The myth of the BMW logo

The German car maker's mark hasn't changed much since 1917, but it is not based on a spinning propeller as many think...

1927: the Bayerische Motorenwerke logo has bronze-soloured serif font surrounding the familiar Bavarian flag motif

The original BMW logo was designed in-house at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in 1927. Whilst many think its checkered design is representative of a spinning aircraft propeller, it is in fact a combination of the logo of the Rapp Motorenwerke, from which the BMW company grew, and the colours of the Bavarian flag.

2000: The current version of the logo is heavily bevelled but is the definition of slow evolution

The myth undoubtedly came from a BMW aircraft magazine cover illustration, released in 1929. You can see just how subtle the evolution of the logo has been over the years with slight colour and form refinements, a shift from serif to sans-serif typefaces, and the addition of lighting and bevelling on the most recent version, released in 2000.

Words: Rob Carney

The 50 Best Logos Ever

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