MINI logo gets a strategic brand refresh
Posted on December 14, 2017

MINI, the car company owned by the BMW group, has unveiled a new logo. “At the core of the new MINI brand identity lays an awareness of traditional values combined with the spirit of future-oriented development,” reads the press statement. This philosophy is also reflected in the visual appearance of the British automotive brand, of which the central element is the logo.

The newly introduced interpretation of the globally familiar emblem takes the form of a reduced design that draws on the three-dimensional style that has existed since the relaunch of the brand in 2001 and applying it to a form of visual expression known as "flat design" that homes in on the key graphic elements.

The new MINI logo will be seen on all current MINI models from March 2018 onwards. It will be applied as a product label to all MINI models – on the bonnet, at the rear, at the center of the steering wheel and on the remote control.

Designed by KKLD* a creative boutique agency part of the Wunderman network, the new logo is said to focus on the essentials. The preservation of the fundamental, tradition-steeped motif of a winged wheel with the brand name printed in capital letters at the center ensures the logo will be instantly recognized. The careful avoidance of shading and grey tones creates a starkly contrasting black-and-white effect that conveys the authenticity and clarity of the new brand identity, its two-dimensional character also allowing universal application.

The latest redesign ushers in another chapter in the varied history of the MINI brand logo. There is an especially striking similarity with the signet introduced for the classic Mini in the mid-1990s. At that time, the brand name also appeared in uppercase letters in the middle of a circle with stylized wings.

This combination of the wheel and wing symbols dates back to the very early years of the classic Mini. When the British Motor Corporation (BMC) put the Morris Mini-Minor on the market together with the structurally identical Austin Seven in 1959, the former bore the logo of the Morris brand. The Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf were more distinguished in their design, not only featuring a modified body and exclusive fittings but also bearing their own distinctive brand logo in each case.

The new edition of the Mini Cooper in 1990 saw a change to these strict principles: there was now a return to traditional logo design and a focus on the sporting merits of the classic Mini. In 1996 this variant was then applied to the other models with a modified background and the inscription "MINI" – the light inscription standing out against a green background.

Just a few years later during relaunch preparations for the brand – which today belongs to the BMW Group – the decision was made to redefine not just the MINI identity but also its logo. In this case, the logo design most recently used for the classic Mini was taken as a basis and consistently modernized. At its premiere in November 2000 the modern MINI appeared with a high-quality, three-dimensional logo design featuring the brand inscription in white against a black background.