BMW logo

BMW Motorcycle Logo

The company «Bayerische Motoren Werke AG» was founded in 1916 in Munich by the union of two small businesses — «Rapp-Flugmotoren Werke» and «Otto-Werke». These establishments produce aircraft engines from 1913.

After the association of aircraft manufacturing companies, established in 1913 by Karl Friedrich Rapp and Gustav Otto, they turned into a single concern, «BMV». In 1917 new firm got a logotype, which is used today without any changes.

BMW Motorcycle History

The company Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) rarely produced stylish motorcycles, in high demand. In its history, there were even moments when motor production was on the verge of a stop. But BMW has always acted on its plan and, as a result, produced a number of the most excellent ever produced multipurpose motorcycles.

BMW Logo History

BMW Logo History

Until recently, the history of the origin of the BMW logo had no confirmed facts and evidence of any true causes of occurrence of the emblem. Nowadays many people believe and believed that the BMW logo originates from the parent company founded by Karl Rapp. But in fact, it is not true!

bmw history

The aircraft designer, engineer Karl Rapp worked for Flugwerk Deutschland and actually was the head of the company. The company was engaged in the production and sale of aircraft. However, the shareholders of the company decided to liquidate it and decline Karl’s services. On October 28, 1913, Karl Rapp and his partner Julius Auspitzer purchased the production facilities of Flugwerk Deutschland and founded their own company, Karl Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH.

The history of BMW begins with two small aircraft engine firms, created respectively by Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto (the son of Nikolaus August Otto, the inventor of the internal combustion engine) in 1913 in Munich. In 1914 the First World War began, and the German state began to experience a great need for aircraft engines. This moved the two designers to unite in one big factory. In July 1917, this plant was officially registered under the name of Bayerische Motoren Werke, and the BMW brand came into being.


rapp motorenwerke logo

When Karl Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH Company developed into the BMW AG Company, they wanted a new BMW logo to be focused on their logo. The Rapp logo was made in the form of a circle where the inscription Rapp was printed on top, and Motor was printed below, there was a figure of a horse in the middle of the logo.

BMW and Rapp Motor Logo

The new BMW Company used the form of the logo, placed the letters just like Karl Rapp Motorenwerke, but filled the middle of the logo with white and blue colors.

BMW logo old historic

It is commonly believed that there have been 5 stages of change in the history of the logo, namely: 1917 (the very first logo), 1933, 1953, 1979, and the current version of the modern 3D logo since 2000.

The basic elements of the logo have not been changed for all the time of the existence of the company, these are:

  1. Cirсle
  2. BMW inscription along the contour of the circle
  3. 2 colors in the middle of the logo which are oppositely located.

Why is the BMW Logo Blue and White

BMW Logo Blue and White

Another myth of this logo is the colors that filled the middle of the company’s logo. Many people believe that white and blue colors are associated with the sky, and taking into account the history of the company, associated with aircraft manufacturing, that is why these 2 colors are presented there. In fact, these colors were present on the flag of the free state of Bavaria (which is still a part of Germany today), where the production of the company was located. Blue and White colors were in the opposite order because, at that time, it was forbidden to use national symbols in trademarks.

BMW logo meaning

bmw logo propeller 1929
BMW logo propeller in the journal in 1929

The myth that the modern BMW logo is a legacy of aviation companies appeared after advertising in a magazine published in 1929, which depicted a plane with a rotating propeller, which showed the letters BMW. This advertising appeared at a time when BMW acquired a license for the creation of Pratt &Whitney aircraft engines, and the advertising department wanted to use Roundel and the name of BMW in an attempt to increase sales of its engines.

bmw logo propeller 1942
BMW logo propeller in the journal in 1942

Later, this myth became perpetuated, namely after an article appeared in the BMW magazine in 1942, where a plane with the rotating propeller was also shown.

New BMW Logo

New BMW Logo

We are all used to the blue and white BMW logo, which is often called a “propeller”, although it represents the flag of Bavaria. But soon we will have to get used to its new variations. The most expensive and luxurious models from this carmaker will get a new black-and-white logo, which will be accompanied by the inscription “Bayerische Motoren Werke”.

We are talking about several flagship models in different segments. This is the eighth series coupe, a large crossover BMW X7, and BMW i8 hybrid coupe.

By the way, it is the first time in the history of BMW, when the German automaker will use two systems of the logo on their cars.

Emblem BMW

BMW Logo Meaning

The emblem looks like a propeller of «Bavarian Luftwaffe» military aircraft. Speaking about the selection of colors for the logo, there are two versions. The first variant is propeller blades against the blue sky. The second is connected with the old tradition of painting military aircraft in the colors of the flag of the region (the main colors of the Bavarian flag are white and blue).

Old BMW Logo
«The sky will reflect on your car hood» is an official advertising slogan of «BMW». But not everyone knows that automobiles of this firm really come   «out of the sky». In the 19-20th centuries, any technique, including the car was a very expensive pleasure. A lot of automobile companies started their careers from producing bicycles and their details, motorcycles, aircraft engines, and even the first planes. The company «BMW», even though it was carefully hidden, belongs to the last.

Pay attention to the modern logotype of the company. The circle, divided into 4 segments, is a «rotating propeller». This is a masked reference about the firm`s very first occupation (producing of aircraft engines). The main colors are white and blue (the primary colors of the Bavarian flag).

Logos and emblems of BMW company