Back in 2020, BMW updated its roundel for social media and other online communications. Four years later, what’s old is new again because the latest tweak to the logo essentially reverts to the old look. The circle now has a darker appearance instead of the more transparent design introduced not that many years ago.

We noticed the change at the beginning of the month on several BMW regional Facebook accounts. We can confirm the company has decided to largely ditch the partially transparent circle. Why? To make the three famous letters more visible and eligible. If you don’t remember the old design, we’ve attached an image below to refresh your memory. The differences are subtle, but we prefer this new/old appearance since it sends out a classic vibe. The darker layout is instantly recognizable.

The actual badge installed on production cars hasn’t changed during this time, except for the 50 years of M anniversary roundel. However, the concepts unveiled in recent years did embrace the minimalist logo. The Concept i4 had the transparent roundel in 2020, and so did the 2021 i Vision Circular. In addition, it was also on the 2023 Vision Neue Klasse and the 2024 Vision Neue Klasse X. As far as we know, BMW doesn’t intend to change the physical badge anytime soon.

Throughout the decades, BMW has rarely changed the actual roundel. The initial logo used in 1917 was subsequently tweaked in 1933, 1953, 1963, and once again in 2007. The one from 2020 was for brand communication only. There might be a new one on the way since a trademark has revealed a BMW ALPINA logo. However, it’s unlikely to come before 2026 when the Buchloe brand will effectively enter the BMW era.

Another BMW Group marque, MINI, changed its logo in 2015. Five years later, Rolls-Royce tweaked its brand identity as well. Lots of other brands have made discreet revisions to their logos in recent years. In many cases, the actual badges used on cars have been modified in a bid to achieve a fresh look.

Traditionalists would argue that change for the sake of change is not a good strategy. However, once in a while, automakers are concerned their corporate image might start looking stale and decide it’s time for a facelift.