Separated letters and a narrower stroke give the VW emblem a modernist twist.

Volkswagen unveiled its new corporate logo last year, but unlike BMW, the Wolfsburg automaker will actually put it on its cars. A modernized version of the iconic VW badge first appeared in the U.S. on the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (globally on the Golf 8), and the company released another image of it adorning a refreshed 2021 Atlas.

The new logo is characterised by a narrower stroke for both the letters and the circular band that encapsulates them. There’s also a distinct separation between the V and the W, and the W itself “floats” above the circle. Overall, the new emblem looks lighter and less bulky.

The old logo's three-dimensional effect is also gone – when printed on paper or displayed on a screen, the new emblem appears flat, with no highlights or shadows. One of the reasons for that particular change is to make sure the VW branding is flexible enough to be displayed on everything from a smartwatch home screen to a manufacturing facility marquee. Volkswagen isn’t alone in embracing this “digital first” philosophy. BMW did the same when it lightened, flattened, and thinned out its iconic roundel emblem last month, and Nissan is rumored to follow suit.

New Volkswagen Logo

According to the company, the new logo will roll out across all 10,000 dealers in 171 markets by the middle of this year. It should also gradually make its way to every VW-branded vehicle in the world, 6.2 million of which left dealer showrooms in 2019. The rebrand will also make way for a new marketing strategy, with six different blue/blue or blue/white colour schemes and a “more human and livelier” advertising campaign, according to Jochen Sengpiehl, VW’s chief marketing officer. 

Sengpiehl said the brand would focus on authentic storytelling across all of its marketing channels, a move that we hope will emphasize the brand’s storied history globally. Such a strategy would help Volkswagen engage with its past, even as it abandons the logo that has adorned its vehicles for more than 70 years.

Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas