Even from a distance, most people can tell a BMW from an Audi, probably by spotting the logo! That instant recognition a logo creates for your brand is priceless. And for a car company trying to carve a niche for itself in a competitive space, this can be a valuable aspect to tap into. But then how do you create such powerful logos that stand the test of time? We’ll tell you how! We have got some useful tips to design logos for cars. Designs that set your brand up for success.
Like a test drive helps you gauge the performance of a car before spending on it, a car company logo helps customers gain their first impressions of a brand. From the aesthetics of the logo to the meaning it carries, every little aspect counts. Let’s see what the most recognized logos of cars have to tell us about designing car company logos.
The symbolism of forward or upward motion is one of the best elements to incorporate into logos for cars. Whether you want the motion to represent speed or a safe drive is up to you and the kind of cars you deal with.
Luxurious, powerful, and a clear representation of speed! That makes the Jaguar logo an exemplary design to get inspired from. The fact that the symbol and the brand name are both aligned with speed and movement is a huge plus for Jaguar.
If you look at most of the popular automotive logos from around the world, you will notice a play in symbolism in most of them. After all, symbols communicate beyond language barriers. And they create an instant connection.
It gets even better if you choose symbols with a distinct meaning or relationship with your brand or its values. Like the “T” in Tesla’s logo and the story behind it.
The T in the logo represents the cross-section of an electric motor that Nikola Tesla designed. The underlying fact that Tesla cars have AC induction motors that have evolved from Nikol Tesla’s motor design adds more depth to the symbol in this logo. For a company with all-electric cars, this makes perfect sense.
Similarly, look for symbols that you can relate back to your company’s core values or traits that set your car company apart from your competitors. Such symbols would add more meaning to your logo design.
Logos that tell a story converse with your target customers. Sometimes, as your brand grows and takes a new direction, critical milestones might be forgotten. But these might often be milestones that shaped your brand and propelled it to where it is today. If you manage to capture these milestones in your logo, you create a design that lasts.
Knowing about the growth and progress of your brand, through these easter eggs in design also makes customers appreciate your brand a little more.
Audi shows us how this is done.
If you did not already know, the four rings in the Audi logo represent the four brands that came together to become the current-day Audi, namely Audi, DKW, Wanderer, and Horch. The unique union of companies that built cars, motorcycles, and bicycles has paved the way to creating the successful car company that Audi is today. The iconic logo stands as a reminder of this union.
We have been talking about creating timeless logos for cars. But you should also remember that you sometimes have to change your logo. You might have to redesign your logo to keep up with the changing trends in the world of design and marketing. And that’s perfectly fine. After all, you are creating logos for the people who actually drive your cars. And so tweaking your design to keep up with their changing expectations makes sense.
The best part is that you can go about redesigning your logo to make it look more modern and aligned with the digital age without drastically altering its overall shape and symbolism in it. Volvo sets the perfect example.
The signature iron mark symbol (a circle with an arrow) still remains the core element in the logo. Only, the design is flatter now and represents the contemporary approach of the brand now. And its efforts towards an electric future. The symbol is derived from an ancient chemical symbol used to indicate iron. And the logo uses this symbol to represent the strength of Swedish steel that the cars are known for. Staying true to its value the brand retains this symbol but uses a cleaner and simpler flat design to keep up with the changing design trends.
This is a good example of how you can retouch your logo without significantly altering its appearance. Thus you not only win the hearts of more new customers but also can be sure that you are not disappointing your existing ones.
Sometimes, when you are stuck trying to figure out what symbolism to use in your logo, look back at your brand’s origins. Symbols and colors that represent the place where the company was first established is an idea that works almost always. And irrespective of the industry too!
Undoubtedly, this idea works pretty well even in logos for cars. Many of the car companies we know today started out very differently. In fact, some of them once dealt with very different product lines. So, using references to the place of origin and retaining it as the stable element in the logo design is one concept that even big brands rely on. Take BMW for example.
The central symbol in a BMW logo is often confused to be a representation of an aircraft propeller. This myth is mainly because the brand was once dealing with the manufacture of aircraft engines. But the truth, however, is that the brand colors blue and white represent the colors of the Bavarian flag, the state where the company first started out. And for more than a century now, the core shape and colors of the logo have remained the same. They have a critical role to play in making the logo an iconic one.
Logos can be of many types based on the design. Wordmark logos, for example, have the brand name and incorporate unique typography. brandmark logos have only symbols, lettermark logos have just a few letters in a stylized form and combination mark logos have both symbols and words. Having said that, if you compare all the car logos in the world, you will notice a few things:
Irrespective of the type of logo you choose, remember that you need the overall design to be a true reflection of the personality of your brand. And you also need the design to be practical and versatile. After all, you cannot create separate logos for use on your digital ads and to add a brand touch to your car’s exteriors and interiors.
In short, a powerful car company logo is one that is instantly recognizable. One that creates a strong emotional connection between the company and its customers. It is a symbol by which people remember your brand and the experience your cars deliver. So, pay attention to the little details and you will never go wrong.