When BMW unveiled its new corporate identity last week — its first in over 20 years — there was some confusion around its roll out. Marc Mielau, vice president of brand, marketing and customer strategy at the company, tells Design Week that this was in part caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

The identity, which was developed in collaboration with Munich-based studio BECC Agency, was supposed to be revealed at the annual Geneva International Motor Show. But the 90th edition of the motor show was cancelled this year after a confirmed case of coronavirus in Switzerland, which meant that no event with more than 1,000 people could take place.

As part of the new identity, a two-dimensional “pared back” logo was created for communication purposes only. Mielau stresses that members of the media would have seen the logo everywhere; hanging from the ceiling and on various pieces of collateral. He says that journalists would have understood the company’s intentions for the new logo, as “approaching a new way of communication”.

Instead, there has been a “misinterpretation of what the logo is meant to be”.

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