BMW Logo – Meaning and History of BMW Emblem

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works) is one of the three largest luxury car manufacturers which include its compatriots Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Like its competitors, BMW logo is among the most-recognized car emblems in the world.

BMW AG Information

Founded 7 March 1916
Founder Franz Josef Popp
Karl Rapp
Headquarters Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Other brands Rolls-Royce
Official website
Slogan Sheer Driving Pleasure (Worldwide)
The Ultimate Driving Machine (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
The Ultimate Driving Experience (Canada)

The BMW logo is quite a simple representation of three colors – Blue, Black and White in an interesting way. The logo consists of a thick black circle encapsulated in a silver outline and holding the company’s name in the top most part of the circle. The inner part of the circle is made up of four quadrants represented by blue and white colors.

BMW Logo 640x360

There are two different interpretations for the meaning behind BMW logo and both sound equally logical. The first one says that the blue and white quadrants are a direct reference to national colors of Bavaria – the birthplace of the carmaker. This is not surprising since the automaker was established in an era when it was fashionable to maintain some connection with the city or state of birth, other such examples being Maserati and Ferrari.

BMW Logo: The aircraft propeller theory

The other school of thought believes the BMW logo takes inspiration from the company’s history as a manufacturer of aircraft propellers. In this sense, the sky blue and white fields are representative of a white or silver rotating aircraft propeller spinning with a clear blue sky in the background.

It is worth noting that the logo was first created in 1917 but wasn’t used extensively in contemporary marketing. It was in 1929 that an advertisement featured an aircraft with the image of the BMW Roundel with the rotating propellers. It was around the same time that the Bavarian automaker acquired the license to build Pratt & Whitney radial aircraft engines. Needless to say, these events led to the legend of BMW’s history with spinning propeller.

An ode to aircraft propellers or not, BMW logo is among the finest automotive logos with usage of powerful colors and a strong visual identity which has remained largely unchanged in these years.

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