By on January 8, 2021

Image: GM

It’s new logo week! First, Kia, now GM.

And we’re batting two for two on the perplexion scale.

All this follows Nissan’s recent logo change.

GM is making the change to showcase its new focus on electrification.

“There are moments in history when everything changes. Inflection points. We believe such a point is upon us for the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” Deborah Wahl, GM’s global chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Unlike ever before, we have the solutions, capability and scale to put everyone in an EV. Our new brand identity and campaign are designed to reflect this.”

It’s all part of a campaign called “Everybody In” that will showcase GM’s electrification plans, including the Ultium battery.

“’Everybody In’ demonstrates our intent to lead, while inviting others — policymakers, partners, individuals — to play an active role in moving society forward, whether that’s helping to expand infrastructure, advocating for progress in their communities or simply taking an EV for a test drive to learn about the benefits of EV ownership,” Wahl said in the statement.

GM does have big electrification plans, despite having just one EV – the Chevrolet Bolt – currently on sale. We know about the Hummer, a planned “utility” version of the Bolt, and the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq. Rumor has it that GM will reveal more plans around electrification at CES this week.

As for the logo itself, it’s part of a marketing campaign that involves well-known names like author Malcolm Gladwell surfer/shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton.

The company’s Web site is set to be redesigned, with the new version launching Monday.

According to Automotive News, the logo is “vibrant blue” to show that the skies of the future will be clearer due to zero emissions. The font is now lowercase, and the edges are rounded off. The “m” remains underlined to represent an electrical plug.

GM considers this logo less severe, more human, and more approachable than the current one.

We just think it doesn’t look as good.

[Image: GM]

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95 Comments on “GM Unveils New Logo, We’re Perplexed...”


  • avatar
    JMII

    Gradient blend? Logo fail 101 right there. My college graphic design professor likely has a knife pressed against his wrist right now. This is BAD, like early 2000s web-design bad. Why didn’t they go full throttle and put a drop shadow behind it too?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      “How splendid his Majesty looks in his
      new clothes, and how well they fit!” everyone
      cried out. “What a design! What colors!”

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        For sure… as a designer I’ve been in plenty of those meetings. I worked for a company that was headed towards bankruptcy and part of its last gasp was a massive re-branding (logo, TV and radio spots, etc). My teams design was rejected and the expensive (yet terrible) fancy pants NY ad agency designs were praised. Clearly the fix was in – I honestly believe it was a money laundering attempt to relocate the company’s cash before all of our assets were frozen. The financial company handling our bankruptcy was (drum roll…) a significant investor of said ad agency. They got paid as our company tanked. Funny how that worked out.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        ex-freaking-actly.

    • 0 avatar
      dusterdude

      Wow ! Hope they didn’t pay a lot for that logo ! ( based on my decades of business world experience it’s very likely they did ! )

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Results like this are proof there are people in GM management with ill-defined responsibilities, limited skills, and too much time on their hands. I’m not even talking about the jobbers (art department? junior exec?) who did the design, but the execs who thought (or were persuaded) that the logo needed an update.

  • avatar
    texasjack

    Wow. I am a retiree and this logo looks like it belongs on a restroom door.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it.

    At least the ad tells you something about the EV ownership experience, unlike most ads for other cars.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “we have the solutions, capability and scale to put everyone in an EV.”

    “We know about the Hummer, a planned ‘utility’ version of the Bolt, and the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq.”

    Not so sure I believe Ms.Wahl.
    gm has been mismanaging their plug-in product strategy for a while now. Letting Ford introduce the F150EV while gm focuses on dorkmobiles & boutique stuff is going to prove a massive mistake.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Hmmm, from capitals to lower case, that speaks volumes without as much as uttering a single word.

  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    Looks like a logo on a tube of toothpaste from the 90s.
    GM electrifies your smile eliminating the heart break of “Range Anxiety”

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Ford better catch up. (Ha!)

  • avatar
    geo

    Great idea, GM. Demolish the greatest thing you have going for you: your rich history. Change one of the most recognizable logos in America.

    This effort to become hip and trendy will fail like a Jimmy Swaggart attempt to become a gangsta rapper.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      GM has more baggage than relevant history, at least to the masses. I realize GM was bankrupt roughly around the same time as Fisker, but if through a shell company they could have acquired the rights to the marque and sold the Volt as the Fisker Volt it would have been much more successful.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    O_o

    For once, I’m speechless!

    Must be from trying to suppress the urge to vomit.

  • avatar
    toronado

    classic GM. this is where they put time and energy, one of the few things that dont need to be changed.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    Burger King just re-did their logo also.

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    This is the most GM thing GM could have done…basically throwing away brand recognition and heritage. This looks like the logo of a failed or failing Tec startup….

  • avatar
    Cicero

    It’s fine but if GM is really going to project an aura of hip now-ness it needs some lens flare.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’m still not going to buy your cars.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    “As for the logo itself, it’s part of a marketing campaign that involves well-known names like author Malcolm Gladwell surfer/shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton.”

    Sorry, but even a one-armed surfer chick isn’t going to get me into a Chevy Sonic.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I confess I did not carefully read the original post. Is this a joke? Am checking my calendar for April 1….nope.

    I suppose the old logo was not really all that special but at least it was recognizable.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    Funny thing is that gradients and glossy coatings are seriously out of vogue right now, while flat solid colors with clear edges are in. GM retired their old logo just when it started to become modern again. Take the old logo, make the blue a bit lighter and the font a bit chunkier, and boom! modern logo.

    If you are wondering why this shift is happening, it’s simple: in the past, gradients were used in UIs in order to show off you have a 24-bit display. Semi-transparency and dynamic gloss to show off you have a real GPU. But now everyone has one of those, even on their phones. So, now we have flat UIs with crisp edges to show off you have a high-DPI (aka “retina”) device. Logos naturally follow UI trends.

  • avatar
    BobinPgh

    Looks like the Goodwill logo, think we can buy old clothes from GM now?

  • avatar
    John R

    Looks like some sort of power up from Mario Bros./Party/Kart

  • avatar
    Dan

    Looks like something you’d see on knockoff earbuds and charger cords by the register at 7-Eleven.

    Oh, GM.

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    I can’t stand the underline underneath the cute little “m.” Is this so they can prove which way is UP? Are they planning on having lots of their vehicles found in ditches upside down, and this is the way to KNOW they’re upside down??

    Or maybe this is their version of the Jeep Wrangler tire cover, “if you can read this, help me flip it over.”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The lack of capital letters is a appropriate since GM is no longer a global or domestic leader in the manufacture of vehicles.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    My family fleet contained at least one GM vehicle from April 1992 to December 2019. Now it’s a Mazda, a Hyundai, a Toyota, and three Hondas. At least the Hyundai, the Toyota, and a Honda were made in America, using mostly American-supplied parts.

    Makes me sad. But I have to buy the best vehicles I can for the money I have to spend.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The Mark of Excellence.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The underlined “m” is really an E and an I – you know, for “everybody in.”

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Every time I visit an LKQ wrecking yard I grab as many of the classic GM emblems that were placed on the sides of their cars and trucks from 2004 to 2009. My 2002 Cadillac Eldorado ETC gets two emblems next. My four Toronados will be updated also.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Did the RenCen get sucked into Tron and I missed it?

  • avatar
    sckid213

    The new logo is meh (though I like the animation), and they can always revert to the traditional Mark of Excellence in a few years with much fanfare if they want.

    I was actually impressed with the EV spot. It’s a decent first attempt at spinning the message to the masses that EVs are the next hot thing. They should retain the girl who says “The electric future starts now” for future spots, like the Nissan “Dogs love trucks” guy. Her taglines can evolve like “The electric future continues”, “The electric future goes off-road too” etc. etc.

    You can have those ideas for free, Mary. :-)

  • avatar
    RHD

    “We had to do it… after years of declining market share and lousy sales in 2020, General Motors simply has no more capital(s)!”

  • avatar
    cantankerous

    gm? The first phrase that comes to mind is “girlie man.”

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The tens of millions of dollars the new logo will ultimately cost to introduce system-wide would be far better spent improving GM vehicles’ quality of design and execution. The dollar per car GM saved by ignoring the defective ignition switch linked to the deaths of at least 13 people comes to mind.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    The line below the “m” seems like a slight callback to the old GM “Mark of Excellence” seen on many a seatbelt.

    https://www.amazon.com/Buckle-Down-Seatbelt-Belt-Black-Regular/dp/B005IPB90M

    With it only covering one letter now, does that mean GM is only half as excellent as it used to be? *shrug* If the shoe fits…

  • avatar
    Mackie

    I’ve been a graphic designer for 25 years. This logo is freaking terrible. Worthy of public outcry.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    How odd.

  • avatar

    So after Generation Z comes Generation E? Good to know, I was wondering since we run out of letters for generations. But I still do not understand what that underscore symbolizes? Men? Underscoring men? Then how about women and other 100s shades of gender then?

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I see that and I think, Oh they must make electric cars

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Allegedly, according to another site I read, the negative space in the M is supposed to look like a plug. Somebody else said the entire thing looked like a derpy elephant.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Surprising fact #1:
    “The new logo was created by GM’s own designers. Even the font was created in-house, the company said.”
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/cars/new-gm-logo/index.html

    Some harsh feedback from the home team at the Detroit Free Press:
    https://tinyurl.com/y3urbckt

    Theory (grasping here): GM is pulling a Coke Classic and will unveil the ‘real’ logo after a public outcry where the citizenry proclaims its undying devotion to the company and its products.

    [Example cover story if GM changes its mind…]
    https://tinyurl.com/y2km4l4r

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I like the gist of the responses that the Freep cited: must be a bunch of 5 year-olds to fifth-graders working for GM’s PR department!

      Instead of gm, how ‘bout “china?”

  • avatar
    Mackey

    I want to be critical of it, but I’m reminded of the many times when Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, and Ferrari completely changed their logos to make their cars more desirable…. Oh…wait… Nevermind. Carry on, you’ve got this.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Welcome to the little gm auto auction and thank you for your charitable contributions that keep the competently challenged management employed. The new corporate logo represents the new new gm and we are requesting another loan from you the taxpayers. Thank you for your continued financial support.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    The new logo resembles a (stylized) elephant standing at the edge of a platform; the once great giant shambling off into irrelevance, perhaps?

  • avatar
    Farhad

    Did they just ask Linux Mint to give them a hand? Unlike Kia, this is a failure and really not needed at all.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    And I thought the new VW logo was cringeworthy! That’s tame compared to this!

    Not to mention that one of the Freep articles mentioned that the logo has been around since 1964!!! 55 years, FFS!

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      About halfway down this page it shows all “5” of the logos through history:
      https://tinyurl.com/y3omoym4

      The ‘second’ one is still my favorite by far. When I joined GM in 1990 (at the old headquarters building*; link below) I ran across a ‘style guide’ (which was often violated) for the proper use of the logo. They created an entire typeface [modified Helvetica] in-house as part of the development process.

      (In my high-school years I did some typesetting at a graphic arts company and learned enough about fonts, serifs, kerning, points and picas to be mildly dangerous.)

      *I also went down to the archives and checked out some of the very earliest journal entries from the car divisions, because I’m a geek like that.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Place

  • avatar

    GM now means Gender Male. Male or Man, I can only guess. How about replacing GM with GW and putting bar on top of W. In other words to turn m-underscore up down. Now it will mean Gender Woman or female, since CEO considers itself to be a woman (but I may be wrong). Cables in EVs usually have male and female connectors. Why emphasize male connector in logo? It reeks discrimination against women and other genders.

  • avatar

    I’m not an artist, and even I can see a poor effort….but GM has taught me not to buy their products, so there’s that.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Stellantis is a good name for the newly merged FCA since buyers of their products need to take drugs to cope with owning a Stellantis vehicle.

  • avatar
    newsie23

    An Elephant’s sex organ is its Foot ! When it steps on you – you are @#$%ed !

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    As our country falls so does GM and the start of Malaise era II. This is just another piece of evidence of that!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I’ve been saying that the first Mailaise Era started with conditions like now. The end will be amorphous pods, with car ownership lost to the dustbin of history.

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