After nearly 20 years, Volkswagen has once again updated their iconic logo and brand identity in the hopes to push towards the future alongside the release of an electric car. To the untrained eye, there does not seem to be much of a difference to the logo. After a closer look, however, the subtle changes become more noticeable and make perfect sense with the rest of the new identity. Just like so many other logo updates in the past 5 years, its facelift gives it a more modernized and simplified appearance, allowing the logomark to be used in just about any scenario without losing its identity. In my opinion, this update makes perfect sense, and is definitely a step in the right direction.
The biggest difference in the new logo is the change from a three-dimensional icon to one that is stripped back to its basic two-dimensional core. While this may seem to be the new direction that a lot of other brands have taken in the past (ex. Google, Taco Bell), the new 2019 Volkswagen looks back to its past logos and takes inspiration from a few of the earlier versions. Still, there are a few noticeable differences that are worth mentioning in this update.
With the dropping of the skeuomorphic design aesthetic and adopting a simpler and flatter design, the new VW logo can easily be inverted in color and placed on top of just about any color or image without losing its identity. There is no longer a blue background, chrome letters, highlights, or shadows at all. It is simply the core elements of the logo that remain recognizable.
One significant difference of the icon is that the strokes of the logo have been reduced in thickness a great deal. The thinner shapes create a more open look to the symbol, which allows it to still be read as VW when reduced to even the smallest sizes. The two letters are given a bit more space between them, so they are seen as separate letters and not a merged shape. And finally, the two bottom points of the W are shown not connected to the outer ring, which is a brand new change for this version of the logo. With very subtle changes, this iconic logo has given their identity a fresh new look, while keeping the brand recognition they’ve earned over the past 90 years.
When it comes to logo redesigns, sometimes all it takes is a little freshening up to breathe new life into a brand that may have become stale over time. Subtle adjustments and minor touch ups bring out the best in great logos, and let it truly shine for what it is at its core. This update for Volkswagen does just that.