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Opel: another new logo

Definitely, Opel is looking for its identity. Less than 3 years after unveiling a new logo, the Opel brand decides to change and perhaps becomes one of the automotive brands that has changed the most in its history.

An electrified lightning

The famous Blitz of the German manufacturer is reinvented, and it emphasizes one of its characteristics in order to underline the advances made by the brand in terms of electrification.

Still consisting of a lightning bolt that crosses a compass, this new Opel logo thus reminds us that it is closely associated with electricity. "It's the ideal emblem to symbolize Opel's approach to the age of electromobility", boasts the manufacturer, which plans to become a 100% electric brand in Europe by 2028, and to market an electric version of all its models from 2024.

A logo presented to the public at the 2024 Munich Motor Show

2024 is the year from which all Opel models will be decked out with the new brand logo. The emblem should always take pride of place in the center of the front of Opel cars, via the Vizor grille. In the meantime, it is during the Munich show – from September 5 to 10, 2023 – that the logo is presented to the public.

History and development of the Opel logo

Founded on January 21, 1862 in Rüsselheim, Germany, by Adam Opel, the lightning company first produced a sewing machine. A year later, Opel produced its first high-wheeled bicycle, known as penny-farthings. Soon the production of bicycles overtook that of sewing machines, becoming the leader in both markets when Adam died in 1895.

The first cars would arrive in 1899, after Adam's wife, Sophie, and her two older children teamed up with Friedrich Lutzman, a locksmith who had been working in car design for some time. Their first products were not very successful and two years later the partnership dissolved. In 1901, the company signed an agreement with Darraq to manufacture its vehicles under license.

Opel's first car came out in 1902

The first car as we hear it today will be presented for the first time in 1902 at the Hamburg Motor Show. It will be put into production in 1906 and the production of the Opel-Darraq will be stopped in 1907. In 1909, the Opel 4/8 CV (four cylinders and eight horses), also known under the name of “Doktorwagen”, will be up for sale. It enjoyed considerable success, costing half the price of other models of the time, and proved to be reliable and robust. The other models are now history.

But the identity of the brand was not yet defined by the symbol of the lightning bolt in the circle as we know it today. When the company was founded, its sewing machines proudly bore the neoclassical-inspired initials of their founder. Once immersed in bicycle manufacturing in the late 19th century, the "Victoria Blitz" model spawned an elaborate logo featuring the goddess Victoria, protecting a cyclist above him.

A logo in the form of an eye in the early 1900s

Taking advantage of the launch of its first car, the Opel 10/12 HP Tonneau began sporting a new eye-shaped emblem on its radiator, which contained the Opel name, wrapped in the caption “Rüsselsheim car factory”. At the same time, the company's motorcycles carried a stylized logo with the Opel name, which from 1909 and with some variations was also adopted by its four-wheeled vehicles, such as the Docktorwagen.

Starting in 1910, Wilhelm von Opel (Adam's eldest son and owner of the company with his four brothers and his mother) chose a logo to represent both the brand and the company. The shape of the eye was found, but this time surrounded by bay leaves. This design remained the Opel brand identification until 1935, with virtually no changes. The author of this emblem is Ernest Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt, Grand Duke of Hesse.

In 1928, when the company resumed production of motorcycles, the eye was adapted to its new medium, taking on a golden color and framed by a red circle that clearly differentiated the two-wheelers from Rüsselsheim cars. From 1937, the company acquired an elegant zeppelin as a sign of identity, which at the time represented human innovation and technical progress.

In 1952, white and yellow first appeared in a corporate logo as the official badge of the brand and its dealers. An oval-shaped logo that had been developed together with the zeppelin isotype in 1937. Two years later, the zeppelin, which had become obsolete, was replaced in the first post-war models by a futuristic aircraft reminiscent of a rocket.

Lightning as an emblem for Opel

His gradual modifications over the years culminated in a shape that, in 1963, looked more like a lightning bolt than an airplane. Thus was born the famous blitz (lightning in German) that Opel bikes and trucks used to carry and which will continue to evolve until today. The lightning became the brand's official emblem a year later, still surrounded by a circumference that would evolve subtly during the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1970, the Opel typeface was first created under the logo, framed in a yellow square. It was in 1987 that it was remodeled, reducing the yellow field for better visual appeal. In 1995, the company's striking new logo sought to emphasize the growth of the company, which was more modern and global in scope. Although the emphasis was on the Opel name, the cars only had the lightning bolt and ring on the hood and tailgate.

In 2002, lightning became a 3D figure with angled corners and a dynamic silhouette. The yellow, already used several times, returned to the logo, giving color to the brand. Coinciding with the launch of the Opel Insignia in 2008, the logo will receive Opel's engraving on the top of the circle, resulting in a beautiful image.


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