Citroën sues Volvo's Polestar in bizarre logo dispute

We've seen lots of new car logos in 2020, with various brands from BMW to Nissan offering a contemporary take on their existing symbols this year. One car manufacturer that hasn't updated its look lately is Citroën – but perhaps that's because it's had its eye on another brand's logo instead of its own.

Citroën has successfully sued Swedish automotive brand Polestar (owned by Volvo and Geely), with a judge ruling that the latter's logo is too similar to Citroën's. An easily mistakable symbol is one of our cardinal sins of logo design – but how similar are the two logos really?

Citroën and Polestar logos

Citroën's logo (left) and Polestar's (right) (Image credit: Citroën/Polestar/Future owns)

Both logos are made up entirely of two silver chevrons. In Citroën's case, the logos are stacked on top of each other, while Polestar's are facing inwards towards one another. At a glance, we'd say the contrasting configurations create two entirely different overall shapes – but it seems the judge wasn't convinced. 

According to Autoblog, Polestar has been handed a $175,000 fine, as well as being banned from selling its cars in France for six months. But while the fine won't be good news for Polestar, the ban might not matter so much. "Polestar does not operate in France," a spokesperson told Autoblog, "and we currently have no plans to operate in France."

While we've seen lots of copyright disputes involving logo designs, this is certainly one of the stranger examples. With neither logo easily mistaken for the other, and a car manufacturer being banned from selling in a territory it doesn't currently sell in, we'll be filing this one under 'okay, then'. And it seems Twitter feels the same. 

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Still, the greatest logos of all time are all utterly unmistakeable, so the fact that this dispute even exists is enough to ensure that neither Citroën nor Polestar's logos will be driving into our best logos roundup any time soon. But perhaps the real test of a logos success is how easily it can be memorised – as these car logos drawn from memory hilariously prove, it's a lot harder than it looks. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).