The History Behind Audi’s Four-Ring Logo

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Logos are extremely important for business nowadays. This is because they’re everywhere. They help businesses give a definition to their brand and in distinguishing themselves from others on the market. You could do a full 360-degree spin and probably spot a couple, or even surf the web for a few seconds and find a few. Needless to say, they’re a big part of our lives. We see them in technology companies like Microsoft, clothing shops like Zara, casinos like Platincasino online, search engines like Google, and so many more industries.

The Audi logo is one of the most famous in the motor world. Four rings make up the logo and if asked to guess the car manufacturer from a picture of the logo, most people would get the correct answer. What was the inspiration behind the logo, and does it have any meaning to the company? Continue below as we look back on the history behind Audi’s four-ring logo.

Early Audi Logos​

The Audi logo has not always been the official emblem of the automobile manufacturer. When starting out in 1909, the logo was a signature of the Audi name, in a handwritten style enclosed inside a ring. However, this changed prior to the launch of the company and the first logo used included the number ‘1’ sitting on top of a downward triangle. The brand name Audi was written on the top part of the triangle, and this is how it remained until 1932, with only the text on the logo changing.

The First Four-Ring Logo​

The Audi four-ring logo was first introduced in 1932. Each of the four rings had meaning because they signified the link between Audi and three other brands in Germany. The rings were linked to signify the partnership between all four brands and the first ring on the left belonged to Audi, with the remaining three from left to right representing DKW, Horch, and Wanderer. The new logo caused a bit of a stir in the sporting community and the World Olympic Committee took Audi to the World Trademark Court but failed in their bid to get Audi to change their logo.

Further Changes to the Logo​

The next change to the Audi logo happened in 1949 when the rings were made fully in black and thicker so there was no clear gap where each ring linked with the next. The names and logos of the four companies were removed from inside the rings and replaced with the words ‘AUTO UNION’ that spread across the front of the four rings. This logo remained until 1969 when the text was removed and that is how it stayed until 1995.

Final Modifications​

Another modification of the Audi logo happened in 1995. This is when the four rings changed to the colour silver, and the logo was given a three-dimensional look. Later, in 2009, Audi slightly amended their logo once more, just curating the 1995 logo with tiny details. One of the biggest changes came from the colour of the logo – From silver to platinum, giving it a better look.

Audi may have decided to go platinum because the colour and meaning of it demonstrate class. This is something we still see often in several industries nowadays, whether it is in other automobile brand logos like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar or electronic brand logos like Apple.

Further changes came in 2016 when the logo was altered to offer more simplicity. The logo was switched up to be two-dimensional, once again. The alterations did not end there though, as this 2016 Audi logo reverted to black rings, on a white background. Perhaps, it was changed this way because of the importance of looking good both online and on paper, as the black 2D rings sit nicely against white paper and on the white background of their website. Despite the changes to the logo over the years, the four rings have always been in place to signify the union between the four brands. It is unlikely that it is ever going to change.
 
View attachment 255883

Logos are extremely important for business nowadays. This is because they’re everywhere. They help businesses give a definition to their brand and in distinguishing themselves from others on the market. You could do a full 360-degree spin and probably spot a couple, or even surf the web for a few seconds and find a few. Needless to say, they’re a big part of our lives. We see them in technology companies like Microsoft, clothing shops like Zara, casinos like Platincasino online, search engines like Google, and so many more industries.

The Audi logo is one of the most famous in the motor world. Four rings make up the logo and if asked to guess the car manufacturer from a picture of the logo, most people would get the correct answer. What was the inspiration behind the logo, and does it have any meaning to the company? Continue below as we look back on the history behind Audi’s four-ring logo.

Early Audi Logos​

The Audi logo has not always been the official emblem of the automobile manufacturer. When starting out in 1909, the logo was a signature of the Audi name, in a handwritten style enclosed inside a ring. However, this changed prior to the launch of the company and the first logo used included the number ‘1’ sitting on top of a downward triangle. The brand name Audi was written on the top part of the triangle, and this is how it remained until 1932, with only the text on the logo changing.

The First Four-Ring Logo​

The Audi four-ring logo was first introduced in 1932. Each of the four rings had meaning because they signified the link between Audi and three other brands in Germany. The rings were linked to signify the partnership between all four brands and the first ring on the left belonged to Audi, with the remaining three from left to right representing DKW, Horch, and Wanderer. The new logo caused a bit of a stir in the sporting community and the World Olympic Committee took Audi to the World Trademark Court but failed in their bid to get Audi to change their logo.

Further Changes to the Logo​

The next change to the Audi logo happened in 1949 when the rings were made fully in black and thicker so there was no clear gap where each ring linked with the next. The names and logos of the four companies were removed from inside the rings and replaced with the words ‘AUTO UNION’ that spread across the front of the four rings. This logo remained until 1969 when the text was removed and that is how it stayed until 1995.

Final Modifications​

Another modification of the Audi logo happened in 1995. This is when the four rings changed to the colour silver, and the logo was given a three-dimensional look. Later, in 2009, Audi slightly amended their logo once more, just curating the 1995 logo with tiny details. One of the biggest changes came from the colour of the logo – From silver to platinum, giving it a better look.

Audi may have decided to go platinum because the colour and meaning of it demonstrate class. This is something we still see often in several industries nowadays, whether it is in other automobile brand logos like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar or electronic brand logos like Apple.

Further changes came in 2016 when the logo was altered to offer more simplicity. The logo was switched up to be two-dimensional, once again. The alterations did not end there though, as this 2016 Audi logo reverted to black rings, on a white background. Perhaps, it was changed this way because of the importance of looking good both online and on paper, as the black 2D rings sit nicely against white paper and on the white background of their website. Despite the changes to the logo over the years, the four rings have always been in place to signify the union between the four brands. It is unlikely that it is ever going to change.
During the pre-WW2 period covered in the para headed "The First Four-Ring Logo"; the four ring symbol - each representing an individual brand - was the logo of the holding company, Auto Union. It was under the Auto Union name (and not any of the four individual brands) that the grand prix racers fought out a highly competitive dual with Mercedes Benz in the mid to late 1930s.
 

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The History Behind Audi’s Four-Ring Logo

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Logos are extremely important for business nowadays. This is because they’re everywhere. They help businesses give a definition to their brand...

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