Volkswagen’s basic logo design has remained fundamentally the same since the 1940s, with only minor changes over the years like taking off the bits that looked too awkward or varying the thickness of the lines. Nothing too major, until 2000, when it went to a three-dimensional, gradient-shaded logo that was more like an illustration of a physical badge than a logo. It now appears it’s going back to the flat, simple logo, much like the one it was using in the 1970s.

Well, it looks like the automotive world is finally getting on the design trend as well, albeit six years later. Specifically, Volkswagen is changing its logo, moving away from the bubblelike blue-and-white VW sign to a flat, simple black-and-white logo

The new, flatter, more internet-friendly logo will be on the upcoming Volkswagen Microbus and other new models. The new look is a striking difference to previous versions if one traces back the history of Volkswagen logos. It’s designed to look as good on a smartwatch as it does on a billboard.

With the updated logo, which will feature a more minimalistic, 2D bolder and more colorful design, Volkswagen is also introducing a new motto – “New Volkswagen.” It will be used in corporate presentations and customer contracts and should create a new 360° customer experience that is modern and fascinating throughout the world and across all channels.

Interestingly, the new brand design was not developed by an external agency but by a joint team of marketing specialists and designer with input from all departments of the company. The brand’s visual language will be very different from that projected by Volkswagen to date.

Although Volkswagen hasn’t officially rolled out the new logo, it will not be radically different; it’s a simplified, two-dimensional version of the iconic circular V and W logo, which until now has been three-dimensional. The new, flattened look has already been used in some promotional materials, including VW’s recent “Hello Light” video highlighting the Microbus. You can expect to see some variations on the theme, including color changes.

A good logo should be recognizable even in the most minimal of circumstances; it should represent the company whether it’s on a full-color animated display or stenciled with spray paint on the side of a wooden crate.

As far as logo changes go, this is really a quite mild change, and one that fits with the overall design aesthetic of our times, which has been moving away from skeuomorphic designs in favor of more flat, simple logo designs for several years now. Really, this makes for a better logo, anyway. In general, logos tend to evolve by getting more and more simplified over time.

By Noni Nchwe