One of the most recognisable automotive logos on the planet, the Audi four rings represent the coming together of four brands to form the one famous Audi brand – now they have been reimagined for a new chapter.
25 January, 2023
Four interlocking rights. Simple, effective and recognised all over the world as the logo of Audi. The four rings stand for the four companies that amalgamated to make what we know today as Audi – Wanderer, Horch, DKW and Audi.
It’s a symbol that has long stood for automotive excellence, but it is also one that continues to be refined.
Now you’d be forgiven for wondering just how much you can do with four interlocking rings from a design point of view. A ring, or a circle is about as pure a shape as it’s possible to get and not something that can easily be stylised or reimagined. And yet, over the past 90 years or so, the design has indeed been reimagined and has just undergone a new design process which is seen on the new Audi Q8 e-tron.
“At Audi, our philosophy is that every detail must convey a meaning or serve a purpose,” says designer André Georgi.
“On the product, it is - above all, our four rings, unmissable on the front and rear of every Audi model… the new two-dimensional look gives our rings a significantly more modern and even more graphic makeover,” he says.
Two-dimensional rings originated at Audi in 2016 as a consequence of digitalisation, essentially to depict the rings in a manner that suited the medium. Actually using a two-dimensional logo on the outside of Audi vehicles was first introduced from 2019.
The idea is to make the four rings look the same everywhere in the future – whether that be in a magazine, on a smartphone, or a billboard – and on or inside the car.
“Our [new] vehicle logo comprises three components,” says André Georgi who oversaw the redesign of the famed logo.
“We’re keeping it consistently free of chrome with a high-contrast black-and-white look. It’s as though the striking white floats are embedded in a black glass body for an even greater radiance. By optically brightening the logo, the white lends the rings a flat, premium-quality look, which still appears three-dimensional in detail,” he says.
“Today’s chrome rings stand for high quality – the material alone conveys that message. But we believe that we have found the ‘new chrome’. The clarity of the new black and white rings makes our corporate identity unmistakable,” says Georgi.
“The thin black border around the rings makes for a consistent, premium-quality appearance, regardless of the car’s paint or radiator grille colour. And customers can continue to opt for our new rings in black. This variation replaces the white with a dark grey that looks like high-gloss black.”
It’s a striking new interpretation certainly, but the essential message of automotive excellence remains the same.
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