Brand Evolution – Volkswagen

27 January, 2012
Branding
1 min read.

5. Volkwagen

The origins of Volkswagen date back to around 1933. Before the rise of Hitler, the German economy was in a bad way and as a result people could not afford to buy cars. Hitler came up with the idea of producing an inexpensive car that would be accessible for the general public and the name Volkswagen was born meaning ‘people’s car’ in German.

In 1934, Hitler met with Ferdinand Porsche to design the car to particular specifications and Porsche promised to deliver. The car was created in 1937 and the following year Hitler opened a state funded Volkswagen factory. It was meant to be producing commercial cars, however military cars were churned out and it was later found that the intention for the Porsche car was to be used as a military vehicle only, carrying 3 men and a machine gun.

After WWII, the company was taken over by the British and the car renamed as Beetle. The factory was quickly returned to the German Government when car makers declined to take free control of the factory.

The first logo was designed by Porsche employee Franz Xavier Reimspeiss during an office logo design competition. The centre of the logo hasn’t changed much however after WWII the design around the circle was removed as it drew a lot of likeness to the Nazi flag. It was also refined by the British to be a smoother and brighter signifying a move forward for the company. The colours we associate today were finally added in 2000 and denotes a new vision for the millennium and represents the company’s ability to positively adapt to change.

Branding and logo design are key elements for any company in establishing an identity against competitors for the consumer. A logo speaks for the company in standing for values and its history. With all of the examples used there is a common progression, each company has simplified and refined their designs to something uncomplicated, to the point and hinged on the company’s history, but also something completely individual to themselves. So, when thinking about branding for your company take note from industry leaders, they’ve got it right and you can to.

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