General Motors is the largest American automaker, and is one of the largest producers of vehicles in the world. The company has been building and selling cars to the masses for over 110 years, and has maintained an unmistakably rigid identity for nearly all that time. But things are changing, and electrification appears poised to upset the industry as we’ve come to know it. GM isn’t immune from these market (err, political) pressures, and has made their future production plans well known. With some 30 new General Motors EVs slated to arrive by the end of 2025, the company will soon look very different than it does today. Those changes are coming quicker than we expected however, as GM has just unveiled their new electric vehicle-centric logo alongside a new “Everybody In” ad campaign.
We’ll get to the new ad campaign in a second, but let’s start with the new logo. Gone is the traditional dark blue square encasing the uppercase GM letters. In its place sits a similar, albeit brighter logo. The square has been replaced by one that is meant to highlight the color of an emissions-free sky, and the letters have gone lowercase. The letters also feature softer edges than before, in an attempt to make the logo more inclusive. The underline now only touches the “m”, and is meant to represent the brand’s Ultium battery pack technology. Keen-eyed viewers will also notice that the “m” is now fitted into the shape of a traditional electric plug. There is no hiding from it now folks, General Motors is in about to be in the business of exclusively selling electric vehicles.
The logo also looks like an elephant standing over a cliff. We weren’t the first to observe it, but the internet is busy making memes about this logo change at a rapid pace. Now we can’t unsee it.
According to Sharon Gauci, GM executive director of Global Industrial Design: “This was a project our team took so personally, not just for ourselves but for the 164,000 employees this logo represents. At every step we wanted to be intentional and deliberate because this logo signifies creative and innovative thinking across the global General Motors family.”
And while that is all fine and good, we can’t help but notice something. Namely, the logo isn’t all that good looking. Volkswagen ran into this problem themselves recently in their attempts to make their logo more modern as well. That said, new designs tend to be off putting at first regardless of the item. Still though, the new logo screams social media app more than a multinational industrial giant, which it is. It is also worth noting that this is only the fifth time that General Motors has ever adjusted their logo.
Alongside the logo comes the new “Everybody In” ad campaign, which has three main goals. First, General Motors wants to use their might to accelerate EV adoption globally. Second, the company wants to tout their $27 billion in EV development, and their place as an industry leader. Finally, the campaign will highlight the capabilities of the Ultium battery system, which will underpin the upcoming GM EVs. All the while, the brand hopes the new campaign makes GM feel like a more inclusive place for the next generation of car buyers. Considering how different their product line will be in a few years time, this identity shift likely appeared critical to upper-level executives.
We know that this change isn’t going to go over well with everyone. So instead of simply telling GM what they did wrong here, we’re asking our readers to show us. How would you design a new logo for GM, and how would you go about incorporating the shift to electric vehicles into your design? Give it a shot for yourself and send us your take!
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
Telling GM what they did wrong? I don’t think that.
They knew it’d be lampooned, that was clever to use the friday reveal.
They won’t win trust back by telling people what to want. #1 is to sell us the least adulterated vehicles we’ll like. Just brand logos.
If they need EV credits until we find a way to s***-can them. Yearly, build & lease free delivery EVs for take-out food and postal. Re-furb the used driveline & battery into cheap primer bodies for new credits. This way… the new gm logo makes a terrific ink-pad stamp logo on a cardboard GVWR plate.
Whenever a national company rebrands, they get lampooned. People hate change.
But I’m telling you, this is good design. It’s smart. It’s simple. It’s clever.
The typeface is bold and has character. I love the rounded edges and how the square edges meet connecting the two letters.
I’m thrilled they did away with the uppercase. It feels so old-fashioned and expected. Especially for initials.
I’m also not convinced that the negative comments about it looking too much like an app is a bad thing. Cars should feel high tech, IMHO. I like having a car that feels connected to my phone, computer, technology.
I say, good job GM!
It figures, that the Brave New Big Brother crowd with silicon chips for brains are so eager to throw away heritage.