Volkswagen has unveiled a new brand design and logo at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt. Debuting along with the fully electric ID.3 hatchback, Wolfsburg is calling this the “New Volkswagen”, marking the start of a new era for the carmaker.

Volkswagen’s future is electric, fully connected and has a neutral carbon balance, and this is the logo for the times. “The new brand design marks the start of the new era for Volkswagen. By formulating new content and with new products, the brand is undergoing a fundamental transformation towards a future with a neutral emission balance for everyone. Now is the right time to make the new attitude of our brand visible to the outside world,” said Jürgen Stackmann, member of the brand board of management responsible for sales, marketing and after-sales.

VW says that with the new brand design, it has created a uniform global 360-degree brand experience which is more modern and more authentic. The new Volkswagen logo makes the change from 3D to a flat two-dimensional design, which is clearer and reduced to its essential elements. In addition, the simpler new logo will be able to be used very flexibly – a sample image below shows the logo in various blue tones and on different coloured backgrounds – this was not possible with the outgoing blue and white logo.

The realignment of Volkswagen’s brand design will be one of the world’s largest rebranding campaigns, involving 171 markets in 154 countries, 10,000 facilities of dealers and service partners throughout the world, and about 70,000 logos. The changeover to the new logo and corporate identity is due to be completed by mid-2020. It applies both to Volkswagen Passenger Cars and to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The global changeover is to be implemented using a cost-optimised, resource-conserving approach. Initially, the brand’s locations and dealers in Europe will be changed over, followed by China in October. It will then be implemented step-by-step in North and South America as well as the rest of the world from the beginning of 2020.

Volkswagen’s chief designer Klaus Bischoff played a key role in the development of the new CI. “In the new brand design, we have created an authentic communications platform for the emotional presentation of e-mobility. We are showing the Volkswagen of the future under the motto of ‘digital first’ and ‘no filter'” he said.

“We have created a new holistic global brand experience on all channels and across all touch points. As a general principle, the aim in future will not be to show a perfect advertising world. In our presentation, we want to become more human and more lively, to adopt the customer’s perspective to a greater extent and to tell authentic stories,” chief marketing officer Jochen Sengpiehl explained.

The cool thing about this rebranding is that the foundations were not laid by external agencies but by a joint team of Volkswagen Design and Marketing. The design was implemented with the full integration of all departments of the company in the record time of nine months using a “powerhouse concept” developed by Volkswagen specially for this purpose. A total of 19 internal teams and 17 external agencies were involved in the project.

Logo aside, the new visual language of the brand will be bolder and more colourful. The focus will be on people, and VW will “no longer concentrate on perfectionism in vehicle photography.” In the future, the main objective will be to present realistic situations that customers can identify with. See the sample images below for an idea.

VW says that moving forward, the logo will be illuminated, on the vehicle, at the brand locations and at the dealerships. We will also hear the change – VW says that instead of a brand claim, it will have a “sound logo” for the first time, making the brand distinctive in acoustic terms.

For several decades, Volkswagen has used a male voice to present its vehicles and for advertising purposes (usually very deep; go on, play the “Volkswagen, Das Auto” line in your mind) but the brand is now to become female. On almost all markets, a woman with a warm, pleasant and confident voice will speak for Volkswagen.