• Feb 19, 2008
Automotive logos, those quasi-interesting designs that adorn the front and back of nearly every vehicle in the road, are more than just haphazard enameled scribbles. If you ask the marketing team, they will correctly tell you that each automotive logo symbolizes the tradition, culture, and history of the automaker it represents. (Don't ask the accounting department, which will just tell you it represents millions of dollars in design costs for haphazard enameled scribbles.)

After following a tip from a reader, we stumbled upon a site that offers excellent insight into the historical development of many popular automotive insignias, like Volkswagen's logo above. Take a look here. Thanks for the tip, Mike!

[Source: Neatorama]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW's roundel isn't a propeller... it's the patchwork/design of the Bavarian flag... common misnomer...

      carry on...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Last night I watched a recorded Discovery Channel or Nat Geo channel show on ultimate factories, BMW Z4 and one of the execs of BMW mentioned that... then they showed the flag... thought it was interesting to mention...
        • 6 Years Ago
        'BMW's roundel isn't a propeller... it's the patchwork/design of the Bavarian flag'

        It's both.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uhh... yeah, speak with data, john.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @John

        You're 100% correct. BMW actually just learned this. Up until recently they were the ones perpetuating the propellor story.
        • 6 Years Ago

        In fact, the original BMW Logo goes back to a draft design scetch of a secretary. Guess that story didn't quite fit into the Corporate Communication strategy, and they felt better with that propeller story.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I saw the same program, and I have to second John. The BMW historian related the story of the propeller spinning, but appeared to suggest the origin was truly the Bavarian colors.

        He left a lot of wiggle room though, like any good historian.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @john that is 100% corrct..

        The officle BMW statment is that the BMW logo symols a propeller is a mythos.
        BMW´s officel version of the BMW logo history is ..
        The blue white in the BMW logo represent the colors of Bavaria the home of BMW. As they draw the first time the BMW logo it was in Bavaria by law forbidden to the use the Bavarian flag in any commercial or company logos. BMW got around that law by mirrowing the colors.
      • 6 Years Ago
      http://cartype.com has assembled a pretty comprehensive archive of auto brands over time. Fascinating stuff and well worth a look. (noted, cartype is mentioned in neatorama's comments, too)
      • 6 Years Ago
      The first two look very Nazi design influenced.
      • 6 Years Ago
      First one looks like the German cross that you see on nazi medals.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do any of the historians here know, when was the first time the word "bowtie" came to represent chevy? I am curious to know.
      • 6 Years Ago
      kind of like Buick's (1990) and Ford's (1976) prior gen version better than current.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Chevy Bow Tie can from a wallpaper design in a Paris Hotel room Louis Chevrolet was staying in. I know it sounds crazy, but I have and old (1967) factory "The Chevrolet Story" that tells the story about the logo. The softbound book is very cool, lots of black and white photos of both old and new Chevys, assembly plants, etc. It was updated every model year. My dad was a chevy dealer back then and I always coveted that book.
      • 6 Years Ago
      please dont say Nazi
      say Aryan swatzika
      the swatzika is the sign of the Aryan Race (which i belong at).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Actually a lot of groups used/use both directions of the swastika, although you'll hear people say stuff like "ours is the other direction." Like Buddhists and Hindu's, etc. But the truth is that both directions were historically used, although the version that faces the same direction as the Nazi one may indeed be used less for obvious reasons.

      But to say that "the _____ swastika is the other direction" is usually inaccurate.

      If you look carefully at pattern designs in nice buildings built before WWII, you might see swastikas in various pattern designs, sometimes even facing both directions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Be that as it may, that was not the first logo for VW. The first logo was developed by an Austrian in the 20s/30s, was golden, IIRC and had plenty of oak leaves around the stylised VW. There was a lawsuit recently, where the man (or his descendants) demanded damages from VW for not paying proper compensation for the logo or sth such.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does the 1939 logo have a swastika look about it? I kind of like the pre-WW2 logo with the gears.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it's actually airplane propellers, which were very common in automotive logos at the time (see BMW), but the coincidence is unfortunate if it was not deliberate.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That look was very intentional.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Looks more like some sort of biohazard or radiation symbol.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes.the 1939 is a stylized swastika celebrating the nazi machine.
        It kind of joins the nazi doctrine(swastika) with war readiness ;notice propellor and gear element..
      • 6 Years Ago
      The second one looks very nice. Hmmm, gears...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pretty interesting history VW has, being started by Hitler and all, and to those that said it 'looks' like a swastika, thats because it is one.
    • Load More Comments