By on June 7, 2010

The truth isn’t always sexy. Sometimes it’s just, well, the truth. And given how sensitive brand managers can be about guarding their corporate mystique, the boring truth can be downright refreshing.

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5 Comments on “The Prosaic Truth About BMW’s Roundel...”


  • avatar
    Bergwerk

    Truth be dammed! I still like the propeller story better. That said, I find the evolution of the RAPP logo into the Rondel very interesting… and besides, who is to say the arrangement of the Bavarian colors was not intended by the artist to evoke an aeronautical image, it’s a win win.

  • avatar
    Revver

    Interesting research, but it seems it comes up short of proving the designer’s intention was to ONLY represent the Bavarian flag. Surely the possibility exists that the spinning propeller ‘abstraction’ matched the Bavarian flag. Designers look for these image pairings all the time. All this proved was that the outer black ring was inherited by a corporate predecessor.

    edit: oops, I said what Bergwerk already said.

  • avatar

    I always thought the origin was in Bavaria’s flag, so it appears I’m sort of correct in that assumption.

    On a pedantic note, it is technically a “trademark” not a “logo” (or more correctly a “logotype”) since it is a graphic representation as much or more that a strictly typographic one. For example, the “Ford” script is a Logo, whereas the script combined with the blue oval is a Trademark. This was hammered into my brain by a legendary Graphic Design professor I knew back in the 80s, and the misuse of the terms bothers me to this day.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Well, I’ve learned something from this – that BMW’s symbol is for ‘sheer driving pleasure’. That claim is more disputable than the true origins of the roundel trademark.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    I too thought it was representative of a marine prop from earlier endeavours in that industry.

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