BMW has revealed its new corporate identity for its online and offline communication purposes, with the BMW, BMW i and BMW M logos reworked for a new look. The logos’ new designs are now more minimalist and two-dimensional, which BMW says ‘conveys openness and clarity’, while the transparent BMW logo is “a more open invitation than ever for customers to join the world of BMW,” the automaker said.

“Our new brand design is geared to the challenges and opportunities of digitalization for brands. With visual restraint and graphic flexibility, we are equipping ourselves for the vast variety of touch points in communication at which BMW will be present, online and offline, in the future,” said BMW senior vice president of customer and brand, Jens Thiemer.

This means the new logo will be seen on the brand’s billboards, websites and print material, but the new logo won’t be on all its products and locations, however. The existing logo will continue to be used on the brand’s vehicles, as well as for the interior and exterior branding of its dealerships.

The global launch of the new brand design took place earlier this week, and the transition period continues until May 31, 2021 for the continued rollout of the new logo on all online and offline communications, and at international trade fairs and events.

Briefly, on the history of the ‘propeller’ logo; why was it shaped the way it was, and why was blue and white chosen? The two colours represented the state colours of the Free State of Bavaria, and trademark protection law at the time – when the company received its logo in 1917 – prohibited the use of national coats of arms or other national emblems for a trademark or a logo.

That the shape was meant to signify an aircraft’s propeller was actually a myth, and only came about years after the company was registered. It had originated from a BMW advertisement in 1929, which advertised a new aircraft engine that BMW was building under license from Pratt & Whitney.

The first road-going example of the BMW logo was on the 1923 BMW R 32.

BMW itself didn’t commit serious effort to debunking the myth, and another magazine illustration in 1942 perpetuated the idea. “BMW has long made no effort to straighten the myth, and if you want to stick to the BMW propeller myth, you are not entirely wrong,” said Fred Jakobs, head of the BMW Group Classic archive.

The variant with the rotor in the BMW logo is actually wrong, says the company, though the explanation has become natural through the constant repetition.”The interpretation has been common for 90 years and is therefore also justified,” said Jakobs.