Exploring the Legacy of Iconic Car Brands

Every picture tells a tale, and logos must work even harder to portray their tale. In this book, 29 iconic logo designs share their stories through this collection of pages.

Rob Janoff, Apple’s designer, claims that its iconic logo wasn’t designed as a tribute to either Turing or Newton; rather it served only to differentiate their product from others’ apples.

Table of Contents


Galesburg drivers recognize BMW for its luxurious and precise cars, but not everyone is aware of its rich legacy. Established in 1916 as Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH to manufacture aircraft engines, BMW quickly transitioned into manufacturing automobile engines before adopting its iconic blue and white color scheme to pay tribute to Germany. The BMW logo often depicts a propeller rotating in motion while its blue-white hue pays homage to Germany’s flag.

After World War I concluded, the company made railway brakes and built-in engines; however, following the Treaty of Versailles ban on German aircraft engines production, they returned to producing automobiles.

Although BMW initially struggled during its postwar era with microcars like Isetta and other cumbersome models, its Neue Klasse compact series of sedans established it as a leader in luxury segments like sedans. Today, however, its global presence makes BMW one of the world’s most recognized car brands.


Nestle has changed over time to reflect their changing business strategy, offering products such as baby food, coffee, pet foods and frozen meals. Nestle remains one of the industry leaders when it comes to nutrition – its logo depicts a mother bird feeding her chicks as a symbol of maternal love and care.

Henri Nestle had designed his family coat of arms as the original logo, including a single bird perched atop it in a nest. Although this heraldic emblem had meaning to him and his family, customers didn’t seem to connect with it.

In 1984, Nestle replaced their nest with a bold font similar to Helvetica containing “Nestle”. Their birds were reduced from three to two and its beak was rid of its wormy contents to reflect how most families today have only two children. This design change symbolizes this reality of modern families today.


Volkswagen AG (also known as VW Group) was established in 1937 and owned jointly by West Germany and Lower Saxony until 1960 when 60 percent of their shares were denationalized and sold off to shareholders.

Today, Volkswagen produces numerous types of vehicles and is an industry leader in pickup truck sales. Additionally, their rally racing drivers such as Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have won multiple races with their VW Golf R WRC vehicles.

Most people would be shocked to learn that Volkswagen produces one of the fastest cars on earth – known as the Bugatti Veyron and produced by their high performance division, they specialize in producing them. Volkswagen are also one of the world’s leaders in commercial vehicle production.


Mopar stands out as an iconic car brand for many reasons. Originally, its name stood for Motor and Parts Corporation – an abbreviation for “Motor parts” and “Car components.” Today, however, Mopar serves as a global service and parts brand for Chrysler, Fiat, and Dodge vehicles, providing genuine replacement parts, accessories, and tools.

Mopar’s reputation gained momentum during the muscle car era in the 1960s, when its performance parts helped cars gain street and drag strip credibility with speedy cars like Corvettes and Shelbys. Since then, its logo has come to symbolize speed and power; today Mopar manufactures maintenance parts and collision pieces for Chrysler-branded vehicles as well as racing engines and parts.

Mopar has constantly evolved their logo over time to accommodate technological innovations. Between 1972 and 1984, their emblem featured a pentastar with Mopar printed in white on a blue rectangle block; by 1985 however, their new emblem featured a larger Omega M symbol with red bars underneath.

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