Volkswagen, known colloquially as “VW”, emerged from its history before the beginning of World War II in 2 as the project promoted by Adolf Hitler to manufacture a “people's car”. Today Volkswagen AG is one of the world's leading, listed automobile manufacturers with over 1937 models under the Volkswagen brand.
What does the Volkswagen logo mean?
The logo of the car manufacturer from Wolfsburg consists of a “V” which is placed above the “W”. Both letters are surrounded by a circle and are directly related to each other due to their similar shape. The background is white and the letters are black.
This basic form has never changed fundamentally in the past, but over time, contemporary elements have been repeatedly modified and adapted.
In the original version from 1937, the circle was given the appearance of a gear wheel on the outer edge with black rectangles evenly spaced. The proximity to the logo of the National Socialist German Workers' Front (DAF) and thus to the owner of the newly founded company was clear. The logo was officially designed by Porsche engine designer Franz Xaver Reimspieß. The technician won a 50 Reichsmark competition exit for the logo creation. A graphic artist from Austria, Nikolai Borg, officially claimed the copyright of the logo. In 2006, this claim was dismissed in court.
With the registration in 1938 and the entry in the Reich Patent Office the following year, the logo “V and W in the toothed rim” became more and more popular as a sign and identification symbol. There was a slight modification in the following war years, so that the gears were provided with swastika wings. This newer design by Franz Xaver Reimspieß is based on the logo of the Nazi leisure organization “Kraft durch Freude”. It was also used on letterheads and in external presentation until 1945.
The Volkswagen was to be sold according to Hitler's plans for 990 Reichsmark, so that this car was affordable for a large number of citizens and for the first time should enable mobility for the middle class and the entire people. Because of this idea, this car was called Volkswagen.
At the end of the war in 1945, the Volkswagen plant was taken over by the British. Re-use of the logo is only permitted with a simple round ring as a frame for the “V” above the “W”. The logo is registered as a trademark at the German Patent Office in 1948. After the first extensive VW Beetle production, logos with a square border around the circle were also used in the 1950s and 1960s. After the initial black and white use, the color blue is used more and more frequently in the 1960s, so that the letters and the circle are shown in blue on a white background. The blue is significantly lighter than in the current version. This version also appears on the first official 1960 annual report.
With the logo version in 1978, the letters “V” changed to “W” in white on a blue background. The letters are enclosed in a white round frame, which is surrounded by another blue frame.
In 1995 the logo was used in a deeper, darker blue. At this point in time, the VW Group had around 260.000 employees and sales of around 88.000.000.000 D-Marks. At the turn of the millennium, the logo is three-dimensional for the first time with a slight curvature and the color gray was integrated. Further slight modifications followed in recent years and with the introduction of electromobility, the logo should again reduce the focus on the essential components in a flat 2D look.
Due to the global dealer network, around 70.000 logos have to be adjusted in the event of logo adjustments.