38. BMW

Year Company Founded: 1916

Year Logo Introduced: 1917

Logo Designer: Franz Josef Popp (1917)

Company Founder: Franz Josef Popp

Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (Bavarian Motor Works, aka BMW) came to be as a result of a merge between the aircraft engine manufacturer Gustav Flugmaschinenfabrik and Rapp-Motorenwerke in 1916. The iconic BMW roundel developed from a combination of the Rapp-Motor roundel, which featured a black silhouette of a horse and the Bovarian state flag, which has a characteristic checkered blue and white design. Thus, the BMW logo emerged as a roundel of a black circle enclosing white and blue quadrants. After World War I, following the Treaty of Versailles, BMW discontinued the production of aircraft engines and shifted to motorcycles and automobiles. The BMW roundel has not changed drastically since its first appearance in 1917, though the most defining alteration occured in 2000 when the design was reinvisioned to give a 3D effect to the logo.

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