Audi logo, represented by four interlocking rings, appeared almost a quarter of a century after the company’s history began. The original image was more aggressive and angular. However, it was the change of the logo that started a new, much more successful era for Audi.
Meaning and history
Audi was founded in 1909. Its first logo consisted of an isosceles triangle standing on one of its angles. It had a stylized exhaust pipe on it, which looked more like a pipe from locomotive rather than a car. Indeed, such picture looked appropriate on the radiator grille, however, as the practice showed, it was not at all suitable for promotional materials. By the way, this was one of the factors that led the enterprise to a crisis in 1932 – the crisis, which, in turn, was the beginning of a new era.
Four companies merged under Audi brand – Audi Automobil-Werke AG, Horch Automobil-Werke GmbH, Dampf Kraft Wagen, and Wanderer Werke AG. Their logos were encased in rings, and the rings were combined into a single graphic system.
The name of the Audi brand was created by August Horche after his first brainchild – Horche company. But if the first enterprise naturally received the name of its creator as “the inheritance”, the second one was a different story. August Jorge decided to use the international language – Latin – and translated his name to it. As a result, he got the name Audi. Both words are verbs of imperative mood and are translated as “Listen!”.
In 1949, the logo changed one more time – small images in the rings disappeared, they were replaced by the letters – Auto Union. In 1969, after merging with NSU, the company abandoned its famous rings for 15 years. However, in 1985 it will return to them again, and this time forever.