Audi stands for Progress through Technology and for innovative mobility; a promise that is reflected in the brand’s well-known logo. In line with the new electric era, Audi has renewed and modernized the famous four-ring logo. Designer Andr Georgi and brand strategist Frederik Kalisch explain what the new brand logo means for Audi.
The four-ring logo is considered one of Audi’s most important landmarks. Why do the cars get a new brand logo?
Frederick Kalish: As an innovative premium brand, Audi focuses on customers who value high-quality design and a keen eye for detail. In brand presentation and product design, there are currently two trends that would translate this: on the one hand loud and bold, on the other restrained, clean and simple.
Andrew Georgia: The purist approach suits Audi best. A strong brand is valued by the customer when it comes to a confident but subtle product with discreet emblems. This has always been the case at Audi, but is now being implemented consistently. Our philosophy: every detail must be meaningful or effective. Our brand logo with the four rings, which you can’t miss on the front and back of our models, makes an Audi an Audi. Thanks to the new two-dimensional design, our four rings look much more modern and rich in design.
Modern, but not fashionable, according to Audi. Still, two-dimensional logos are currently a trend. Did it play a role?
Calico: Two-dimensional rings were created at Audi as early as 2016 as a result of digitization. We wanted to portray the rings appropriately. However, three-dimensionality on two-dimensional screens did not meet our technical and aesthetic requirements. We have a very graphic brand logo. This is an advantage because it has the same strength two-dimensionally. To create unity in branding and products, we modernized the rings in collaboration with the design team.
Georgia: The idea of using a two-dimensional logo on our cars was born at the beginning of 2020. We wanted to transfer our digitally applied corporate identity to our cars while standardizing all decals. The four rings now look the same everywhere. Whether it’s in a magazine or on your smartphone, on the boot lid or on the steering wheel of your car.
What exactly did you change about the brand’s logo?
Georgia: We have moved away from chrome and now place white rings in a black base. As if the rings are floating. Because the brand emblem appears to light up, the rings have a flat, high-quality appearance that still looks three-dimensional in detail.
What exactly has changed in the material?
Georgia: We think we have found the new chrome: The white rings in the thin black base radiate the same quality as the previous chrome rings, regardless of the color of the paint or the grille on the car. The customer can also choose between completely black logos. Then the white rings are replaced by dark grey, creating a high-gloss effect.
In addition to the brand logo, the type designation of the cars has also changed. Why?
Calico: In 2020, Audi’s brand strategy and corporate identity have changed. This also results in the new type designation, in addition to the two-dimensional brand logos. The new type designations fit perfectly with the new brand strategy: more understatement, more refinement.
Georgia: From now on, we will use only one standardized font for our model designations. This is a unique font, Audi Type. We have chosen the B-pillars to display the model name, engine variant and technical version. The designation is the same on all models: in two parts, in high-gloss black and always in view of the passengers when entering and exiting.
Calico: Overly flashy decals do not appeal to our current modern customers.
Georgia: The car’s emblems and design now form a more unified whole, which closely matches Audi’s new brand positioning.