Tradition-conscious, authentic, clear: The new MINI logo

Tradition-conscious, authentic, clear: The new MINI logo

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At the core of the new MINI brand identity lies an awareness of traditional values. But it is always in combination with the spirit of development with an orientation to the future. This philosophy also has a reflection in the visual appearance of the British premium brand, of which the central element is the MINI brand logo. The current interpretation of the globally familiar logo has a smaller design that focuses on the essentials. It will be on all current MINI models from March 2018 onwards.

The new MINI logo draws on the three-dimensional style of depiction that has existed since the relaunch of the brand in 2001, applying this to a form of visual expression known as “flat design” that homes in on the key graphic elements. The designers kept the traditional motif of a winged wheel with the brand name in capital letters at the centre. That means the logo will be instantly recognised.

The avoidance of shading and grey tones creates a contrasting black-and-white effect. It conveys the authenticity and clarity of the new brand identity. Its two-dimensional character also allows universal application. The new logo will be a product label to all MINI models – on the bonnet, at the rear, at the centre of the steering wheel and on the remote control.

The latest redesign ushers in another chapter in the history of the MINI brand logo

There is an especially striking similarity with the signet for the classic Mini in the mid-1990s. At that time, the brand name also appeared in uppercase letters in the middle of a circle with stylised wings.

This combination of the wheel and wing symbols dates back to the very early years of the classic Mini. When the British Motor Corporation (BMC) put the Morris Mini-Minor on the market together with the structurally identical Austin Seven in 1959, the former bore the logo of the Morris brand. It consisted of a red ox and three blue waves – the symbol of the city of Oxford – which appeared inside a circle with two stylised wings to the left and right. By contrast, the sibling model – which went by the name of Austin Mini from 1962 onwards – bore its hexagonal logo above the radiator grille, showing the brand’s inscription and emblem. Two additional individual variants of the revolutionary small car also appeared under two other BMC brand names – Wolseley and Riley.

The multiple identities of the classic Mini came to an end in 1969

From then on it was produced solely at the Longbridge plant in the UK and at the same time was given the sole, illustrious model designation of Mini. To mark this step, the classic Mini also received a new logo. The motif here was a classic emblem featuring an abstract design that had no similarity at all with the original symbols. The so-called Mini shield remained in use for decades, its design being adapted on a number of occasions. Numerous special classic Mini models had individual logos, though all of them used for a base the universal emblem format.

The new edition of the Mini Cooper in 1990 saw a change to these strict principles. There was now a return to traditional logo design and a focus on the sporting merits of the classic Mini. A chrome-plated wheel with stylised wings echoed the Morris Mini-Minor logo. But instead of the ox and waves, the red inscription “MINI COOPER” now appeared with a green laurel wreath against a white background. In 1996 the company used this variant to the other models after modifying its background and the inscription “MINI”.

Just a few years later during relaunch preparations for the brand – which today belongs to the BMW Group – there was a decision to redefine not just the MINI identity but also its logo

In this case, the designers took for a base the most recent for the classic Mini logo. At its premiere in November 2000, the modern MINI appeared with a high-quality, three-dimensional logo design. It featured the brand inscription in white against a black background. The chrome wheel and stylised wings remained without change for nearly 15 years. They became the globally familiar symbol of driving fun, individual style and premium quality in a small car of the 21st century. The new MINI logo likewise reflects a clear commitment to the tradition of the British brand, which now stretches back almost 60 years.

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