German for "car for the people".
The origins of the company date back to 1930s Nazi Germany, and the project to build the car that would become known as the Beetle. Hitler's desire that almost anybody should be able to afford a car fitted with a proposal by car designer Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1952) -- although much of this design was inspired by the advanced Tatra cars of Hans Ledwinka.
It's pretty Obvious what the Volkwagen logo is (a V over a W in a blue background, sorounded by a circle). It's origin is rather mundane though. The logo was the result of an office competition to see come up with a logo. The winner of the competition (who won 50 Marks for his troubles) was an engineer named Franz Reimspiess (the same man who perfected the engine for the Beetle in the 1930's).
The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme, which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. Prototypes of the car called the KdF-Wagen (German: Kraft durch Freude = strength through joy), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine, features similar to the Tatra.
Erwin Komenda, the longstanding Porsche chief designer, developed the car body of the prototype, which was recognizably the Beetle we know today.
The new factory in the new town of KdF-Stadt, now called Wolfsburg, purpose-built for the factory workers, had only produced a handful of cars by the time war started in 1939. Consequently the first volume-produced versions of the car were military vehicles, the jeep-like Kubelwagen and the amphibious Schwimmwagen.
Beginning May 25th, 2015, Volkswagen will communicate in a new visual dialect around the world and across all media. The brand typeface, developed exclusively for Volkswagen in collaboration with the typographer Hannes von Döhren in two distinctions, “Volkswagen Head” and “Volkswagen Text”, will be used in all communication media and in all vehicles, thus contributing to the high recognition of the brand.
Volkswagen's new “Volkswagen Head” and “Volkswagen Text” signature typeface by MetaDesign in collaboration with Hannes von Döhren.
Trademark News:VW wins Logo Dispute.
The copyright holder of the internationally-famous VW logo is not to be Nikolai Borg. His suit against the Wolfsburg car concern has been dismissed by the Vienna Business Court. The judges did not deny in any way that Borg had drawn up the design in the 30s and had also delivered it. But the logo itself had already existed for a while prior to this.
The 86-year old Borg, who comes from Sweden originally and now lives in the Tyrol, had taken action in the summer of last year against VW, because he wanted to bring about legal recognition of his copyright to the logo.
He was not concerned about the money but about "historical truth", announced his lawyer. According to this statement, the graphic artist Borg had been commissioned in 1939 by the then Reich Minister Fritz Todt to prepare designs for the VW emblem. After a logo had been delivered, he was then string along with the story that things were being postponed until after the "Final Victory". However, when Borg discovered his logo on a vehicle belonging to the Army in 1943, he began to feel he was being cut out.
Yet this action submitted by him sixty years later has remained unsuccessful. The court found in favor of VW. A certain Ludwig Hohlwein had already designed apposite logos in 1920, said an expert on Copyright and Patent Law, Michel Walter. The actual inventor of the VW emblem should however be viewed as Franz Xaver Reimspiess, whose original design had already been submitted in a trademark application from 1938. A more developed emblem which showed the letters in a so-called Strahlenkranz (radiant garland) was, according to Walter, displayed on wheel caps at the Berlin Auto Show in April 1939.
Borg's lawyer, Meinhard Ciresa, did not want to comment on the judgement for the time being. He wanted to first study the transcript in detail before he thought about the possibility of taking matters further.
March 17, 2007. SIRIUS Satellite Radio has inked a deal with Volkswagen of America to offer SIRIUS as VW's sole satellite radio provider for vehicles sold in this country through 2012. Volkswagen will exclusively offer SIRIUS beginning with the introduction of its 2007 model year vehicles, and expects to equip approximately 80% with SIRIUS satellite radio receivers. Additionally, Volkswagen will offer three months of complimentary service.
Volkswagen is a key auto manufacturer with several brands under it's umbrella. As part of this deal, Audi of America will offer SIRIUS as its exclusive satellite radio provider for Audi's model year 2007 - 2012 vehicles. Today, the installation rate of satellite radio in Audi models is approximately 50%. (source: vw press release)
Volkswagen's "Bubblehead" icon.
KDF pinwheel/swastika VW logo.
Before WW II, when the car was still Hitler's "Strength through Joy" car the logo was surrounded by the gear shaped emblem of the German Labor Front that built it.
!938 Grundsteinlegng Des Volkswagen Werks (Ground Breaking Ceremony) pin. (this one looks like a reproduction).
1939 Kraft Durch Freude Calendar. (notice the "Nazi swastika" logo on each side).