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So 2021 seems to be the year of new brand designs. And Peugeot can’t be the exception. The new Peugeot logo and brand redesign is something really special.
After what looks like a “redesign fever” in automotive industry, with brands like BMW, KIA, Volkswagen, Nissan, Rolls Royce and many more, Peugeot was one of the few giant automotive companies left.
A curious thing: the automotive logo redesign fever apparently didn’t catch in US and it’s mostly an European an Asian thing. For how long? We’ll see.
First thing first: Peugeot logo history
Peugeot has a long history, and so does its logo. from the original lion and the arrow (we’ll see how it connects with the new logo) to different versions that always kept something in common: the lion figure.
If you take a look to the image above, you’ll clearly notice that the lion is omnipresent. Which is perfect, since it’s the spirit of the brand.
One thing to note: these are the official logos used by Renault’s headquarters in France. However, different logos were used at different times depending on the country. For example, the 1960-1964 version was in use much longer in Argentina than 1964, while the 1964-1976 version was never used.
New brand design rule: Go giant or go home
In the case of the Peugeot logo there’s a particularity: while it reminds of older logo versions from the 60s, it’s based on a project by Peugeot’s Design Team: A GIANT lion sculpture which you can see in the video presentations and will probably be the superstar of any automotive convention in the near future.
This giant sculpture is 12.5m long and 5m high. According to teh design studio in charge of the project, it symbolizes the pride, strength and excellence of the brand, along its 200-year history. This timeless piece of art is meant to become the identity voice of the brand, and was designed by the internal team of designers at the PEUGEOT Product Design Lab.
Peugeot used this lion symbol for 160 years. The first version of teh Peugeot logo with the lion walking on an arrow was registered in 1858. Originally, it symbolized the three qualities of the PEUGEOT saw blades which were the product they manufactured at the origin of the brand: flexibility, resistance of the teeth, and cutting speed. Meanwhile, the arrow was added to communicate the concept of speed.
“The designers have injected an identity and timeless design into this monumental Lion, with fluid and sculpted surfaces. Its spectacular dimensions accentuate the solid, powerful and unchanging character of the Lion. His posture, standing, moving forward with determination but without aggressiveness, is a guarantee of serenity and confidence in the future. »Gilles Vidal, PEUGEOT styling director.
Without a doubt, an original way to present a brand. Clearly following the promotional tactics for online and offline growth hacking, this lion is not exactly a calm and fluffy pet. If you want strength, you have it by tons!
The old Peugeot logo
Like I said, the logo came after the iconic scupture. Which, in time, came after the old Peugeot logo! Circularity, anyone?
For those wondering, the new Peugeot logo is a reversion of one of the shortest lived Peugeot logos: the 1960-1964 version (see first image at the beginning of the article). It’s rather curious, since it wasn’t used for a long time. And yet, it is the most iconic. A fact recognized by Peugeot’s design team.
Peugeot devoted a whole site to explain the reaches of this new brand, with lots and lots of material. They’re proud and it shows. And they really should be proud about this!
Our logo has a distinctive personality evoking its character, strength and unique identity. Timeless, it has a universal, multicultural and international appeal. It represents quality, with perfection in execution, just like our products.https://brand.peugeot.com/en/fundamentals/logotype/
The new Peugeot Logo constructions details
The Peugeot brand logo is composed of three inseparable elements: the shield, the lion and the Peugeot wordmark. Peugeot internal design team created an interactive presentation to show this, which you can see in the video below:
The logo is presented in 4 different versions. These versions are named
The logo pictorial mark, as shown above
A simplified version for digital use, a crest without the lion
Centered Marker Block
This version is the one to be used in stationery design
This is the wordmark alone, rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise. It’s supposed to be used in compositions with the new logo. Not sure why they named it that way
Logo Protection Zone
As with any quality logo design, we have a few rules to follow, including, of course, what we know as the “logo protection zone”. This is the space that we must preserve between the logo and other elements, in all the senses and orientations of the logotype or wordmark.
Watch this video showing the protection zones interactively.
The brand guidelines also have a lot of notes about application of spacing and safe zones for the different Peugeot brands, as you can see in the images below
Brand Application and Usage Ideas
The Peugeot guidelines book is really thorough and they don’t leave anything left to chance. They even include ideas for their partners and design agencies around the world
Peugeot Brand Colors
Peugeot’s new brand design uses the same precepts as Quantum UX (QUX), with color palettes that evolve and change constantly and based on different scenarios.
In Peugeot’s own words:
Like a supernova, our colours evoke the powerful explosion of a luminous star, with a brilliant, radiant blue that is bright and clear, never dull.
(…) The brand has its own specialty colours to be clearly identified. Kryptonite green must be used sparingly with black and/or dark grey.Peugeot Brand Guidelines
The name of the colors are: Procyion Blue, Black, White and Vesta Grey
Brand colors usage examples
Same as with the logo, the brandbook guidelines include examples on how and when to use the colors properly.
A very important detail: unlike most automotive design brandbooks, Peugeot makes an explicit mention to accessibility and the need to always preserve it. This alone marks a huge difference with many design studios.
Additional brand colors
There are 2 additional color palettes for different design scenarios. One of them is what Peugeot calls Sport Colors
There’s a 3rd color palette made up entirely of blue shades. These three shades are named as follow, from left to right in the following image:
- Armand Blue: This is a dark blue shade, which should be used for retail & signage use only.
- Darth Saphir: A darker blue, evokes a certain chic for Lifestyle products and clothing
- Kyanite Blue: A more vibrant blue with a touch of red, for use in Lifestyle design lines.
Peugeot Layout Grid
And so it seems Peugeot adheres to QUX completely. In their own words:
The big reveal.Peugeot Brandbook Guidelines: Layout
Inspired by the light tunnel on our production lines, our layouts are built around the reveal. A brilliant point of light emerges, expanding to disclose a grid, first in 2D, then 3D, where panels appear that can hold text, images and graphics.
The grid itself is based on a 12 columns grid. There’s no mention of padding or margins, but application examples show that the padding (or margin, depending on how the layout is designed and coded) equals 1 column.
The movement and fluidity of web designs, mobile apps and even stationery design is simply amazing, everything looks just perfect.
Peugeot’s brand voice
This is quite strange, especially for such a carefully crafted brandbook. What everyone knows as brand voice, brand identity or any variation of the spirit and concept that the brand wants to convey, here is called “Iconography”.
We don’t think it’s wrong per se (because it isn’t), but it’s a bit weird to see the word Iconography and instead of seeing Icons we see mood boards and brand voice instructions.
Nevertheless, the brand voice appeals to the human side of the brand, as well as the sensorial brand qualities. Light, smell, vision, interoception… all of the Sensorial UX principles are considered and well applied.
They mention 6 principles that guide the brand voice. However, there are several sub-principles when you read the brand guidelines.
As you can see, the new brand design goes far beyond a new Peugeot logo. And it pays off, without a doubt.
Peugeot New Typography
The new brand design’s typography uses a custom typography appropriately named… Peugeot New.
The typography design includes as many glyphs as you can think about and it’s built around the principles of Universal UX (same as most of the rebranding). You can find accents, modificators, ligatures, hanging characters and glyphs for any language and any type of usage.
The font itself is easy to read, with 10 different versions, a Grotesque sans serif that goes from extra light weight to extra bold, in normal and italic variations.
Conclusion on Peugeot Logo and Rebranding
The bottom line for the new Peugeot logo is that we are looking at one of the most spectacular brand redesigns ever.
Starting the branding redesign with a 12 meter tall giant lion is a complete statement of principle … which could have been a failure if the rest of the rebranding did not accompany this extreme statement.
Happily for Peugeot and for all design lovers, the Peugeot design team delivered and passed with flying colors.
Each part, each piece, each conceptualization is a master class in design. The use of precepts such as QUX and Sensorial UX, universal accessibility and other factors that are revolutionizing the way of understanding brands is completely successful.
Finally, the rebranding of Peugeot does not end here, but continues at levels rarely seen. Since the continuation delves into very deep principles of UX and XCI, the topic deserves a separate article.
In short: Chapeau!
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