BMW Logo


The car brand BMW is associated with the speed available to everyone. These are cars produced serially, but with all the signs of elite transport. The company has existed since 1916, during the World War it was famous for the supply of motorcycles and aircraft engines for the German army.

Meaning and history

BMW Logo history

The iconic car making company, BMW was established in 1913 as RAPP Motorenwerke, specializing in the production of engines for aircraft, and changed its name to Bayerische Motoren Werke, or simply BMW, in 1916. So it’s pretty fair to start telling its logo history from the original RAPP version.

The first car, released under the BMW brand, was called Dixi (Latin – “I said”, “I said everything”). This is how the ancient Roman philosophers finished their monologues. Indeed, the high-speed compact car Dixi became a new word in the automotive industry, setting a record speed of 1920-1930-ies.

One version of the logo design appeals to the flag of Bavaria as the main object of this logo (on the flag alternate blue and white rhombuses). And really, why not consider this version?

1913 – 1916

BMW Logo 1913

The RAPP logo, designed in 1913 was composed of a circular medallion with a thick black framing, where two delicate white stripes and two white stars were placed, separating the “RAPP MOTOR” wordmark in all capitals.

Inside the circle, there was a black horse silhouette in profile. The chess knight figurine was turned to the left.

1916 – 1933

BMW Logo 1916

The first version of the iconic blue and white checkered insignia was designed in 1916. It featured a thick black framing with a thin gold outline and “BMW” letters in a rounded serif typeface arched along its upper part.

The inner-circle was composed of a bright blue and white pattern, resembling of the plane’s propeller, and representing the company’s value of its legacy and roots.

The choice of colors is pretty easy to explain — blue and white is the official palette of the Bavarian Flag.

1923 – 1953

BMW Logo 1923

In 1923 the logo was modified and modernized: the contours were cleaned and made bolder. Now the framing became even thicker than it used to be due to the enlargement of the Golden outline.

As for the main change, it was definitely the typeface of the gold “BMW” lettering, which became sleeker and chicer now with smooth bold serif lines.

1936 – 1963

BMW Logo 1936

Gold was replaced by silver in 1936. As for the main blue and white pattern, it became lighter, and now the logo looked fresh, resembling something ice-cold. The black outline became a little more delicate due to the thin silver outline.

The gray lettering was now executed in a sharp straight serif font with distinct cuts and edges, reflecting a powerful and progressive brand. This logo stayed with the company for almost 30 years.

1963 – 1997

BMW Logo 1963

The contours of the badge were refined in 1963. The logo got a perfectly balanced modern look, and the color palette became a bit more intense and calm.

The “BMW” wordmark was now executed in white sans-serif font with clear looks lines, reflecting authority and value of quality and style.

The silver outline of the framing was also replaced by thin white lines, making the emblem flat, yet modern and very strong.

1970 – 1989

BMW Logo 1970

The additional logo version was designed for the famous German automaker in 1970 — it was a bright and colorful badge, where the official emblem from 1963 was placed in the middle of a bigger circle, composed of thick lines in different shades of blue, white and pink.

1997 – Today

BMW Logo 1997

The most recognizable and distinct logo for BMW was created in 1997 and remained to be official until 2020. But even after the introduction of the new design in 2020, the previous badge still stays on the bonnets of the iconic German autos.

The version of 1997 is composed of a three-dimensional circle with a thick black frame in a silver-gray outline and white sand-serif nameplate. The inner blue and white patterns now have black lines, separating the propeller’s segments from each other. This makes the logo look strict yet contemporary and professional.

2020 – Today

BMW logo

In 2020 the company goes minimalist and redraws its logo in a 2D way, removing the black color. Now the circle with blue and white checkers boasts a thin gray outline and a thick white frame, where the gray “BMW” inscription in a modern slightly extended typeface is placed.

The logo looks fresh and cool, reflecting the progress of the brand and its willingness to move to the new era.


BMW symbol

Regarding the symbolism of the BMW logo and today, almost 90 years after the company was founded and the logo was created, they argue.

The first and most obvious symbolic meaning of the image is an airplane rotating at high speed against the blue sky.

However, there was another symbolic explanation of the logo, and it has to do with chess. Indeed, the strategic thinking of the founders of BMW allowed them to “outplay” both competitors and winners of the First and Second World Wars, and to preserve and develop (even under the most unfavorable conditions) production.


Emblem BMW

In principle, the emblem of BMW for years of existence has not changed. The form – a circle, with a “chess” element in the center and a black contour, serves as the basis for font writing. Even the colors have survived (to a greater or lesser extent, given the transformation of blue in the logo), which clearly indicates the brand’s desire to preserve the best, but at the same time flexibly follow the new trends.


BMW Font


Considering that the basis of the logo from the time of founding of the company has not practically changed – the circle divided into 4 color segments in the center, the outline of which is the background for the font name of the brand, then the font itself changed and is quite strong.

The original font – with serifs, rather thin lines – seemed to the creators not impressive enough. The writing became bold, but the color remained golden. Subsequently, the font was unified, the notches disappeared, the lines acquired a uniform thickness. And the color – it became white, and up to now it is the white (silver) font that is considered classic for the brand.

Font BMW Logo

What does the BMW logo stand for?
The iconic BMW logo, executed in the official colors of the Bavaria region, depicts a stylized geometric image, which resembles an airplane propeller. At the beginning of its history, the company was specialized in propelled manufacturing, and the link to the brand’s legacy is still kept in the logo.


Color BMW logo

The choice of color for the emblem of labor was not – a combination of blue and white colors is a special combination of Bavaria. In similar colors, the flag of this land is also decided. And although the shades in the logo periodically changed – the blue became more or less saturated, and even turned into a blue one – but for the creators of the logo it is still the colors of the Bavarian flag.

It is interesting that the font color in the 1930s changed from gold to white (silver). Thus, the brand emphasized its desire to make elite cars more affordable for the middle class.