Car logos with circles: The ultimate list of circular car logos
Have you ever noticed how common it is to see car logos with circles? While every car brand has a unique image and personality, there are certain themes (and shapes) that appear frequently from one brand to the next. Circles are perhaps one of the most popular assets in vehicle brand design.
So why are companies so drawn towards a car logo with circles?
There are several answers to this question. First, it’s worth considering the practicality of a circle. It’s a great way to create a compact brand image – ideal for all kinds of marketing assets. Circles are also conveniently shaped to fit on the bumper or hood of a vehicle.
A circle also has a lot of meaning to it for car brands. The shape can convey the tires on a vehicle, or the steering wheel you control to move your car from A to B. On a more spiritual level, circles often stand for concepts of universal accessibility, acceptance, and community.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous car emblems with circles, to see how these shapes can help bring brand images to life…
A French automobile company launched in 1983, Aixam-Mega was founded to create micro cars, following an acquisition of Arola. The Aixam logo is simple but effective. This image featured a large “A” in the middle of a blue circle with a red border.
When the company changed its name to Aixam mega, it started to use a new logo with a similar circular design. This time, however, the logo was more three dimensional, with a shape which seemed to look like two A’s connected to make an “M”.
The Ariel Motor Company is a low-volume performance vehicle manufacturing brand located in Somerset, in England. The company is responsible for the Ariel Atom, a lightweight and high-performance vehicle not often seen in many parts of the globe.
Ariel’s logo features a large red sphere, with a shape in the center intended to look like an A, but also an image of a road stretching into the distance. The line usually responsible for sitting across the center of the capital “A” is also replaced with a circle.
Perhaps the world’s best-known car logo with circles, Audi’s image is well-known across the globe. The company, originally launched in 1909, is one of the most popular car brands in the world, and its logo features a selection of four interlaced rings.
The four circles of Audi represent the four companies which merged to form the official “Audi” brand. These companies were manufacturers of various automotive products, from small passenger cars to motorcycles. The four rings are intended to represent unity.
The Alfa Romeo logo is perhaps one of the most eye-catching car logos with circles. There are a number of circles encompassed in this brand image. The central sphere holds the picture of a serpent, and a crucifix on a silver background.
The serpent is actually the “Visconti” serpent, known as Biscione, sporting a crown, and devouring a man.
The surrounding circle border is where we see the name “Alfa Romeo” written in bold capital letters to help highlight the strength of the brand. This circular logo highlights the unique history of the company, setting it apart from the competition.
The logo for Bentley actually features something closer to an oval than a circle. However, the imagery is still close enough that we believed it deserved a mention in this list. The Bentley logo was produced by the founder, Walter Own Bentley in 1919.
There’s an inner circle encasing the “B” for Bentley in the middle of a set of hawk wings. A larger circle is placed behind the wings and the central emblem. The visual is very eye-catching and compelling, ideal for a company with so much heritage.
One of the most instantly recognizable car symbols with circles, the BMW image immediately captures attention with its simplicity and class. The BMW insignia actually consists of two circles. In the middle of the emblem is a check pattern of white and blue.
There’s also a wider circle in white (or a clear background), where the “BMW” letters are shown.
The emblem might be simple, but it’s excellent at capturing attention. The colors of white and blue in the inner circle are representative of the state colors of Bavaria, where the company was first conceived, though they’re in inverse order.
Lesser known than some of the other car logos with circles mentioned on this list, Brabus was founded in 1977 in Germany, and made a name for itself as a high-performance after-market tuning company, focused on Maybach, Smart, and Mercedes Benz vehicles.
The Brabus emblem is a simple but effective image, featuring a capital “B” in a circle border. The large bold “B” is intended to represent the name of the company.
Buick, created in 1899, is a division of the General Motors Company. One of the first American marques of automobiles, it’s one of the better-known brands in the world today. The Buick Company also hosts the luxury “Cadillac” Company too.
Buick’s logo is as strong and bold as the company itself. A circle borders a selection of three shields in white, red, and blue – the colors of the American flag. This emblem is simultaneously patriotic, and proud, perfect for an iconic brand.
Another of the lesser-known circular car logos in the world today, Caterham’s emblem may be better-known among dedicated car enthusiasts. This company, founded in 1973 in the United Kingdom, is responsible for designing lightweight, specialist sports cars.
The current model produced by the company (the Caterham 7) actually launched in 1973 and is an evolution of the Series 3 Lotus 7. The Caterham logo features a yellow circle bordered by white and black.
In the middle of this sphere is another green circle bordered in white.
The Fiat emblem is well-known throughout the world. The company, originally founded in July 1899, has achieved more than 100 years of success. Today, Fiat is one of the most important automobile companies produced by Italy.
The Fiat brand features a circle in its logo, though it may not be as obvious as some of the other circles on this list.
Fiat’s logo includes a red square with rounded edges in the centre of a larger chrome circle. The word “Fiat” is shown within the middle of the red component, in bold, capital letters.
A niche example of a car company with a circular logo, Ginetta was created in 1958 by the Walklett brothers. The company, located in Leeds, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom, produces sports and racing cars upon special request.
This brand does have a version of its logo featuring just the Ginetta wordmark. However, there’s also a well-known emblem with a circle. In this version of the logo, we see the word “Ginetta” surrounded by a large stylized “G”, in a yellow sphere.
A memorable car emblem combining two of the most popular shapes in car logo design – wings and circles – Haima’s simplistic symbol is instantly eye-catching.
The company, first launched in 1992, is responsible for the production of mostly corporate vehicles, so you may not see this logo as often on the road as you would the symbol of Fiat.
Haima’s visual identity consists of a sleek, minimalist bird depicted in silver, atop a chrome circle in the background. The image is intended to look three-dimensional, with the careful use of shading and gradients.
Otherwise known as Holden Special Vehicles, HSV is the officially designated performance partner for the Australian automaker company, Holden. The company was originally established in Clayton, Victoria, in 1987.
There are a number of elements involved in the HSV logo, including a circle between the “H” and the “S”, which features two red borders. In the center of the black circle is a man in a racing helmet, and a large cat, which appears to be some kind of panther or jaguar.
Perhaps the best-known component of the Jeep logo has to be the central star in the image. However, Jeep’s emblem also featured a circle surrounding the star, to highlight the global nature of the brand, and its strong focus on community strength.
Many of the Jeep vehicles on the roads today do not feature this five-pointed star and circle logo as an official emblem. The design was actually a tactical element on vehicles produced by Jeep and exported to other countries from the US during the Second World War.
Launched in 1952, Lotus is one of the better-known sports and racing car brands in the world. This example of a circular car logo is difficult to forget, thanks to its amazing bright yellow coloring.
Quite different to many of the other popular car emblems with circles, Lotus is all about grabbing audience attention.
Aside from the yellow circle, the Lotus logo also includes a curved triangle in deep green, with the name “Lotus” written inside. There’s also a unique selection of letters “A, C, B and C” all interlaced atop the wordmark.
These letters are representative of the founder’s name.
Most people remember the Mercedes logo for its iconic three-pointed Daimler star. However, this is also one of the better-known circular car logos out there too. The Mercedes logo is a long-standing image of the brand.
There have been a number of discussions about what the three points of the star stand for over the years. Some believe they represent the areas of air, water, and mechanization. The circular border around the three-pointed star is intended to represent the global nature of the brand.
One of the most recently updated car emblems with circles, the Nissan logo is a sleek and attractive image, perfect for showcasing sophistication. While there are versions of the Nissan logo which simply use the stylized wordmark, the circular emblem is better-known for now.
Nissan’s logo is a simplified version of an image the company has carried for a number of years. The name of the company is printed in sans-serif capital letters across the middle of a circle. The new flatter, more basic look is excellent for the modern brand.
A German car manufacturer, Opel is a subsidiary of the Stellantis brand, and another great example of a car company using the circular logo design. Opel first launched over 160 years ago, in the 1860s, making it one of the oldest car companies around.
However, it started off making sewing machines.
The Opel logo is a classically elegant image, upgraded for the modern age. This emblem features the word “Opel” in all capital sans-serif letters, underneath al sleek circle with a zig-zag shape through the center.
The shape cutting through the middle of the circle looks a little like a lightning bolt.
Saab is an extremely memorable vehicle manufacturing brand, with a strong focus on class, history and heritage. The history of the company dates back to the production of airplanes in the middle of the 20th century.
In the 1950s, Saab began producing cars, but the original logo still continued to use the front of an airplane propeller.
Today, the Saab logo is an eye-catching blue circle with silver borders. In the middle of the emblem is a griffin in red, wearing a golden grown. The name of the company appears beneath the griffin in all-capital silver letters.
A Czech automobile manufacturer first introduced during 1925, Škoda is a brand with a global presence. There are more than 100 countries currently selling Skoda cars, and the company has actually experienced something of a significant growth in recent years.
Škoda’s profit margin was one of the highest in the world as of 2017.
The emblem of Škoda is difficult to forget, encased in a black and silver wing. The ring represents global growth, while the bird wings in the middle are intended to stand for technological progress.
The arrow shape pointing to the right highlights the forward motion of the Skoda Company, while the green coloring intends to represent renewable resources.
Ask most people to name a handful of car logos with circles and Vauxhall may be one of the first names they mention. The Vauxhall logo is a somewhat complex image for the popular vehicle brand.
More than just a circle, this image features a red sphere with a silver griffin on the inside.
The mysterious and mythological creature holds a flag featuring the letter “V” in the middle to represent the name of the company. The wing of the griffin is also evident within the circle, highlighting the speed and creativity of the brand.
Volvo is one of the car emblems with circles which has come under a great deal of discussion over the years. A lot of people assume the design of the Volvo logo is intended to represent the “male” gender symbol.
However, Volvo’s logo is actually taken from alchemy, where it’s intended to stand for iron.
The Volvo logo features a thick silver circle, with an arrow pointing up and to the right on the top right-hand side. Within the middle of the logo, we see the Volvo name in a blue banner.
The overall design is intended to represent forward-thinking innovation and growth.
An iconic emblem focused on simplicity and memorability; the Volkswagen logo is one of the most iconic circular brand logos on the market. Today, the simplified version of the logo is an excellent representation of the modern direction of the German automobile company.
However, versions of this logo have been around for some time.
The main focus of the Volkswagen logo is the stylized use of the letters “V” and “W”. The “V” stands for “Volks” which means “people” in German, while the “W” stands for “Wagen”, which means car.
The surrounding circle encompassing the two letters highlights inclusion.
Finally, Venucia is a car marque for the Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Company. This brand span-off from the official Dongfeng Nissan brand in 2020 to become a separate company, focused exclusively on car production.
This company is still gaining attention within the automobile industry, but it’s eye-catching logo makes a fantastic impression on audiences.
The Venucia logo features a blue circle with a surrounding silver border – creating a design similar to a shield. There are also three five-pointed stars within the circle, overlaid on top of each other in different sizes.
The five points of the stars represent the promises of excellent, quality, value, respect, and creativity made by the brand.
Celebrating circular car logos
Car logos with circles are in no short supply in today’s vehicular landscape. As shapes in the automobile industry go, circles are some of the most popular for a range of reasons.
The circle can be representative of various aspects within a car, including the tires and the steering wheel. They also have an emotional impact in shape psychology too.
A car logo with a circle might represent a company with a focus on sending vehicles to customers all around the world. Circles can often represent inclusivity and community, as well as family and acceptance.
Hopefully, this guide to car logos with circles has given you an insight into the meaning behind some of the most memorable circular logo designs.
If you’d like to learn more about the shapes and creative elements of other popular logos, you can check out additional guidance here on Fabrik’s Logofile.