The BMW logo, roundel or emblem is certainly one of the world’s most recognized symbols. It has always featured the famous circular design with the letters BMW at the top of the outer ring. The inner colors of blue and white are also the Bavarian State colors.
A Logo In Keeping with BMW’s High Tech Sporting Image
BMW has always had a luxury, high tech sporting image, and the very name is well known in the motor cycle industry as well as aero-engines. BMW’s fantastic ‘M’ range, known as M-Technik was created to facilitate BMW’s racing program, and these M-badged cars include modified engines and aerodynamics which are quite different from their counterparts. It is the M Series cars that have earned BMW so many enthusiastic and loyal fans.
BMW was founded in 1916, and is a leading German manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The company is based in Munich, Germany. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works, and the highly recognized BMW logo consists of a black ring which is encircled by a silver lining with the BMW letters in the top half of the black ring. There are four equal alternative blue and white quarters.
Today BMW has come a long way since its days as an aircraft engine manufacturer and they also own MINI as well as Rolls Royce. At one time they purchased Land Rover before it was sold off to the Ford Motor Company. The company began as the Rapp-Motorenwerke firm, making aircraft engines and then merged with the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke factory.
Different Interpretations of the Logo
In 1942, some 25 years after the BMW logo was created, Wilhelm Farrenkopf, BMW’s press and advertising director wrote an article and tried to give some idea as to the origins of the BMW logo. Today there are still theories on how the logo came about. Many logos today have meaningless symbols; it is as though the designer doesn’t believe that the symbol should have meaning and be connected to the company concerned.
The BMW logo, known as roundel, was registered in 1917, and probably the success and attraction of the logo is it clear simplicity while also being sporty. The 1929 Dixi was the first car to have this renowned logo on it, and although the logo has undergone one or two tiny adjustments, it has maintained its look throughout the company’s history. At first the lettering and outline were in gold, but the emblem has since changed slightly. For instance there have adjustments in the shade of blue, and the lettering with serif or sans-serif fonts have also varied slightly, but the basic structure of the Roundel has remained much the same for about 100 years.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding the BMW logo which many believe was designed to resemble an aircraft propeller. There is also another tradition about the significance of the BMW company logo and trademark, and while the one points to the rotating propeller, the other relates to Bavaria, where the logo’s are actually manufactured.
Controversy and Mystery Shroud the BMW Logo
The true meaning of the logo is a controversial aspect of the company. Some say the propeller story is a myth while the Bavaria story holds more accuracy and that the logo symbolizes the Bavarian flag colors. The Bavarian flag is made up of blue and white squares in a checkered pattern, but the Trademark Act has a clause which doesn’t allow companies to use any part of a national symbol in their trademarks.
With the propeller story, it is thought that one of the engineers was working on the airfield and was standing in front of an aircraft about to take off. He was mesmerized by the turning propeller and the way the sun shone off it. The engineer saw the glittering surface of the rotating propeller and visualized white and blue checker boxes spinning against the clear blue sky. He also saw the three letters – B, M and W reflected in the propeller. The engineer then drew what he saw, and the logo was born.
Today, BMW has heaps of manufacturing facilities all over the world. BMW engineers have always managed to come up with a beautiful and aerodynamically efficient body which has always set standards of superb road holding abilities. The BMW logo is ranked in the top ten of the world’s most recognized commercial logos and the fact is that the logo is shrouded in mystery has merely served to make BMW and their logo even more recognizable and sought after than ever.