By on October 5, 2021

There’s a new automotive trend afoot, one where industry giants alter their iconic corporate logos so they’ll play better in a digital environment. Shadows and color gradients designed to give an image depth don’t always pop on a cheap screen the way they might on the glossy piece of paper and have encouraged manufacturers to transmission to flat, monochromatic icons that look bad everywhere.

But consistency isn’t the only reason to change logos. It’s also an opportunity to signal to customers that you’re evolving as a brand, which is why so many companies have associated their new iconography with the pivot toward electric vehicles. General Motors, recently ditched the logo it’s been using (more or less) unchanged since 1964 for a Bizarro World alternative that swaps the color pallet and makes the letters lowercase. Now it’s modernizing the emblem to be used for Cadillac’s electrified products until they gradually supplant the entire lineup. 

The resulting image is highly similar to what we’ve seen from BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Kia — though the latter example is at least novel. Recipes traditionally involve stripping as much color as possible from the existing logo and then offering up a press release explaining how this symbol is an expression of the changing corporate ideologies as they make irrelevant proclamations about the need for a more just and sustainable future.

Sometimes there are even unique variants that denote when a car is utilizing an alternative-energy powertrain, such as the blue-ringed roundel BMW used on models like the i3. While this also applies to Cadillac — as the new emblem will be used exclusively on EVs — the monochrome logo will eventually replace the colorized shield the company has been using for over 100 years. However, it should be said that the wreath-and-crest design has gone through numerous incarnations within that timeframe and there was even a brief stint (1914) where Cadillac attempted to go without it.

According to Fox News, the new icon is familiar in shape but ditches the wreath and simplifies the overall design by making everything black and white. Frankly, it doesn’t really work with a coat of arms that are supposed to be heavily reliant on color to convey what it is from a distance. We’re betting the new one looks like a gray blob once you’re standing a few steps back and we’ve got the upcoming Lyriq as evidence. GM has stated that the electric crossover will be the first Cadillac product to embrace the new crest and it’s all over the vehicle’s interior and exterior — often illuminated to add a sense of flare.

From Fox News:

A spokesman told Fox News Autos that the color version will continue on the legacy internal combustion engine models while the new one will roll out with the electric models that will be replacing them until it becomes an all-electric brand in 2030.

“The new crest along with our new tagline ‘Be Iconic’ represent Cadillac’s desire to champion each of us to dream big and become the most aspirational version of ourselves,” he said.

The outlet noted that a grayscale version of the emblem was available on gasoline models via the brand’s Onyx package and some dealers will also swap out a colorized version as an off-the-books option. But the official replacement is backlit and to be affixed exclusively to EVs. Having seen it on the Lyriq, the new shield doesn’t look half bad up close. Though it’s also a tad stodgy and serious, which is something most of these dumbed-down logos suffer from.

As there’s nothing in Cadillac’s upcoming lineup to pique my interest, it hardly matters what I think. However, you might find the Lyriq (due in 2022) right up your alley and believe the new crest to be an idyllic mate for the brand’s evolving image. Or you might think it’s an abomination. We’re interested in knowing either way and presumably so is General Motors.

[Images: General Motors]

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48 Comments on “Cadillac Launching New Corporate Logo With Lyriq...”


  • avatar
    Rboz

    gm was tired of the red and yellow clashing with all the grey scale paint choices.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ROFL, seriously. If marques were children, this one would be in county/state care twenty years ago.

  • avatar
    mcs

    This is what the front end of this thing looks like. Toyota must be pissed that someone managed to create an uglier front end than theirs.

    https://cleantechnica.com/files/2020/08/Cadillac-LYRIQ-front-grille-2048×1021.png

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Dumbing down the logo. Like when Buick went all black on the trishield.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    A colorless logo is what you get in a 15-year-old car exposed to too much sunlight.

    The only new logo that really annoys me is Kia’s; I have to translate “KN” to “KIA” every time I see it.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Lowercase GM showing its true ah lack of colors. Is it any wonder their market share keeps shrinking! Such a sad depressing company

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Nothing is more depressing, than when a family buys their 1st new car, and it’s a Corolla.

      The center can’t hold. GM was the biggest when 3 companies dominated the U.S. market. Now that 15 companies are battling it out, GM is still the biggest.

  • avatar

    This looks dumb.

    The only good thing in that shift dial is the detail around the outside almost looks like the old wreath.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Some GM accountant is probably being rewarded with a company cafeteria gift card for coffee for figuring out that GM could save money by eliminating colors from the logo.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Well, this ought to bring them in faster then a Cadillac handbag with matching pumps courtesy of Melody Lee

    DeadWeight returns in 3… 2… 1…

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    I can tell that a marketing degree is almost as useful as a journalism degree nowadays!

  • avatar
    ttiguy

    CT4/5-V Blackwing has been generally regarded as one of the greatest cars in recent memory but this hack writer says this….

    “As there’s nothing in Cadillac’s upcoming lineup to pique my interest”

    What an embarrassment.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Greatest cars for what? Maybe the hack writer needs the space of a minivan. A Ferrari is a great car too, but you can’t haul a family in it and with a limited salary one has to make choices and not one of their cars have piqued my interest since the F40.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “CT4/5-V Blackwing has been generally regarded as one of the greatest cars in recent memory”

      You mean the thing which has sold a few thousand examples total in USDM? The one where getting a V8 in a CADILLAC car starts at $83K?

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    So they took out the crown, the wreath, the ducks, and now the colors.

    All we have left is a squished shield with random lines inside. I’m guessing they’ll be cleaning up the lines next?

  • avatar
    Vae Victis

    It’s Chevy with that obnoxious oversized gold bowtie and not Cadillac that needed a logo change.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Possibly True Fact: Cadillac plans its logo changes 3 to 5 generations ahead.

    This is all part of a carefully orchestrated plan.

  • avatar

    Simplicity – Apple’s logo is very simple and monochrome and by monochrome I mean a single shade. Every car maker wants to be an Apple of autos. No one wants to be Motorola or Samsung.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    A colorless logo for a colorless EV driving experience. I get it. Brilliant! What’ll they think of next?

  • avatar
    stuki

    Now aren’t we clever: We can make a new Logo!!!!! And, like, handbags!! And Coffee!!! Wow!!!

  • avatar

    after reducing dealer margin which effectively chopped sales staff compensation, engaging in distress merchandising that diminished the brand, interfering with, and culling franchise operations, changing nameplates with regularity, this boring and bland logo is inconsequential. GM marketing has destroyed this once iconic marque. party is over for Cadillac whether ICE or EV.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I agree, but we’ve been doing the Cadillac death watch for years and yet, somehow, they’re still here. I guess the Escalade and SRX/XT5 is enough to carry them

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Lots of huffing and puffing over a logo, which doesn’t make much difference to buyers in the end. But styling does make a difference, and the Lyriq is ugly. I don’t think that thing is going to sell.

    Now, imagine if they’d done an electrified version of the Escala, or a Lyriq without rear-end styling by Timothy Leary.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    The logo was the missing piece for sure. Great work! You can skip working on parts availability, people like having their vehicle sit around waiting on a part that they are putting in a new vehicles while you wait. Mmm free coffee. Maybe keep selling extended warranties that don’t cover random sh*t. No need to retain existing loyal customers, now that the new logo will bring in new customers. Better get some crowd control at the dealerships.

    /s

  • avatar
    picard234

    I’ve had the misfortune of being in GM marketing meetings. Ugh. I can just imagine some overpaid nerd patting himself on the back for this strategy.

  • avatar
    DungBeetle62

    “Recipes traditionally involve stripping as much color as possible from the existing logo and then offering up a press release explaining how this symbol is an expression of the changing corporate ideologies as they make irrelevant proclamations about the need for a more just and sustainable future.”

    This. For the win.

    If you can’t tell the difference between the old and new logos when you see the car pass by at speed (I’m talking to YOU specifically BMW, VW and Nissan) what was the point?

    As for Cadillac, I’d be curious to see the Market Research that told them people weren’t considering their cars because their logo had color? It wasn’t the logo color-vs.-no color design issue that got my folks to switch from a Caddy to a Lexus as much as the $4000 suspension repair needed on a barely-out-of-warranty Sedan DeVille. They never looked back.

    The winners here: whatever consulting firms they paid to barely change the logo. At least the Kia folks did something.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Forget the logo, which absolutely no one besides blog writers who are easily triggered by fake-PC marketing BS cares about.

      (On a side note, one wonders why the writer isn’t equally triggered by the fake-patriotic “‘Murica” crap FCA was peddling with Ram pickups, or that Stellantis is shoveling at us with the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but I digress.)

      The only question is this: will people want the Lyriq? Answer: only if they want something with an unbelievably ugly rear end treatment.

      Cadillac could put the world’s greatest logo on this thing and people are still going to think, “I’m not spending sixty or seventy grand for something this hideous.” And that’s all that matters.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I think the Caddy badge actually wears the stripped-down look better than many other brands that have recently done the same to their badges.

    BMW, Nissan, Mini, VW, and a recent addition, Volvo, have all “flattened” their badges, and the result is badges that look wispy and weak compared to their 3D versions (BMW and Nissan in particular. Volvo pretty bad too.). At least the visual structure of the Caddy badge, with all the lines, still looks bold and strong. I like the way they use the new badge at huge sizes with big CADILLAC / BE ICONIC type on the new Lyriq ads. Bold and in ya face. Not for everyone. Like a Caddy should be!

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Meanwhile their are companies that get it. If I could have bought a new 4Runner with a V8 last year I would have. As it turns out the Lexus GX460 wound up being about the same price as a loaded 4Runner with the V6. A year later and I’m very, very impressed with the Lexus customer service. Never had a “luxury” brand before so this isn’t a fair comparison but if I could afford it I would stay Lexus going forward. How much plasma do I need to sell to get a LC500? Maybe that extra kidney I’ve been hording :)

  • avatar
    IBx1

    They just wanted to beat the weather to the punch and strip/fade/chip the paint off from day 1.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    GM could make a totally gonzo electric car but they won’t. Gm needs to buy a few S classes and a few LS’. Tell their engineers, make our new Cadillac that good. Get the Corvette and Escalade guys together. Something bold, unabashedly American and electric. That’s how you win back Standard of The World. They won’t, GM would never let the true believers loose.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM should buy Lexus and Toyota Centuries instead and study their build quality. S class might have some nice features but the Germans overcomplicate their vehicles. Should also buy some Hyundai Genesis and study what they have done as well. Ok to study the Germans as long as GM doesn’t overthink like the Germans. Quality and simplicity are much better goals along with more automation in manufacturing.

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