Analyzing the Volkswagen Logo

Analyzing the Volkswagen Logo


A brand name is the sturdiest and the most critical asset for any organization. Nonetheless, in the pressure of making sales, firms normally forget that the value of a brand supersedes merely a tagline, a positioning declaration, an advertising crusade or slogan, as well as a logo (Pries & Schweer 3). A brand incorporates all the mentioned components and even more. It is a prerogative and assurance of performance and merit. It is an identity and business culture.

The increasing uniformity in the modern-day market has immensely increased the brand and its communication compared to previous years. Pries & Schweer (4) note that the audience is quickly evolving with the times. Bearing this in mind, a couple of brands have continuously evolved. Volkswagen is one such brand that has refocused its communication.

The Volkswagen logo is critical in enhancing its brand name and market presence. This explains the reasoning behind the company’s decision to upgrade it after the 2015 scandal. Ewing (2) indicates that the company’s decision to change the Volkswagen logo is also linked to the preparation for the adoption of electric cars and attempting to fix the image issues after its diesel vehicles were found to have been installed with software called “defeat devices” that reduced the degree of emission during pollution-control tests. This was in contravention of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

I have selected Volkswagen (VW) since I have been working at Metadesign for the new Volkswagen 2019’s brand design as an intern. I am also attracted to some of Volkswagen’s iconic models such as the VW beetle.

Arnheim Ideas


Immediately on viewing, objects are deemed as being located somewhere and not isolated. Coming into sight of something implies positioning it in the frame of the whole: a position in space, a mark in the scale of brightness, size, or distance (Arnheim 10). A stark difference between assessing with a benchmark and applying visual verdicts has been established. We do not create distances, singly, sizes, directions, and then equate them one piece by piece.

Normally, we perceive these elements as features of the entire visual turf. Nonetheless, another equally critical variance exists. The sense of sight produces images that lack staticity. In this regard, visual experience is dynamic (Arnheim 10). What an individual or animal observes as an organization of colors, objects, sizes, shapes, and movements, is possibly an interaction of focused tensions. These tensions are not added by the observer to static images for their personal reasons, but are rather characteristic in any percept as location, size, color, and shape. Due to their direction and quantity, the tensions can be deemed to be psychological “forces.”

Psychological and physical equilibrium is important in art. We should normally request that different elements in a work of art be disseminated in such a means that a balanced state results. Besides, some readers may perceive the call for equilibrium to entail a specific psychological, stylistic, or social inclination (Arnheim 20). Some individuals prefer equilibrium while others do not. Balance is attained by two forces of identical power that pull in opposed sides. Every determinate visual trend possesses a pivot or center of gravity similar to a physical body. The midpoint of a visual trend can be established through trial and error.

There are two components of visual objects that determine equilibrium: direction and weight. Weight in sculptural and pictorial substances applies itself in other directions as opposed to the downward direction only (Arnheim 23). For instance, the weight of objects observed within a painting seems to generate tension along the axis that links them to the observer’s eye, and it is difficult to establish whether it is pulling towards or pushing away from the observer. This is attributed to the fact that weight is normally an active consequence, but the tension is not essentially leaning along a bearing within the plane of the picture. Weight is affected by setting. A “strong” structural outline position can sustain more load than one lying off-center. This implies that an object placed at the center of a picture frame can be offset by placing smaller ones off-center.

Direction also influences equilibrium in that the forces that make up a system pay off one another based on the trio features of forces: the position of their attack point, their power, and direction. Arnheim (26) indicates that the direction that visual forces move is established by various variables for instance the attraction applied by the adjacent elements’ weight. The direction is also generated from the shape of items along their physical frame’s axes. Direction may also be generated by subject matter and in this regard we may define a human figure as either withdrawing or proceeding.

There is also the aspect of top and bottom. Due to the force of gravity, we live in anisotropic space where direction determines dynamics. To rise upwards implies to overcome resistance hence victory whereas to slope implies to submit to the pull from below hence interpreted as passive compliance (Arnheim 29). This space disproportion, therefore, implies that various positions are dynamically equivalent. More weight seems to be borne by an object of a specific shape, size, or color, when positioned higher up in the picture frame.

In the sense of sight, uprightness can be interpreted in many ways. When in an upright posture or lie in bed we are at minimum almost aware of the aim, physical perpendicular direction, otherwise known as “environmental orientation” (Arnheim 30). Nonetheless, we also talk of a picture’s top and bottom lying on a flat surface. The bending of our heads brings the “top” of the page above our visual field. This is referred to as “retinal orientation.” It is remains indefinite if the visual weight distribution varies based on if we see a hanged image or one lying flat on a surface.


Vision is termed as a process of active exploration. From the way functional apparatuses are described, one may be disguised into interpreting that the interrelated procedures of shape discernment are almost completely passive and progress in linear motion from the recording of the tiniest items to the compounding of bigger entities (Arnheim 42). However, both the conventions are deceptive. First, images do not merely imprint themselves upon a devotedly subtle tissue. Instead, when observing an object, we seek to touch it with an invisible finger, scan their planes, grab them, feel their texture, and trace their boundaries. Perceiving images is, therefore, deemed to be an extremely dynamic job.

A vision is an active clasp of the fundamentals. An intended observation of an object equips the eyes of an observer with the ability to observe minute details despite the fact that visual insight lacks the automated authenticity of a camera, which takes an unbiased record of everything (Arnheim 55). Evidence suggests that clutching of unresolved structural features marks the beginning of perception.

An object’s physical shape depends on its borders. Other spatial components are not basically deemed features of physical shape. Conversely, perceptual shape may change considerably with a shift in spatial orientation and environment (Arnheim 67). An object’s shape is not only a product of its borders, but also the frame of visual forces developed by the borders may, in turn, impact the outlook of the borders.

Shape is also determined by past influences. All visual experiences are entrenched in a framework of time and space. What an individual sees presently, is merely the result of his past observation (Arnheim 69). According to Gaetano Kanizsa, we have familiarized with our environmental objects specifically because they have established themselves for us via powers of perceptual arrangement acting before, and free of familiarity, hence permitting us to experience them (70). Secondly, the linkage between the shape of the current object and that of items observed in the past is not instinctive and universal, but is based on whether a connection is apparent between them.


Form is simply defined as the visible shape of something. Most basically, shape informs us of the nature of things as they appear outwardly. Hence, a shape is never supposed to be the form of one specific thing, but constantly as that of a kind of thing (Arnheim 98). Additionally, form supersedes the applied purpose of things by discovering in their shape the pictorial elements of acuity or sphereness, accord or conflict, and strength or fragility. It hence studies them figuratively as pictures of the human circumstance.

The double application of the theoretical concept of “naïve realism” culminates in the illusionistic principle. This interpretation does not differentiate the physical object and its image as recognized by the mind (Arnheim 106). There are also features of form that influence ordinary insight when we distinguish or fail to distinguish an object in its actual form or as one of its kind. An object’s appearance does not always remain identical, and a specific specimen does not share the same exact image as all other members of an identical species. Thereby, the impending question remains: what conditions must be met by visual form for an image to be identifiable?

The identity of a visual object is majorly pegged on its structural skeleton resulting from the shape as opposed to its actual shape. Whereas it is apparent that a lateral slant may not affect such a skeleton, on the contrary, it may. When slanted, a rectangle or triangle does not convert to a dissimilar item (Arnheim 134). Nonetheless, a slanting of a square by a comparable angle changes its form to a completely dissimilar figure such that it acquires a different name such as a rhombus or diamond.


Expression is described as the styles of organic or inorganic mannerism exhibited in the dynamic look of perceptual events or objects. The structural features of these styles are not restricted to what is grabbed by the peripheral intellects (Arnheim 444). On the contrary, they are evidently dynamic in the conduct of the human cognizance, and they are employed symbolically to depict an eternity of non-sensory spectacles.

William James lacked certainty of the existence of an intrinsically mutual relationship between mind and body. He believes that there is no total discrepancy between emotions and gestures emphasized by other scholars than it may seem (Arnheim 446). According to him, there lacks enough evidence that physical and mental facts are normally established from temporal succession as well as qualities such as volume, even or obstructed change, intensity, ease or difficulty, and respite or anxiety. James’s philosophy is that despite the variance between the body and mind media -in that one is material unlike the other- some of their structural properties may resemble.

The Company

The Volkswagen brand boasts a rich legacy as it has developed a strong linkage across both the young and old generations. Its brand name translates to ‘People’s Car’ in German and its slogan “Das Auto” implies ‘The Car’ in English.

Volkswagen AG (OTC: VLKAY), ranks among the largest and oldest automobile companies globally. The company posted a 235.8 Euro revenue for the financial year 2018 from sales of over 10.8 million units. Volkswagen Group or VW designs and manufactures a myriad of commercial and passenger vehicles in addition to other machinery, motorbikes, among others. The company is a GmbH, meaning a type of Limited Liability Company.

I have also had interest in Volkswagen due to its numerous acquisition of other automobile companies and brands. VW began its dominion in the automobile industry from as far back as the 1960s when it acquired Audi AG which is to date among the company’s most profitable brands. In the 2018 financial year, for instance, Audi AG raised revenues amounting to $59 billion on sales of approximately 1.47 million automobiles. VW has also acquired other luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti towards the close of 1990s. Ducati and Porsche also became VW group companies in 2012. In the economy market, VW acquired Czech automobile company Skoda in 2000, and in 1990, Spanish auto company SEAT.

The Actual Symbol about a Symbol

Volkswagen’s first logo included a VW engraving and the black symbol, stirred by the Nazi livery. Nonetheless, the black symbol was removed with the collapse of the War and the Volkswagen logo was in scripted into a black circle. In 1967, light blue color replaced black in the quest to develop a friendly global image. There was another significant change in 1978 as the colors on the logo were reversed. The letters ‘VW’ were painted white and positioned on a blue surface. The intensity of the blue color was increased in 1995 as it was also given 3D-shades and silver hues also included. Strangely, the VW letters on the Volkswagen logo have virtually remained unchanged from as far back as1930s. Up to date, it symbolizes the German mechanical superiority commercial accomplishment world-over. 

Volkswagen Logo (2019- Present)

The new logo unveiled in 2019 that the company believes will delve it into a new era.

Volkswagen logo (2015) 1920x1080 HD png

Volkswagen Logo (2015)

The company’s logo contains a “V” on top of “W” in a splendid interaction.

Volkswagen Emblem (2014) 1920x1080 (HD 1080p)

Volkswagen Emblem (2014)

The blue color symbolizes reliability, excellence, and class while the white color symbolizes purity, nobility, and charm.

Volkswagen logo (2000) 1920x1080 (HD 1080p)

Volkswagen Logo 2000

In 2000, there was an introduction of color blends and three-dimensionality on the letters.

Volkswagen logo (1978) 1920x1080 (HD 1080p)

Volkswagen Logo (1978)

Another critical change occurred as the colors were inverted. The VW letters were colored white and placed on a blue background.

Volkswagen symbol (1937) 1920x1080 (HD 1080p)

Volkswagen Symbol (1937)

VW logo in the 1930s whereby the initials were enclosed by a stylize cogwheel and swastika wings.


A brand name is the sturdiest and the most critical asset for any organization. The Volkswagen logo is critical in enhancing its brand name and market presence. Any proper automobile logo must contain four main ideas namely balance, shape, form, and expression. All these are encompassed in VW’s logo. Given the importance of psychological and physical equilibrium, different elements in a work of art should be disseminated in such a means that a balanced state results. Additionally, direction and weight are two components of visual objects that determine equilibrium. Due to the force of gravity, we live in anisotropic space where direction determines dynamics. A vision is an active clasp of the fundamentals hence an object’s physical shape depends on its borders as well as past influences. Furthermore, shape informs us of the nature of things as they appear outwardly. The double application of the theoretical concept of “naïve realism” culminates in the illusionistic principle. The identity of a visual object is majorly pegged on its structural skeleton resulting from the shape as opposed to its actual shape. Expression is described as the styles of organic or inorganic mannerism exhibited in the dynamic look of perceptual events or objects. Some scholars such as William James, however, believe that despite the variance between the body and mind media, some of their structural properties may resemble.

Works Cited

Arnheim, Rudolf. Art and Visual Perception: A psychology of the Creative Eye. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of Carlifornia Press, 1974.

Ewing, Jack. “Volkswagen memos suggest company misled US regulators.” New York Times 18 (2016).

Pries, Ludger, and Oliver Schweer. “The product development process as a measuring tool for company internationalisation? The case studies of DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen.” International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management 4.1 (2004): 1-21.

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