There’s a new automotive trend afoot, one where industry giants alter their iconic corporate logos so they’ll play better in a digital environment. Shadows and color gradients designed to give an image depth don’t always pop on a cheap screen the way they might on the glossy piece of paper and have encouraged manufacturers to transmission to flat, monochromatic icons that look bad everywhere.
But consistency isn’t the only reason to change logos. It’s also an opportunity to signal to customers that you’re evolving as a brand, which is why so many companies have associated their new iconography with the pivot toward electric vehicles. General Motors, recently ditched the logo it’s been using (more or less) unchanged since 1964 for a Bizarro World alternative that swaps the color pallet and makes the letters lowercase. Now it’s modernizing the emblem to be used for Cadillac’s electrified products until they gradually supplant the entire lineup.
The resulting image is highly similar to what we’ve seen from BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Kia — though the latter example is at least novel. Recipes traditionally involve stripping as much color as possible from the existing logo and then offering up a press release explaining how this symbol is an expression of the changing corporate ideologies as they make irrelevant proclamations about the need for a more just and sustainable future.
Sometimes there are even unique variants that denote when a car is utilizing an alternative-energy powertrain, such as the blue-ringed roundel BMW used on models like the i3. While this also applies to Cadillac — as the new emblem will be used exclusively on EVs — the monochrome logo will eventually replace the colorized shield the company has been using for over 100 years. However, it should be said that the wreath-and-crest design has gone through numerous incarnations within that timeframe and there was even a brief stint (1914) where Cadillac attempted to go without it.
According to Fox News, the new icon is familiar in shape but ditches the wreath and simplifies the overall design by making everything black and white. Frankly, it doesn’t really work with a coat of arms that are supposed to be heavily reliant on color to convey what it is from a distance. We’re betting the new one looks like a gray blob once you’re standing a few steps back and we’ve got the upcoming Lyriq as evidence. GM has stated that the electric crossover will be the first Cadillac product to embrace the new crest and it’s all over the vehicle’s interior and exterior — often illuminated to add a sense of flare.
From Fox News:
A spokesman told Fox News Autos that the color version will continue on the legacy internal combustion engine models while the new one will roll out with the electric models that will be replacing them until it becomes an all-electric brand in 2030.
“The new crest along with our new tagline ‘Be Iconic’ represent Cadillac’s desire to champion each of us to dream big and become the most aspirational version of ourselves,” he said.
The outlet noted that a grayscale version of the emblem was available on gasoline models via the brand’s Onyx package and some dealers will also swap out a colorized version as an off-the-books option. But the official replacement is backlit and to be affixed exclusively to EVs. Having seen it on the Lyriq, the new shield doesn’t look half bad up close. Though it’s also a tad stodgy and serious, which is something most of these dumbed-down logos suffer from.
As there’s nothing in Cadillac’s upcoming lineup to pique my interest, it hardly matters what I think. However, you might find the Lyriq (due in 2022) right up your alley and believe the new crest to be an idyllic mate for the brand’s evolving image. Or you might think it’s an abomination. We’re interested in knowing either way and presumably so is General Motors.
[Images: General Motors]
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