Audi logo

Audi logo

Audi logo Meaning and History

Logo history is enveloping four rings of Audi as other images of known car makes. The name of Audi has a complex destiny. It bears the patronymic of its establisher August Horch.

One day, during the conversation of Horch with his close associate Franz Fikentsherom, the older son of the latter one offered the name Audi, having said his landmark words: “Dad, audiatur et altera Pars (listen on the other way around) …is there any possibility to give the name “Audi” in place of “horch” to the company?” “Horch!” means “listen” in translation from German and in Latin, it will be “Audi”. This idea took instantly everyone fancy.

However, if one so wanted to call a company by his name, why could not one just call it Horch? Specifically, August Horch– named in this way his first car company in the distant 1899. It was called Horch & Cie. But 10 years after that it fell out that he was evicted from his own firm and established a new one, in another town, going on to use the Horch brand. His former partners went to law against him, took the brand and August Horch was obliged to invent a new denomination for his firm.

And now let`s relate the facts as they actually happened.

The Audi company was established in the 1909 by August Horch. Its roots date back to the firm Horch non-existent now. In the 1899, the talented inventor August Horch founded in Mannheim the firm “Horch And Company”, which 4 years later moved to Zwickau.

In the 1909, he created a new ineffectual 6-cylinder engine, which almost led the firm to a bankruptcy, which very much resented his partners who decided to make short work to a zealous originator and to kick him away from his own firm. However, Horch established another company not far away, this firm; naturally, bore the name of Horch too. Having felt a strong competitor in a new firm, his former partners went to law against him with a request to modify the firm denomination.

The judgement was for the plaintiff and August Horch turned to the Latinized variant of the previous denomination: the word horch meaning “listen” in German became audi. Therefore, in the 1909 the famous brand name and the not less well- known company Audi were born.

The auto Audi- A was manufactured in the 1910. In the 1911 the model Audi- B followed. Horch exhibited three such cars on the June 1911 at the first race of Auto Alpenfart in Austrian Alps 2500 km long away that came the change of famous races for the prize of the German prince Henry.

In the 1912 the well- known model Audi –C appeared. At the same time, its first samples passed a serious test at the regular Alpine race and got great results.

In the 20s, the firm Audi stood on brink of a bankruptcy. It had to merge with another company.

In the 1928 the company was acquired by German DKW, Yorgen Skafte Rasmussen started possess Audi.

In the 1932, the economic crisis pushed a number of German firms for creation of the concern Auto Union. It held the former rival firms Horch and Audi along with DKW and Wanderer. The concern produced two models fit with the front drive and Wanderer engines. The vehicle sales were successful until the beginning of the Second World War.

After the Second World War Audi and its partners from the Auto Union – were socialized.  They were converted to the “Coalescence of people enterprises for cars` production”.

In the 1949, the Auto Union was modified due to the participation of the majority of the Mercedes firm’s shares.

In the 1958, Daimler-Benz AG got the controlling block of the Auto Union shares, but then shares were flogged to Volkswagen. After rendering in the 1965 of the controlling block of shares to Volkswagen, the denomination Audi started to be used again. Later, a new car with the front wheel drive was manufactured and already by the end of the 1968, Audi came back to the market, having a good line of models and better sales. Four circles symbolizing a merger of four companies that occurred in the 1932 were retained as an emblem.

The model «100» that appeared at the market in the 1968, as well as its followers including even famous Audi Quattro were distinguished by a sport profile and drive for all 4 wheels, which was the new landmark in automobile industry of Germany. It was the model Quattro having appeared in the 1980 who gave a powerful impact to the evolution of the vehicles’ manufacturing and it earned the world renown to the Audi firm, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. It was the light, fast automobile “grand of tourism” with excellent stability, a type of car for a rally. It bacame hard for the competitors to compete against this rally Quattro. The model took part uniquely well in several motor races.

In the 1969, the concern Volkswagen bought Neckarsulmer Automobilwerke. As a result, the firm name changed, the firm began to be called NSU Auto Union Audi and in summer 1985, the firm name was again converted into Audi AG.

Since the 1970, Audi’s wide export to the United States started. The first export to the USA was limited by Audi Super 90 (sedan and estate). As well as by the new Audi 100. Since the 1973, Audi 80 joined them. Audi 80, unlike a European variant, existed even as an estate. Later the Audi models received their own designations at the US market: Audi 4000 for Audi 80. Audi 5000 for Audi 100. But the repetitive cases of violations of liability of a producer for its production since the middle of 80s led to a reduction of supply of Audi to the USA.

In the 1980, the all-wheel drive sport coupe attracted high attention on the Audi’s mount at the Geneva car fair. For the first time the all-wheel drive high powerful car was offered in form of Audi Quattro with a concept of four-wheel drive, which was still used only in trucks and SUV. The idea of such a car aroused in winter 1976/77 during test arrivals on a VW Iltis off-road vehicle being designed for the German federal armed forces. Excellent behavior of this car during movement across ice and snow led to a thought to introduce four-wheel drive of VW Iltis into serial Audi 80. A variant of increased power was also developed – the five-cylinder 2.2-liter turbo engine 147 kW 200 hp of power was introduced in the autumn of 1979.

In the 1982, Audi 80 Quattro gave the start to the serial manufacture of permanent all-wheel drive. Step-by-step the concept of the Quattro began to be offered for other series of Audi models too.

The sport coupe (Audi Coupe) which debuted in the end of the 1993 was produced on the wheelbase of Audi 80. The version with cabriolet body was for the first time introduced in Geneva in the 1991. This veteran of the family Audi was taken out of production in the middle of the 2000. Since the 1992 around 72 thousand of such unites were made.

In December 1990 a new Audi 100 was represented (С 4 is its internal designation), which became also offered with a six-cylinder engine of a V-similar mold for the first time in the history of the company. Compact (128 kW. 174 hp), powerful pack with the engine displacement 2.8 liters was the shortest and the lightest in its class.

Audi A4 is a successor of Audi 80, which was in production in the 1986-1994. For the first time it was introduced in October 1994. The estate A4 Avant and coupe-cabriolet A4 Cabrio saw the light in the 2001. The coupe-cabriolet will get the folding rigid roof and, clearly, will be assembled at the plant of the firm Karmann.

From the 1994 till the 1997 several new cars were presented for the first time: Audi A8, the flagship of the Audi’s line; five-seater RS2 Avant with a 2, 2-litre 315-powerful injector turbo engine; Audi A3 created on the Golf IV platform; Audi A6 with a bodywork of sedan.

The las one was shown in Geneva at the motor show in 1997. In February 1998, the estate model of А6 Avant with a bodywork was introduced. All models of the С platform 4 discontinued in the summer of 1997 in a connection with a development of completely new A6 (4B-type).

Since the moment of a show of the conceptual Audi A2 in autumn 1997 before the beginning of batch production (the beginning of the 2000) of the model A2 slightly more than two years passed. Thus, Audi got a new family of cars of the European dimensional В class.

AUDI S4/S4 Avante/RS4, a very powerful sport modification of Audi A4 with a 2, 7-V6-Biturbo engine. For the first time it was introduced at the motor show in Frankfurt am Main in the 1997. In the 1999 a modification of RS4 Avante with a 2, 7-V6-Biturbo (380 hp) engine was introduced.

In the autumn of the 1996 “sport” grades of S6/S6 Avant appeared.

The sports car Audi TT with a bodywork of a coupe was for the first time introduced in Geneva in September 1998, with a roadster bodywork – in August 1999. The prototype of the model was introduced in the 1995 at the motor show in Frankfurt am Main.

AUDI S3, a sport modification of Audi A3 with the engine of 1, 8 20V with turbocharging and all-wheel drive transmission possessing high power for the first time was introduced in March 1999.

Audi S8, a very powerful sport modification of Audi A8 with an engine of 4, 2 V8 and four-wheel drive for the first time was shown in the beginning of the 1998.

Audi Allroad, the off- roader model in the A6 Avant base was introduced for the first time on February 2000.

At present, Audi is an integrated part of the Volkswagen concern and undergoes a violent development. Such a success became possible due to the firm’s new developments.

Audi logo description

Four rings on the emblem of Audi mean a merger of four companies: DKW and Wanderer, Horch, and Audi in the 1932. It was in the period of an economic recession. Such a coalescence of four automobile plants received the denomination of Auto Union. Put another way, both partners and competitors brought together.

After so significant changes, a logo was necessary for a new company. At first, these were rings tied in a single chain and the name of each of four firms was typed in every ring. But such a logo looked overloaded and bulky hence the decision to simplify it was taken. As a result only four rings remained. Afterwards, if at first they represented chain, they began to look as separate rings applied on each other.

From the beginning the Audi emblem was used only on racing cars, each company was manufacturing under its brand and adorning with its own emblems the cars made inside it. In the 1964, Volkswagen bought Audi, but the former logo remained.

And the last facelift of the logo: In August 2009, its design was again slightly changed. The rings look wider; but they are similar to the old ones in thickness and area. The new variant of the logo turned more elegant and sculptured.

Audi symbol

The oldest car maker in Germany, Audi is proud of its long history. Yet, the brand’s CEOs also wanted its logo to emphasize the company’s approach to car design (which is changing with every new era), to reflect its strive for excellence and innovation. So, in spite of the fact, that generally Audi symbol remained the same, several minor changes were introduced over the last decade.

Audi emblem

The most resent innovation in the Audi logo was made before the company’s 100th anniversary. In addition to the changes mentioned above, there is one new element, the “Vorsprung durch Technik” inscription. In translation from German, these words mean “Progress through Technologies”. The new Audi emblem, with its more simplistic yet modern font, is meant to reinforce the company’s bond with its customers.

Audi logo color

The chrome tint of the Audi logo is glowing and brilliant, which is giving the logo a modern and exquisite look.

Audi S Logo

Audi S is a range of high performance versions of several Audi models. The first one, the S2 Coupé, was launched in 1990. The modern models from this range are based on the respective A/TT/Q (the same approach as in case of the RS range). You can recognize these cars by a distinctive “S*” badge. In addition to this element, models from the S lineup have vertical lines on their front grills.

Audi A3 logo

A3 is a small family/compact car (hatchback) launched over 10 years ago. Initially it used the VW A platform. However, the 3rd generation switched to the VW MQB platform. Cars bearing the Audi A3 logo were the first VW Group vehicles to utilize the “PQ34” or “A4” platform resembling the modern VW Golf Mk4. At first, the A3 could be only purchased as a 3-door hatchback.

Audi A6 logo

The A6 is a line of executive cars that can be purchased in one of the two versions: sedan or wagon. The wagon configuration is sold under the Avant brand. The A6 range is currently in its fourth generation. Cars from this line use either front-wheel drive or Torsen-based four-wheel drive. The above picture shows the Audi A6 logo as it appears on the cars’ surface.

Audi TT logo

The range of compact two-door sports cars can be recognized by the shiny Audi TT(S) logo, an example of which you can see above. The lineup was launched in 1998 by Audi’s Hungarian subsidiary. The bodyshells for the first two generations of Audi TT were produced at the company’s Ingolstadt plant, but the more recent models are manufactured only at the production facilities located in Hungary.

Audi RS logo

The RS lineup includes performance versions of certain Audi models. Their performance is even higher than that of the S range. The RS series is produced by Quattro GmbH, which is AUDI AGs private subsidiary. The Audi RS logo consists of silver letters “RS”. The “R” has a red parallelogram on the background. Although colors may vary, in most cases red and silver are used, with black and white being an additional option.

Audi Q7 logo

The luxury crossover SUV launched in 2005 is known as Audi’s first SUV. The full-sized model shares its platform and chassis with such well-known vehicles as the Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne. It is the first Audi SUV to implement the FlexRay optical fiber technology. Simple yet modern, the Audi Q7 logo includes the name of the series in silver letterings without any background.

Audi R8 logo

The 2-seater sports car launched ten years ago utilizes the Quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi R8 is made by Quattro GmbH and uses the Lamborghini Gallardo as a platform. The Audi R8 logo features the name of the model (“R8”) with a parallelogram on the background. The lettering can be silvery, white, or black, while the parallelogram is usually red.

Audi S3 logo

The compact sedan combines all the advantages of the company’s high-performance and high-tech know-how. It features a rather accurate (although lightly weighted) steering and an all-wheel drive. One more characteristic feature that is valued by Audi S3 fans is its sport-tuned suspension. The silver letters of the Audi S3 logo have a red and (optionally) gray background.

Audi S4 logo

The Audi S4 logo looks almost identical to any other S* emblem: shiny lettering with a red parallelogram on the background. The designers’ decision is quite reasonable, taking into consideration that Audi S4 belongs to the S* range of high performance vehicles and shares their characteristic features. In fact, it is a high performance version of the A4 compact executive car. The first model to have the S4 badge (1991-1994) was based on Audi’s 100 saloon/sedan, but all the cars from the S4 range built after 1997 have been based on the Audi A4.

Audi Logo Design History and Evolution

One of the world’s leading automotive brands, Audi has had a long and interesting history. The company and the Audi logo have become synonymous with German efficiency, style, elegance, and technological evolution. The German automaker is renowned for the company’s luxury vehicles, and it is one of the most successful automobile companies in the world.

The company’s history is particularly interesting seeing as it resulted from the merger of four different companies, one of them already named Audi. The name comes from both the Latin word for ‘listen’ and from the name of the company founder, August Horch – Horch meaning to listen.

Audi Logo Design Elements

The main design elements of the Audi logo (not to be misspelled as Audy, as it so frequently is) are, of course, the four rings. The truth is that while everybody knows the evolution and Audi logo history, it is yet unconfirmed what the original inspiration for the logo was.

While some claim that it was inspired by the Olympics rings and that you can take that to the bank, other tend to disagree without offering any alternative. The truth is yet to be revealed, but we’ll get to that later.

Changes and Evolution

Over the years, the Audi logo took many shapes and forms. Pics of the logo depict it throughout its transformation over the years, from when the company was actually four different ones that eventually merged into one. So, the true Audi logo meaning is basically unity.

Back in the last two decades of the 1800s and in the first decade of the 1900s, there used to be four different car companies priding themselves on being the best at engineering their vehicles – Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer. Two of them, Audi and Horch, were owned by engineer extraordinaire August Horch.

Each of them had their own logos, with Audi having an upside down equilateral triangle with the number one stylized as a gearshift rising from behind it. Around 1932, the four companies merged into one – the Auto Union AG.

This led to the unification of their logos as well, and also to the first incarnation of the Audi logo. Over the years, many minor changes would eventually lead to the new Audi logo present on the high-quality luxury and sport cars we know today.


The shape of the modern Audi logo first began to take shape in 1932. When the Auto Union AG first came to be, the conglomerate’s logo consisted of four interlocking rings with the logos of the four companies inside each ring. It was meant to stand for unity and cooperation.

Over the years, the logo slowly and steadily became what we know today. It dropped the logos of the four companies, replacing them with the words Auto Union, only to eventually drop everything and only keep the four interlocked rings.

The last change came in 2009, with the company’s 100th anniversary. The rings were slightly modified, making them look more welded together than interlocked. While on the one hand it suggests the idea that with time and cooperation a true unity can be born, on the other hand it sort of takes away from what the logo stood for at first. Interestingly, people use the new Audi logo wallpaper more than they used the old one. Pretty much every Audi logo is available for download in HD.

Color and Font

First of all, let’s talk about the color of the Audi logo. The bright and slick silver chrome coloring of the car maker’s logo gives the brand a very modern and sophisticated touch. It is meant to symbolize the brand’s innovative power and creative design, as well as its elegance and sophistication.

Traditionally, silver is used in logos and other designs to transmit meanings of modernism, industrialism, sleekness, and high-tech. It is often associated with sophistication, glamor, grace, and elegance. And, of course, pretty much every Audi car, such as the A3, A4, A6, Q7, R8, RS, or TT, has those characteristics made obvious in their design.

Meanwhile, the black color often seen in commercials and other types of publicity alongside the silver-chrome Audi car logo is meant to represent elegance, power, and formality. Of course, the German automaker stands for all of those qualities. That is best seen in the Audi S line, on cars such as the S3, S4, or even S5.

As for the font in which the Audi name is written alongside the logo whenever it is featured, it also has a story of its own. In fact, the Audi logos only have the Audi name written next to them since 2009. Previously, in 1997, the Audi Sans font was created by Ole Schäfer,

Later, around 2009, MetaDesign was commissioned to design the custom corporate typeface for Audi. Designed by Pieter von Rosmalen and Paul van der Laan, Audi Type would go on and be featured in most of Audi’s products and marketing materials ever since, including on things such as floor mats, tires, and plenty of pictures and wallpapers.


As with many old companies that are still up and running these days, the origin of the Audi logo is mostly shrouded in mystery. One theory in particular has gained the most traction, although there really is nobody who could confirm or deny. The theory is made even better by the fact that Audi got sued by the Olympics Committee for copying their logo.

Back in 1936, the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin. Since it was around that time that the four automotive companies merged to give birth to Audi, it widely believed that the Olympic Games logo actually was the inspiration source for the Audi logo. Nobody actually confirmed this theory, however.


Perhaps one of the least mentioned, yet most interesting things about the Audi logo is how much it resembles the Olympic Games logo. While most people see it as just a passing resemblance, the Olympics committee didn’t see it as such at one point. This is how the International Olympic Committee sued the company in 1995.

Back in 1995, members of the Committee thought that the Audi logo resembled the Olympics logo too much to be just a coincidence. So, they sued the company in the International Trademark Court and ended up losing. This is despite the fact that the most prominent theory regarding the inception of the Audi logo involved the Olympic Games.

While the Audi logo truly is one of the most recognizable logos in the world, the company’s slogan didn’t fall too far from the tree either. Vorsprung durch Technik is Audi’s corporate tagline, and it is translated literally as Progress through Technology. However, the tagline has been changed in a few countries in an attempt to make it sound better.

This led to some pretty awkward discussions when the emissions scandal came to light last year. One of the most memorable things that happened was when Kermit the Frog poked fun at the disgraced Audi CEO by saying “It’s not that easy being green.”

Another interesting little tidbit about the Audi logo is that there is a knock-off logo that gets even more hits on Google than the original company logo. The dope Audi logo, as it is referred to, simply consists of the word “dope” stylized to look like the famous logo. The internet is full of vector images, be they EPS, PNG, and pretty much every other image format of the knock-off logo.

Belonging to one of the most beloved and respected automobile companies in the world (with the exception of the 2015 emissions scandal), the Audi logo represents the brand perfectly. Both the color and shape of the logo transmit the same qualities the German automaker stands for, making it one of the best logos in the world.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4

Audi logo

The current Audi logo released on April 2017, and designed by Munich-based KMS TEAM cooperate with Audi and three agencies.

Audi is a German automobile manufacturer that been a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group since 1966.

The company name is based on the surname of the founder, August Horch. “Horch”, meaning “listen” in German, becomes “Audi” when translated into Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create Audi’s predecessor company, Auto Union.

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Hi there. In the following tutorial you can learn to create the Audi logo. It is mainly about circles, strokes and the Pathfinder pallete. It’s a pretty simple and fast tutorial but you might find some interesting stuff about working with these classic tools.

Difficulty: Intermediate Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes

Number of Steps: 8

This is what you’ll be creating:

Step 01

First, create a 700by270px document. Select the Ellipse Tool, hold Shift and create a 190by190px shape. Place it in the left side of your artboard then fill it with none and add a 25px aligned to center stroke (you can choose any color you want). Select this shape, add the Transform effect (Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform) shown in image #1 then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Create a copy of the resulting group, name it “Cut” and for the moment make it invisible (you’ll need it later). Select the visible group and go to Object > Expand. Now you should get a group of four shapes. Duplicate this group. Select the duplicate, click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder pallete, name the resulting shape “Shadow” then make it invisible. Next, select the original group and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder pallete. Go to the next step to find out what you have to do with the resulting shapes.

Step 02

Enable the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides). Delete all the shapes filled with none from the resulting group. For the moment focus on the diamond shapes highlighted in image #1. Select the Pen Tool(P) and create a horizontal and a vertical path for each of these diamond shapes. These paths should split the diamond shapes in four relatively equal shapes. Select all the paths and the diamond shapes and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder pallete. Next, use the Unite button from the Pathfinder pallete to get the twelve shapes shown in image #2. I’ve separated these shapes so that you can distinguish them easier.

Step 03

Turn back on the visibility for the “Cut” group. Create a copy of this group, name it “Stroke” and make it invisible. Now, return to the “Cut” group, move it in the top of the Layers pallete then fill it with none (for both fill & stroke). Select it along with the group of shapes created in the previous step and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder pallete. Once again, from the resulting group select the shapes filled with none and delete them. Also, you might get some small shapes (as shown in following image). Unite these shapes with the bigger shapes until you get the 24 shapes shown in image #2. Again, I’ve separated these shapes so that you can distinguish them easier.

Step 04

Now, It’s time for the color. Fill the shapes shown in the following pictures with their coresponding gradients.

Step 05

Continue with the shapes shown in the next images and fill them with their coresponding gradients.

Step 06

Fill the shapes shown in image #1 with the radial gradient shown below. Next, fill the shapes shape shown in image #2 with the same gradient. Add a new fill for this shape (from the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel) and use the radial gradient shown in the final image.

Step 07

Fill the shape shown in image #1 with the linear gradient. Add a new fill for this shape (from the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel) and use the radial gradient shown in image #2. Select the shapes shown in image #3 and fill it with the radial gradient shown in the last picture.

Step 08

Turn on the visibility for the “Stroke” group and move it in the top of the layer pallete. Fill the ellipses from this group with none then add a 1.5pt alinged to center stroke (R=233 G=234 B=234). Next, turn on the visibility for “Shadow” shape. Move it in the bottom of the Layer pallete, fill it with white then add a 1pt aligned to outside stroke (R=158 G=161 B=165) and the drop shadow effect shown in image #3. Finally, for the background, select the Recntangle Tool(M) and create a 700 bt 270px (the size of the artboard). Move this new shape in the back (Shift + Ctrl + [) then fill it with the gradient shown in final picture.


Now your logo is done. Here is how it should look like:

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