BMW’s New Transparent Logo Design Causes Controversy Along With Its Modernity

BMW’s new flat logo identity is released towards the digital sphere, and exposes the challenges of designing for modern times and multiple formats. The transparent appearance first released on the brand’s i4 model.

BMW has revealed a brand new logo to coincide with the release of its i4 concept car and yes, it’s another addition to the flat design movement. The classic black outer ring – which is now completely transparent and the 3D and lighting effects have been removed to create a minimal new look. The circle design remains due to its historical heritage as do the white and blue colors of the company’s home state of Bavaria.

The simplicity of the new design suggests it has been refreshed with digital in mind, but it also acknowledges the logo’s 103-year heritage – a solid example of both classic and modern logo design. Yet, it’s still drawing criticism from designers.




The new design for 2020 sees the removal of significant elements tying it to both Rapp and its own history, in particular in the decision to no longer use black. It has drawn criticism for appearing unfinished, yet BMW frames the transparency of the logo as part of a wider new chapter in the company’s history, as it becomes a “relationship brand.”

Jens Thiemer, Senior VP of Customer & Brand commented about the change,

The new communication logo radiates openness and clarity. With visual restraint and graphic we are equipping ourselves flexibly for the wide variety of contact points in communication at which BMW will show its presence online and offline in the future.

Just like Mastercard’s dropping the name from the logo and Mini’s new minimal logo, the more ‘minimal’ you go, the more it begins to get hard to be understood.