Volkswagen is a legendary automotive concern from Germany. It was founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front on the orders of Adolf Hitler. Today this manufacturer is one of the leaders in the production and sales of passenger cars and belongs to the Volkswagen Group. The headquarters is located in Wolfsburg.
Meaning and History
Immediately after the opening, the company received an original name, which consists of two pillars: “volks” (people) and “wagen” (car). Therefore, it means “people’s car” or “people’s car.” The logo is based on the first letters of these words – VW. Moreover, the reduction was taken as the basis for the brand’s emblems, of which he had 13.
1937 – 1939
The debut version contains several elements that emphasize the political preferences of the founder of the company. The letters “V” and “W” are located one above the other, forming a geometrically correct monogram with straight lines and corners. The initials are placed in a large cogwheel. It is surrounded by silhouettes of flags that resemble wings but are swastika elements. The lines are elongated and grouped around the wheel. In total, four flags with three black half-arcs were used. Engineer Franz Xaver Reimspiess created the first emblem.
1939 – 1945
Before World War II, the German automaker removed everything that looked like a Nazi swastika from the logo. As a result, there are inscriptions in the center and a gear wheel. Thanks to a competitive balance, the logo has become more practical and brutal, telling about the company’s technical orientation rather than about a political concept.
1945 – 1948
After World War II, the company undertook a redesign, transforming the emblem beyond recognition so that nothing would remind of the Nazis. The developers removed the black color and square lugs, so the cogwheel became a beige circle with a dark brown edging strip. The abbreviation was given the same color. The designers connected the upper part of the “V” with the outer circle, and the letter “W,” on the contrary, separated it. They also added a red background.
1948 – 1960
The new logo is a continuation of the old one with some alterations. This was the need for the automotive industry’s growth in Germany, so the logo was retouched. The developers returned it to monochrome, again making it black and white. They also thickened the outer border by connecting the legs of the “W” to the circle and brought the “V” closer to it.
1960 – 1967
In 1960, designers squared the emblem and mirrored the colors – everything that was white turned black and vice versa. Also, the outer edging has disappeared, and the lines have acquired the same thickness.
1967 – 1978
The only change from this period is related to the color: instead of black, the Volkswagen emblem appeared sky blue.
1978 – 1989
The management redesigned the logo again to meet the progressive requirements. The work’s result was an inversion of colors: the painted elements turned into white, and the white ones turned into blue. Moreover, the shades’ intensity was increased several times, which is why a light cobalt version with an edging line appeared.
1989 – 1995
The emblem of that time was a circle with a blue frame and a wide white stripe inside. It was connected with the letters “W” and “V” placed on a light blue background. It was a color version of 1945.
1995 – 2000
In 1995, Volkswagen returned the 1978 version of the logo. The developers only intensified the color by using dark blue instead of neon.
1999 – 2000
In parallel, another modification of the logo appeared. It was distinguished by the presence of a gradient transition from the middle to the edges. This emblem was used on advertising materials and signs.
2000 – 2012
Designers have added volume to the logo to keep it in line with current trends. In addition to the 3D effect, it also has a double edging in a circle in the form of two thin dark lines with a gray stripe in the middle. The blue gradient has been enhanced, and the letters are now silvery.
2012 – 2020
Volkswagen has approved a new logo with shiny metallic lettering. Due to the side stripes, they acquired volume. This version was first used in September 2012 at the Berlin presentation of the Golf Mk7.
2020 – present
After a major rebranding, the automaker updated the emblem, returning to the 1967 version. The designers tweaked it a bit, making the lines thinner and separating the bottom “W” from the circle. They also removed the 3D effect by flattening the logo, as required by the trend towards simplified and minimal signs. First, the logo was launched in Europe, then in Asia, and then in the Americas.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Over the years of evolution, the emblem, first of all, moved away from Nazi symbols, which can be seen in early versions. Since 1948, the stage of many years of modernization of the new version began. It lasted until 2020 when Volkswagen management completely simplified the design.
There is no text as such in the logo – there are only two letters taken from the abbreviation. They are custom sans serif and have thicker lines. The signature palette consists of many shades of blue – from pastel blue to rich cobalt.