Best dressed: Audi deemed the all-electric Q8 e-Tron SUV as a logical place to debut its updated logo.

AUDI has worn its four-ring logo from the time it converged with Saxony car-makers DKW, Horch and Wanderer – each ring representing one of the four brands of the Auto Union – at the height of the Great Depression.

The company soon became Germany’s second-largest automobile manufacturer and in 1978 rebranded simply to Audi, maintaining the four rings as a nod to its interesting past.

Now, the four rings that adorn the front of every Audi model have come in for a modern makeover.

Brand strategist Frederik Kalisch and designer Andre Georgi were tasked with the important role of updating the famed logo for the electric age and said the Q8 e-tron quattro SUV was a logical place to start.

“As a progressive premium brand, Audi targets modern customers who value high-quality design and attention to detail,” explained Mr Kalisch.

“There are really only two basic trends in brand presentation and product design today that express precisely this premium quality: That is, on the one hand, the loud and very bold, and on the other, the restrained, pure, and clean.”

A clean look is one designer Mr Georgi says aligns well with Audi’s philosophy of innovation through technology and says a more minimalist look was something current Audi customers have come to expect.

“The purist approach is more in line with our philosophy. One readily apparent thing: Strong brands win over customers primarily through their products’ underlying substance and discreet identifying elements,” said Mr Georgi.

“At Audi, this has always been the case, and we’re now making it even more consistent. Our philosophy is that every detail must convey a meaning or serve a purpose. On the product, it is – above all, our four rings, unmissable on the front and rear of every Audi model, that make an Audi an Audi.

“We want our quality to speak through the design and the product itself. The new two-dimensional look gives our rings a significantly more modern and even more graphic makeover, although their geometry is almost identical to the former ones.”

Indeed, the two-dimensional logo is one several brands have adopted as they move into the electrified age.

Mr Kalisch explained that the highly graphic nature of the logo ensures consistency across customer touchpoints, helping the four rings appear the same regardless of when or how they are viewed.

“The two-dimensional rings originated at Audi in 2016 as a consequence of digitalisation, essentially to depict the rings in a manner that suited the medium. Three-dimensionality on two-dimensional displays would not have met our technical and aesthetic requirements,” he said.

“Our brand logo is highly graphic – which is an advantage, as it looks great in two dimensions. To ensure a consistent brand presence across all customer touchpoints, we coordinated with the design team to kick off the process of redesigning the rings on our vehicles.”

The meaning behind the change was emphasised by Mr Georgi, who explained that it is important that Audi’s corporate identity is standardised across all mediums.

“Using a two-dimensional logo on the outside of our vehicles first came up in 2019. Then things really took off at the beginning of 2020,” he said.

“Our vision is to move the corporate identity from the digital area we just described onto our vehicles and to standardise vehicle identification across all models. We want the four rings to look the same everywhere in the future: Whether in a magazine, on your smartphone, or a billboard – and on or inside the car.”

Mr Georgi said the changes, although subtle, help to optically brighten the logo, while maintaining a premium-quality look.

“Our vehicle logo comprises three components. We’re keeping it consistently free of chrome with a high-contrast black-and-white look. It’s as though the striking white floats are embedded in a black glass body for an even greater radiance,” he explained.

“By optically brightening the logo, the white lends the rings a flat, premium-quality look, which still appears three-dimensional in detail.”

The senior designer explained that the materiality of the logo was an important part of the redesign, saying the black and white rings help to give the now 93-year-old emblem an “unmistakable corporate identity”.

“Today’s chrome rings stand for high quality; the material alone conveys that message. But we believe that we have found the ‘new chrome’. The clarity of the new black and white rings makes our corporate identity unmistakable,” said Mr Georgi.

“The thin black border around the rings makes for a consistent, premium-quality appearance, regardless of the car’s paint or radiator grille colour; and customers can continue to opt for our new rings in black. This variation replaces the white with a dark grey that looks like high-gloss black.”

Beyond the four rings, Mr Kalisch and Mr Georgi say there are other “vehicle identification schemes” that will tie in with the brand’s future strategy.

The Audi Type font has been modernised along with a number of other “technological identifiers” that bring the same tone-on-tone theme displayed on the four ring badge to other elements of the vehicle.

“In 2020, our team reworked the brand strategy and corporate identity. This rework led to our new vehicle identification strategy, including the vision of two-dimensional rings on our vehicles,” said Mr Kalisch.

“The updated identification scheme matches our new brand strategy. That means more understatement, more sophistication.”

Sophistication, and recognisable says Mr Georgi.

“It’s not only that vehicle identification has become more premium; we have also standardised the fonts in and on the vehicle. In the future, our models will only use Audi’s unique font, known as ‘Audi Type’,” he said.

“The basic tone is significantly more restrained without compromising on distinctiveness or quality. We’ve now designated the B-pillar as the detailed model, derivative, and technology identifier.

“This designation is because it has an identical design across all vehicles: always two parts in high-gloss black and always in the passengers’ field of view when entering and exiting. The lettering on the B-pillar was deliberately engraved tone-on-tone.

“Identification and vehicle design now act as a unit that aligns with Audi’s new brand positioning.”

goauto, car reviews, road tests, first drive, driving impressions, audi

NEWS RELATED

Audi delivered 118,196 electric vehicles over 2022

Audi delivered 118,196 fully electric cars worldwide in 2022, 44.3 per cent more than in 2021. Electric cars thus accounted for around 7.3 per cent of the brand’s total sales last year (1.61 million cars). The first six-figure total result for deliveries of electric models was made possible primarily ...

View more: Audi delivered 118,196 electric vehicles over 2022

Audi Doesn’t Make Minivans So What Is This?

Yes, we know that Audi doesn’t make minivans. But then, what is this? From any angle you look at, it’s an Audi. With the Euro plates you may be thinking this is a Euro-only Audi, but it’s not. Though it had us fooled, this started out as a Seat Alhambra ...

View more: Audi Doesn’t Make Minivans So What Is This?

The Most Expensive Luxury Midsize SUV Isn’t Necessarily the Best

When shoppers look at luxury cars, they likely will expect them to be great cars that have great specs and are loaded with features, and they expect them to be expensive. As a general rule of thumb, car shoppers also know that the more expensive a car is, the more ...

View more: The Most Expensive Luxury Midsize SUV Isn’t Necessarily the Best

Burst sewage pipe destroys $134K Audi on camera: ‘The car is filling up with feces’

It got turned into a Porta-Audi. A $134,000 sports car in Russia resembled a mobile septic tank after a burst pipe inundated the luxury whip with sewer water, as seen in odiferous footage with over 376,000 views on Instagram. “The sewage pipe snapped and broke the window,” responding officer Andrei ...

View more: Burst sewage pipe destroys $134K Audi on camera: ‘The car is filling up with feces’

10 Vehicles With the Highest Depreciation of Over 50% in 5 Years

When looking for a new vehicle to buy, most don’t consider depreciation, especially if you don’t plan on trading it in. However, this might be a mistake. This can impact several factors, such as how much you could get from insurance in the case of an accident or how much ...

View more: 10 Vehicles With the Highest Depreciation of Over 50% in 5 Years

Audi to upgrade all factories for EV production by 2029

Audi has presented its plan for future production strategy under the slogan ‘360factory’. By the end of this decade, the brand will manufacture electrically powered models at all production sites worldwide. The background to this is Audi’s announcement that from 2026 it will only be launching new battery-electric models ...

View more: Audi to upgrade all factories for EV production by 2029

Audi to transform global production sites to make EVs by 2029

Audi has embarked on accelerating the electrification effort. According to a production plan for the future announced on December 20, every Audi plant will make EVs by 2029. The automaker will mostly invest in existing production bases to reach the goal. The luxury vehicle manufacturer said it aims to ...

View more: Audi to transform global production sites to make EVs by 2029

Second Audi Activesphere teaser shows dark, luxurious digs

The fourth and final piece in Audi’s Sphere quartet of concept cars gets another tease. The Ingolstadt automaker gave us a shadowy preview of the Activesphere in August, saying little more about the preview than the promise of “maximum variability for an active lifestyle on and off-road.” This news ...

View more: Second Audi Activesphere teaser shows dark, luxurious digs

2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron and SQ8 E-Tron First Drive: New name, better range and more fun

The Good Oil: Hennessey Performance Audi RS 6 and the Ultimate Christmas car record

5 Luxury Brands With the Best Resale Value

What Is the Most Expensive Audi Cars to Maintain?

4 Advantages the Audi Q5 Has Over the Lincoln Corsair

Want a Reliable Audi? Avoid These Audi S4 Years

VW is reorganizing Quality and Design departments

Audi launches production of the Q8 e-tron

Volkswagen and Audi Recall Potentially Over 74,000 SUVs

Q7 vs the Rest: Which 2023 Three-Row Luxury SUV Is the Best Value?

2023 Audi Q7 Buyer’s Guide: What You Need to Know Before Buying an Audi Q7

Audi Q2 delisted from the Audi India's official website

OTHER NEWS