it serves as a whimsical reminder for drivers: While innovation and retrospection are crucial in branding, one should always keep eyes on the road and not the rearview mirror.

Citroen’s rebranding endeavor showcases the art of blending historical elements with cutting-edge design principles. The new logo stands as a beacon, highlighting the importance of understanding one’s roots while continually adapting to the ever-evolving demands of the modern world. 


Dacia Logo

Unlike some car brands entrenched in century-old legacies, Dacia possesses the unique advantage of flexibility in brand evolution. This allows the company to redefine its image from scratch, introducing groundbreaking design elements that might be riskier for more established brands.

The recent overhaul leans towards a sophisticated and modern design, which is unexpected for a brand traditionally associated with value-focused offerings. Such a transformation challenges the typical expectations, positioning Dacia closer to the premium spectrum in terms of visual identity, despite its relatively recent acquisition by Renault.

Renault, which now oversees Dacia, illustrates the new design as encapsulating a “pared-back and astute character.” While the term ‘astute’ might not be the first attribute associated with cars, it signifies the sharpness and clarity of the design. By omitting the final strokes on the ‘D’ and ‘A,’ Dacia presents a clean, symmetrical design that emanates a precise, machine-inspired aesthetic.

The innovative emblem, born from the new logotype, integrates the letters’ D’ and ‘C.’ This alignment crafts a harmonious and balanced symbol, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to cohesion and symmetry.

Dacia’s refreshed color scheme draws inspiration from natural elements, highlighting the brand’s purported affinity with nature. However, drawing associations between automobiles and nature can be a double-edged sword. As evidenced by brands like Mercedes recently, treading this path demands a cautious approach to avoid potential pitfalls and misinterpretations.

Dacia’s rebranding exercise exemplifies how a relatively younger brand can effectively leverage its freedom to explore bold design territories. By merging modern aesthetics with subtle nods to symmetry and nature, the brand elevates its image, defying the conventional boundaries of its market segment. 

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Logo

Rolls Royce, an epitome of luxury and elegance, showcased its ability to adapt to the times by unveiling an updated emblem in 2020. While rooted in its rich legacy, the rebranding exemplified how traditional elements can be refashioned to resonate with the modern-day audience.

Among the most significant changes was transforming the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ figurine. By reorienting the figurine to face the right, Rolls Royce gave it a fresh perspective and emphasized its prominence in the brand’s identity. Simplifying the details ensured its suitability for digital platforms, broadening its appeal and recognizability.

An equally vital aspect of this rebranding was the refinement of the type logo. Rolls Royce solidified its image as a contemporary luxury brand by opting for a slim and sophisticated all-caps logotype. The revised font conveys modern sophistication, reinforcing the brand’s luxurious and elite status.

For those embarking on a design journey, understanding the essence and principles behind successful rebranding efforts, such as that of Rolls Royce, can be enlightening. It serves as a testament to the importance of evolving while staying true to one’s roots.

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Rolls Royce’s emblematic evolution serves as an inspiration in the world of branding. It demonstrates how even the most classic and revered brands can successfully navigate the waters of modern design, ensuring they remain relevant and respected in an ever-evolving marketplace.


Skoda Logo

Skoda’s recent endeavor to rebrand its logo has garnered many reviews. While some might see it as a daring move, others perceive it as a well-calculated strategy. At its core, this redesign focuses on contemporizing the brand while paying homage to its legacy.

The iconic winged arrow, long associated with Skoda, underwent a significant transformation. By adopting a flattened design, the symbol aligns with modern aesthetics and maintains its recognition factor. The revamped emblem accentuates simplicity while retaining the brand’s core values.

Skoda’s color evolution signifies the brand’s adaptability and forward-thinking approach. The brand conveys a sense of growth and energy by introducing two fresh shades, emerald, and electric. The decision to adopt the color palette demonstrates Skoda’s commitment to staying current and vibrant.

Skoda’s name has always been associated with the unique Caron accent above the ‘S.’ While it holds historical significance, the brand identified a potential challenge in global comprehension. The innovative approach to subtly embed the accent within the ‘S’ showcases Skoda’s ability to balance tradition with global appeal. This design choice, although unexpected, aligns with the brand’s ethos of embracing change while respecting its roots.

Skoda’s redesigned emblem might remind some of the other major players in the automotive industry, hinting at a Tesla-like vibe. Such similarities highlight the global trend of simplifying logos to ensure adaptability across various platforms and mediums.

Skoda’s rebranding journey epitomizes the intricate dance between heritage and innovation. While the redesigned logo might raise eyebrows due to its departures and similarities, it undoubtedly cements Skoda’s position as a brand that’s both in touch with its history and keenly attuned to the future’s demands.