GM goes full flat design to bring in an all electric movement.
So, I don’t really like logo changes, yes, it’s a way to get people talking about your brand, especially if you’re losing steam or had some bad press. It represents a new path, big changes, a reinvigorated company. But usually nothing changes internally and, in some cases, (GAP Logo) it backfires. So, let’s talk about the GM updated brand logo.
In 113 years, GM has only changed their logo 5 times but really, if you look at this chart, it’s really only 3 times. With the 2010 to 2021 logo almost going back to the 1960s version. The logo change is supposed to highlight the brand’s commitment to making 30 electric models by 2025. Which, if you look at their catalog of sub brands, doesn’t actually seem like a lot.
Anyway… GM’s CMO Deborah Wahl stated the brighter blue tone was inspired by “the clear blue skies of an all-electric future,” and the lower-case lettering “signals immediately more inclusivity, more approachability, a more human aspect.”
Going back to the logo; the M is supposed to represent an EV Charger or the Ultium platform which is GM’s battery system. I am glad they have a flat version of the logo. The gradient style variant can work, if it’s subtle, but this is very strong. I see what they’re doing, they’re trying to have that “power” or “metallic” sheen to it, but as a universal logo, that color choice doesn’t always work on every medium, so when I saw the flat version, I was relieved.
Now, GM is a holding company, it’s not really a direct sales car company. They have brands like Cadillac and Chevy under them. This isn’t a strong brand mark. But it doesn’t really need to be. GM is not going to be consumer facing as much as those other brands are.
Chances are, you’ll never see this logo again unless you’re an investor, dealership or a design and marketing nut. So, was this designed for the general public or car enthusiasts and consumers? I don’t think so. It was designed for corporate leadership individuals and people with buying and investment power. Plain and simple.
Are they doing a good job of marketing this? I think so. The reveal of the logo was interesting, the mission statement video they released was actually pretty powerful for a very corporate video and with the reveal getting ahead of the New York Auto Show, it gives them a boost when showing off their new vehicles.
This is a trend we see with car makers – taking that skeuomorphic design of metal and shine and breaking it down to its essence. While we can argue that these new simpler logos don’t always work for all brands, I do love the minimalist movement we’ve seen in design lately.
And fair enough, GM is following that. There’s enough of that old logo to still be connected with GM and it does seem like thought went into this. I’ve seen multiple non-design blogs and writers talk about this, saying whatever GM spent, they spent too much. But, that’s not how it works. I’m sure there were multiple logos that came into play. Some probably even better than this, but ultimately, GM is the purchaser, the investor in this brand mark. A design or marketing firm can only do and push so much, but ultimately the client has the final say. Plus, like I said, this logo isn’t for you. It’s more marketed towards corporate entities.
So, what do you think about the new and updated branding of GM? Give a shoutout in the comment section.