BMW Logo

BMW Logo Meaning and History

BMW Logo history

One can hardly neglect the fact that BMW badge has become one of the most recognizable logos in the world. However by 1917 when Bayerische Motoren Werke was officially licensed by Franz Josef Popp, the company was a part of Rapp Motoren Werke. However Popp decided to make a move and BMW became an independent enterprise. The only thing left was to find clients. So the company already had its named but it still didn’t have a logo. The same year new trademark was registered under No. 221388 featuring circular design which was actually similar to Rapp logo. However new badge had BMW letters on it body located on the very top of the ring.

BMW Symbol

At the same time new symbol was colored blue and white which were official colors of Bavarian Free State. However it turned out that it was impossible to use national colors for trademarks in accordance with existing laws which prohibited using such tones for any commercial purposes during that period of time. That is why for some time it was not used as the main logo of the company. This fact explains why the majority of people mistakenly think that BMW badge is connected with spinning propellers.

In 1929 new logo appeared on the cover of BMW aircraft magazine. It showed images of several aircrafts featuring Roundel inside the rotating propellers. It was made as a part of new advertising campaign right before the Great Depression broke out. But still the badge has nothing in common with propellers. However nothing could stop from spreading this idea and eventually in 1942 Wilhelm Farrenkopf gave even greater credence in BMW journal featuring practically the same image of aircraft with rotating propeller and Roundel.

In spite of all superstitions and speculations BMW Roundel was officially born and registered by Franz Josef Popp on October 1st, 1917. He was appointed as General Manger of new enterprise and received a confirmation certificate on obtaining new logo. There were actually no any changes within almost 90 years with the exception of slight amendments. But the base of BMW symbol is the same.

Logo Description

BMW Logo

BMW logo consists of 4 blue and white quadrants which are enclosed within a circle. White and blue colors used for every quadrant symbolize Bavarian Free State. Letter BMW are located at the top of the circle.

They stand for Bayerische Motoren Werke which was registered in 191. Nothing has changed from that time. Though logo reminds of the fact that company dealt with producing military planes during WWI, it has nothing in common with aircraft production.

Shape of the BMW Symbol

BMW Symbol

We can say for sure that BMW originated from Rapp logo. They are not equal but still there is certainly something in common between them. Rapp badge was also made in shape of a circle with a black horse inside of it. Letters “RAPP” were located on the top of the circle. Actually the same thing we can see in BMW badge. Round basic encloses three letters which stand for the official name of the company. In other words major part of the symbol was arranged practically in the same way. This is probably the main reason why Roundel was chosen as the main symbol though it was developed a bit since that time becoming one of the most popular and recognizable circle in the world’s automotive industry.

Color of the BMW Emblem

BMW Emblem

Originally letters and the outline of BMW symbol were made in gold color. It was placed on the body of the first R 32 motorcycle model produced by the brand. It was presented to the public in 1923. However several changes have been made since that period of time. Though letters were still made in gold color, they were located bit closer to each other and the font became bolder. New version of this german car brand logo officially appeared in the German Register of Trademarks in 1933.

BMW Car Emblem

Eventually it was decided to change the proportions. This is when blue color and shades were used. At the same time several badge versions were introduced featuring gold, white and silver letters of different sizes. However, all those variants turned out to be absolutely useless when it came to marketing campaigns. That is why only two main versions were used by 1950’s. They included standard white and silver lettering.

The first variant could be found on autos produced by the brand while silver lettering was mostly used for motorcycle bodies. Later serif font was used for all motorcycles without any exception. In 1997 BMW logo came up with 3D printed forms. It made it possible for designers to create more dynamic and bolder look for the badge. After such changes logo managed to enter the top 10 rank of the most recognizable auto badges all over the world. BMW logo reflects symbolism and simplicity as well as original design which has successfully passed the test of time.