Skoda has unveiled its fresh logo – the eighth iteration – alongside its new Modern Solid design language. The Czech carmaker has created two versions: an updated take on its classic emblem and a wordmark.
The historic emblem, which will only be used for communication and digital purposes, swaps the 3D design for a 2D effect, like parent brand Volkswagen did in September 2019. Like the Volkswagen logo, it's simpler and cleaner than the previous design so that it looks better digitally.
The word-only version has been created by the marque to be placed on its future cars. This will be rolled out across the range from 2024, with new Skoda Superb and Skoda Kodiaq models, both to be announced next year, expected to be the first to wear it, followed by a refreshed Skoda Octavia.
It will also don the confirmed electric seven-seat SUV, supermini and compact crossover, which are all set to arrive before 2026. These will be the first cars to release with Skoda’s new design language, too. Skoda says the changes are the biggest for the company in 30 years.
“With the new corporate identity, we are taking the look of the entire brand to the next level. It’s not only our product portfolio that is evolving: our customers are too. And we see this as an ideal opportunity to adapt the brand to a decade of transformation and modify its look and feel to match the needs and expectations of our customers. Our new corporate identity underlines our modern and distinctive design and clearly demonstrates our approach, which is primarily digital. I am confident that our customers will love it!,” said Martin Jahn, member of the Skoda board of directors responsible for sales and marketing.
Adapting brand identity to EVs and digitalisation
The global shift towards electrification and digitalisation along with the Next Level Skoda Strategy 2030 have had their influence on the new logo and brand identity. The brand identity, including the logo design and overall approach to branding, had to adapt to these two trends.
“The increasingly intensive use of the logo in various digital formats has led us to redesign the logo in two-dimensional graphics that are easier to recognise and more distinctive on displays, as well as in print, than the existing three-dimensional design,” says Petra Mackeova from the company’s marketing department, explaining the principles behind the changes.
In addition to the new graphic design, the branding has undergone other changes. The company will now use the Skoda name and traditional winged arrow in a ring more separately, with the name becoming the main communication tool. This typographic logo will appear not only on the rear of Skoda cars, as it has in recent years, but also on the front.
In order to make it more expressive, the word Skoda was given a new look with an integrated 'hook' accent over the letter S, working with symmetry and a combination of curves and edges. “The accent was a challenge for us: from a global perspective it tends to be confusing for most of our customers. In the new form, this symbol will be integrated and blend in with the symmetry of the logo, while customers in the domestic market and some others will still recognise it in the lettering,” says Martin Pavlík, the second member of the marketing team that prepared the new brand identity.
The symbol of the winged arrow has also been altered, although not so fundamentally. The logo has been simplified at first glance and will now be rendered in a flat form, allowing the Czech carmaker to work with the colours more expressively.
“This simple two-dimensional version is more effective on mobile devices especially and allows flexible integration into different formats. With this change, Skoda is responding to the shift towards even greater digitalisation of communication. The new identity also includes two new shades of green, emerald and electric green. Few brands have the colour green as ingrained in their DNA as Skoda. The new shades maintain the link with history, but also refresh the design and allude more strongly to electromobility,” says Petra Mackeova.
165 design suggestions, feedback from respondents in India
According to Skoda, th team working on the new brand identity was very small, but it received support from right across the entire car company. The work took over a year and initially the team worked with a total of 165 proposals, from which a shortlist of three gradually took shape. Skoda then put these versions through rigorous testing, involving over 2,200 respondents from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Norway, India and Israel. Based on their feedback, the logo design now unveiled was the winner.
“Every change is a challenge. It’s natural that some people don’t welcome change, while others support it. In the new identity, customer opinions play a key role, which is based on our brand values. Clinical studies have shown that we have achieved balanced and progressive changes in the brand’s new look, which respect our customers above all and also reflect our strategy,” says Martin Pavlik.
The new logo will first appear on communication materials. From 2024,a the logo will also start to appear on new models. The logo and other brand elements will also gradually start appearing in cars’ infotainment systems and at dealers.