Volkswagen is just one of the many car brands that have come out of Germany, but it is perhaps the most well-regarded when it comes to safety and dependability. Usually thought of as one of the ultimate vehicles in terms of sheer durability, it’s likewise has a range of vehicles that run from the incredibly sensible to the somewhat whimsical. As the brand has grown and changed over the years, so too has the brand’s logo. But examining what makes up the current Volkswagen logo and what has made up the logo in the past, it’s easy to get an idea of the image the company tries to project.
Volkswagen Logo Design Elements
The Volkswagen logo is right on the line between incredibly simple and fiendishly clever. The logo is nothing more than the company’s initials inside the circle, but those initials are arranged in a way that really helps to give the Volkswagen logo a sense of character. Not only are the V and W very easy to recognize, the stack of the two gives a sense of motion – something that’s very important for a car brand.
Of course, there’s more than just the letters in the logo. The primary color used in the logo is silver, which is a common color in a car badge as well as one that denotes luxury, while the secondary blue color denotes stability. While Volkswagen is not primarily known for being a luxury brand, it is known for its high-end engineering. The font chosen is unique but very readable, showing how Volkswagen is not only a high-end brand but one that’s also very sensible.
Changes and Evolution
Volkswagen doesn’t have the most pleasant history when it comes to its logo. The initial Volkswagen logo certainly did feature the well-known letters, but it also featured the Nazi flag in the shape of a swastika and a Nordic rune that was supposed to confer victory in battle. As one can imagine, the logo changed significantly after World War 2 – the logo became much closer to that of the present, albeit within a gear rather than a simple circle. 1945 through the present day would see the logo shape change incrementally, but not in any ways that are a wild departure from today’s logo.
The biggest change in the Volkswagen logo after World War II is the coloring. The initial color of the logo was black and white, but by 1967 the company had switched over to largely using blue in most of its advertising. Blue and white would remain the colors throughout the rest of the company’s history, with the modern version being a darker, more computer-friendly version of the same. Once Volkswagen established an identity internationally, the color seems to have settled.
Volkswagen’s font has essentially been the same since the beginning. The font size has grown significantly since the 1930s, though, likely in an attempt to enhance the company origins while downplaying its Nazi past. The modern version of the logo uses the same font, though, and it has become such a recognizable part of the brand that it is now hard to imagine changing.
Volkswagen’s primary influence is perhaps the most negative part of its history. Being Nazi-derived and filled with Nazi symbolism, it’s amazing that the company has held on to as much of the logo as it has. It does, however, also take modern design cues from companies as varied as Honda and Dodge – simple, easy to identify logos that don’t distract from the lines of the vehicle.
At the same time, Volkswagen probably helped to define the logos of similar brands. It’s been such a presence in the car world that it’s hard to see a way that other car companies wouldn’t have taken at least some notes. While the letters are more in line with a examples such as the Honda logo or Toyota logo, it’s safe to say that the simplicity of the design carried over to many other car companies across the world.
- The basic idea of Volkswagen, an affordable ‘people’s car’, was designed by Adolf Hitler.
- Ferdinand Porsche designed the first Volkswagen vehicle.
- Volkswagen was briefly under British control after World War II.
- Volkswagen used to give out bonds to babies born in Volkswagen Beetles.
Volkswagen has managed to pull its logo out of a very dark place. It shows that you can salvage what works, even if the problematic elements come from some of the darkest times in history. It’s to the company’s credit that it has figured out a way to rescue its logo and its overall image from something that would otherwise destroy an average company.