By on August 27, 2009

Yes, it’s different. Hit the jump to find out how.

Accidental irony alert: the top image is the new Audi logo, the bottom image is the old one. TTAC regrets the confusion, as probably does Audi.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

37 Comments on “Vorsprung Durch Facelift...”


  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    What could possibly be the purpose of this?

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    I was wondering why Audi TV used the straight-up version … another committee makes a great decision, eh?

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    They are coming to Petit LeMans! Audi vs Peugeot vs Acura :faints:

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Whats with the d that looks like a backwards 6? Are the graphic designers too l337 for their own g00d?

  • avatar
    brettc

    Wow, that new font and more silvery rings makes me want to run to an Audi showroom and buy today! I don’t really see the point. I kind of like the old font, it’s retro now.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Somebody had to score a corporate political point by producing something new. Yawn.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Let’s ask Bertel Schmitt how much he’d pay for this.

    And then let’s ask him what he thinks Audi actually paid….

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    The rings are better…I guess…but the font change is a big step backwards. It looks like somebody typed “Audi” in MS Word, changed the color to red, and said “done!”.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    What could possibly be the purpose of this?

    If you’ve ever worked in a large company, you’d know the answer: to keep lots of people in Marketing gainfully employed.

    I can recall two projects I was involved in:
    * Rewire an entire datacentre in 24 hours and upgrade four network switches that cost nearly a quarter-mil each.
    * Standardize on a shade of blue for the logo

    The latter project took two years, tens (hundreds?) of meetings and the involvement of nearly a hundred people. The former took two months of prep work and ten people.

    Now, I won’t belittle the importance of a logo or a brand, because it is a huge thing, but this kind of make-work shit happens all the time in major (and minor) corporations and it’s usually a sure sign that there are serious operational or marketing problems and upper management is finding things like this to distract themselves from them.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Whats with the d that looks like a backwards 6?

    That was the old logo. And the answer is “I have no idea, but I’m sure if you asked a MarCom flunkie they’d answer something about a paragraph or six and containing multiple uses of words like “dynamism” and “synergy”.

    You can tell I’m bitter about this sort of thing.

  • avatar

    Let’s ask Bertel Schmitt how much he’d pay for this.

    And then let’s ask him what he thinks Audi actually paid….

    I’d pay nothing, but I used to charge a lot for this. VW, Audi etc. regularly go through these logo iterations. They are supposed to be subtle, so as not to confuse the viewer too much. But they need to keep design studios, CI agencies, and the marketing dept. employed and paid. I was very much for this when I was in the biz ….

    These changes cost millions: Development, many different versions and alternatives, design manuals, printed matter discarded and reprinted, signage discarded and redone. As a rule, when the new logo has reached every dealership in all reaches of the world, a new, slightly changed logo is being developed again.

    A full revamp costs hundreds of millions.

    Happened many times with the VW “lollipop” without a lot of people noticing …

    The second logo is actually the old logo, the one on the first page is the new one. The new one is boring, the old one had character. The new one was also designed by idiots. It flunks the ballpoint pen test. An important test is “how does it look on the clip of a ballpoint pen?” The new one won’t work, the “Audi” will be too small and invisible.

  • avatar
    tom

    I like the new rings…don’t like the new font…and why put it in the left anyway?

  • avatar
    Cynder70

    The new rings are nice but the new word type using the new font seems out of proportion and poorly placed with the logo. I do like the new font however. See the full impact with the 2008 annual report http://is.gd/2CuGA

  • avatar
    beken

    I believe it has to do with copyrights. You have to renew copyrights to your logo every 5 years (I think). If your logo becomes too pervasive (read common), it becomes difficult to enforce. Hence many companies take this opportunity to do a minor refresh and some would consider it an update to stay with the times.

  • avatar
    JLD2k3

    I like the new rings. The font doesn’t really matter b/c they don’t put it on the grille or anything that’s too noticeable on the car, so who cares. I love that dark silver for the rings, though. I had rims like that at one point. I miss those rims. Stupid Detroit potholes…

  • avatar
    mpresley

    OK…but can they fix the electrics…

  • avatar
    Deepsouth

    I must have missed the words “New and improved” somewhere. Actually, to me the old logo looked more attractive.

  • avatar

    I believe it has to do with copyrights. You have to renew copyrights to your logo every 5 years (I think). If your logo becomes too pervasive (read common), it becomes difficult to enforce. Hence many companies take this opportunity to do a minor refresh and some would consider it an update to stay with the times.

    Trademark, not copyright. Different animal. A §8 renewal must be filed after 10 years. If the mark is changed considerably, it may actually have to be re-registered. Keeping the mark the same doesn’t make it too common, in the contrary. The IBM logo, or the Mobil Oil logo haven’t changed in ages.

    Ah, the quest for reason!

  • avatar
    th009

    Nicholas Weaver: Whats with the d that looks like a backwards 6? Are the graphic designers too l337 for their own g00d?

    I don’t think that terminology had yet been invented back then (nor even a “graphic designer”); that font is practically identical to the original Audi font from nearly 100 years ago, from the days before Auto Union.

    While I can understand the fine-tuning of the rings, what possessed the marketing department to change the font is beyond me.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Thanks for the insight, Bertel. For the level of change (rings, check, still got’em, audi name, check, still got it) I’d rather that they spread a few bucks per car in upgrading something-that-fails-now and forgo this spin until its a more dramatic departure. But, then, I’m an engineer, not a marketer.

  • avatar
    twotone

    I’m sure Audi paid big bucks (sorry, euros) for focus groups, designers, artists, advertising and marketing people and the like to come up with such an innovative, creative and refreshing new logo.

    Now if they could do the same for Audi’s off-the-cliff depreciation rate.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    50merc

    psarhjinian: “You can tell I’m bitter about this sort of thing.”

    For once I can say we are on the same page. If Ford ever drops the blue oval with C. H. Wills’ script one will know the company has lost its way.

    Many years ago I read an article about a small government body and the way it addressed two items on a meeting agenda. One concerned a massive construction project that raised complex technological issues. The item was settled in a few minutes. The other item related to a small bus stop shelter. Discussion went on for two hours. The author concluded the politicians were hesitant to express opinions on the project that they didn’t understand, but were confident they knew all about small bus stop shelters.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    The reason the complex technological issues are so quickly resolved is that only a few people are competent (and feel they are competent) to discuss and decide them. The color blue or details of a bus stop shelter – everyone has an opinion. A deeply held and vigorously defended opinion, at that.

  • avatar

    The font under the “new” logo looks like something that was thrown together 2 minutes before presentation…..as though it was a placeholder for something better to come along and replace it.

    Here’s an idea: combine the new logo and a streamlined version of the old font and call it a day.

  • avatar
    AlexD

    Typically companies will take a common font and tweak it. This is most certainly the case here.

    A quick search through my installed 450+ fonts shows that these fonts are similar: KufiStandardGK, Verdana Bold, Charcoal CY, and Tahoma Bold. I figure the Audi font has been horizontally scaled about 120%. I know it’s not one of these because I haven’t been able to find the small letter L (seen in the literature) which has a small curve at the bottom.

    In any case, I’m not about to go through my 2000 font folio looking for it. I don’t care for the horizontal stretch – it wears thin throughout the financial report, but whatever. The new rings look nicely done.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Reminds me of what Ford did with the touch-up of the Mustang badge. I have to say I like both the new rings and the new Mustang badge. A little texture goes a long way and it isn’t overdone.

    On a side note with this topic, I do have to agree with some other posters on here about what the point is (and if it is due to copyright issues, question answered and thank you.) Two examples come to mind: Subway and Wal-Mart. I wonder about the environmental impact of something as drastic and global as a logo change. Think about it – tens or hundreds of thousands of plastic logo signs that were hung outside and in, corporate letterhead and stationary, store-branded products, and so on all had to be junked just for a logo change that probably wasn’t needed.

    It’s kind of on the subject of this, and I know I’ve made things really simple, but for whatever reason, this just bugs me a lot.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Of course the gold standard of logo changes still has to be the recent 20 year history of Mazda’s logo.
    Early 90′s – the word “Mazda” written in a stylish font.
    Mid 90′s – a symbol for a mirror (I believe) – the diamond in a circle logo.
    Late 90′s-early 2000′s – the wings in a squashed oval (or it might be a styled “M”)
    Current – everything was widened a touch from the above.

    And then you have Ford, BMW, and MB to name three. You don’t need to change what everyone already knows!

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    At least they didn’t use the ipod-dot over the i in “Audi”. One can take only so much of pain…

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Clearly the new marketing wizzes felt that style and tradition were too ‘old school.’ Reminds me of how I hated the new Pioneer Electronics font when it changed, even though I don’t really care. But I grew up digging the stylized ‘A’ and ‘d’ in the Audi logo, and now I feel old and irrelevant somehow. And I suppose I am, as I’ll never buy their troublesome cars again.

    PS. Tip to Audi: Next time put the “Audi” and the rings on the same line. Currently it looks the the rings took a little Audi-shaped shit.

  • avatar
    spyspeed

    The time and effort would have been better spent on dreaming up new model names – again.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Are we bored today or what, guys? :)

  • avatar
    fincar1

    …and speaking of Bertel Schmitt, is he on vacation?

    Oh. Read thread before posting….

  • avatar
    AlexD

    “Are we bored today or what, guys?”

    You bet. That or, as in my case, obsessive compulsive.

    Here’s some good reading on the topic: http://www.thedesigncubicle.com/2008/12/10-common-typography-mistakes/

    The tracking in the Audi financial report titles still has me irritated…

    Don’t think it’s important?
    penisland.com (they sell pens)
    theacadamyofart.com
    kidsexchange.net

  • avatar
    th009

    theflyersfan: And then you have Ford, BMW, and MB to name three. You don’t need to change what everyone already knows!

    Apparently BMW was all set to change its propeller logo (and the kidney grille) in the 1970s, but Bob Lutz killed the idea.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20090817/ANA03/308179956/1018

    The VW logo, the Audi (Auto Union) rings, the Opel lightning bolt, the Chevrolet bowtie and the Alfa Romeo, Cadillac and Buick emblems all have 70+ year histories as well.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The old logo accounted for the trapped white space between the upper case “A” and the “u,” as well as the “d” and the “i.” The old logo conveyed movement and a dynamic presence. It added both style and substance to a boring looking word.

    The new logo conveys none of that. It looks like it was typed up on so-many-PTA flyers that come home from my son’s middle school.

    Sorry Audi. You dropped the ball here.

  • avatar
    TomH

    Audi also changed the surface profile of the rings, so it may be a trademark variant of the bracketing strategy of “surrounding a patent”

    Who knows, it may also be the advertising and marketing guys justifying their existence.

  • avatar
    beken

    Thank-you for the update, Bertel. I stand corrected. Reason why I’m just a casual observer and not a lawyer. Trademark it is.

    If you look closely enough, you might notice that even IBM and Mobil have changed their logo slightly over the decades.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India