New Renault logo 2021: Hail to the Renaulution concept

1332 words, 7 minutes estimated read time.
New Renault Logo 2021

So it’s time for a new Renault logo! The French brand launched a new logo… just like everybody else in automotive industry.

However, there’s a bit more to the story.

In January, Renault presented the new prototype of the R5. This prototype is a new version of the classic R5 from the 70s, only adapted to modern times. Part of that adaptation is that the car is now electric.

The prototype was unveiled as part of a concept Renault called “Renaulution,” which includes Renault’s sub-brands: Dacia, Alpine, Mobilize, Alliance and Lada.

During the presentation of the prototype, it could be seen that the new R5 has an illuminated logo, which is different from the Renault logo we know. However, there was no further information about this logo, so the branding world interpreted that it was just an element added to the prototype.

However, the story continued to develop without anyone knowing anything about it.

new Renault logo designer Gilles Vidal
Gilles Vidal, Renault’s Design Director posing with the R5 prototype and the new logo

Introducing the new Renault logo 2021

On March 18, 2021, Renault announced that the logo seen on the R5 prototype would be the new logo for Renault and its family of products. Initially intended for the electric car division, the Renault logo will be implemented across all design lines. The big debut is expected to be the new version of the Renault Megane.

About the new Renault logo

New Renault logo 2021
The new Renault logo 2021

The new Renault 2021 logo harkens back to the tradition of older logos from the brand, a custom that has become increasingly common in rebranding strategies. In other words, looking to better times, using nostalgia and emotional design and, in most cases, extreme simplification of the brand image (perhaps we can mention the Peugeot logo as an exception, which is retro but much more complex than the previous one).

In the particular case of Renault’s rebranding, the brand’s design team took the famous “diamond” designed by the plastic artist and father of Op Art Victor Vasarely and simplified it to 2 interconnected lines.

As we can see, the result is really wonderful. The famous diamond logo is immediately recognizable, and at a glance we can tell that it is the Renault logo, there is no room for confusion.

But beyond that, the modernization of the logo is still a tribute to the logo designed by Vasarely in 1972, and at the same time it is an extremely modern logo.

It’s important to remember that the Renault logo is one of the most iconic and recognizable logos in history, and that its reinterpretations in pseudo 3-D have been harshly criticized. With this rebranding, Renault is acknowledging that criticism and resuming the path that, for many, it should never have left.

History of the Renault logos

Renault logo history
Renault logo history from 1899 to the new Renault logo 2021

Renault logos have been highly variable throughout history. From the first logo with two interlocking R letters symbolizing the Renault brothers, to the logo containing the image of a racing car.

In 1919, after being one of the companies involved in the French war effort and victory in World War I, the logo included a war tank.

From 1923 onwards, this warlike image was no longer desirable for the business, especially as the company was producing sports cars. For this reason, and based on the global expansion of the brand, Renault introduces the “global logo”. That is, a circle representing the world, with the background also representing the radiator of a car.

However, since 1925, Renault has adopted the figure of the rhombus for its logos. Although there is no evidence as to who designed it this way and why, some theories say that the rhombus represents the 4 cardinal directions, while other theories mention the movement of the gear lever. We really don’t know.

The important thing is that the rhombus or diamond, with more or less modifications, is here to stay. In different versions up to the iconic 1972, the logo always contained lines that are lost after 1990, where the logo becomes flat.

Until today, where the new Renault 2021 logo regains the splendor, beauty and classicism of its lines

The Renaulution brand strategy

Renaulution logo concept
Renaulution logo. Looks like a lot of fun!

So we have this new word “renaulution”, a witty word game combining Renault with revolution.

But what is this “renaulution” strategy? Let’s Renault’s CEO Luca de Meo explain it:

The Renaulution is about moving the whole company from volumes to value. We will feed our brands’ strength, each with their own clear, differentiated territories. We’ll move from a car company working with tech to a tech company working with cars.

Luca de Meo, CEO at Groupe Renault

So the paradigm shift is subtle but immensely complex. We will not go into product design or corporate marketing, as that is not the intent of this article.

Rather, we will focus on what concerns brand design, its implementation within other paradigms, and fundamentally brand voice.

To begin with, the concept of “Renaulution” is highly complex. Rather than just being the new Renault logo or a new brand identity, it represents a different approach to business processes. To better explain it: It is not the same for a car to have a technological implement than for a technological experience to include a car as a container for broader and deeper experiences.

Like its Peugeot colleagues, Renault is choosing almost the same path: emotional design, going back to the sources, sensory reinforcement through user-centric technology.

In other words, the Renaulution consists in abandoning the product-centric process to become fully user-centric, sensory and adaptive.

We are talking, of course, about Quantum UX (QUX).

Let’s take a look at the image below, taken from the page where Renault explains the concept in detail.

Image of renault's business processes within Quantum UX paradigm
A multi-brand, multi-shaped business approach… or Quantum UX

Of course, we’re not saying that Renault copied it from us. We are just saying that the way the concept is graphically represented is exactly the same, because the concept is the same, so the similarities will be very visible.

Renault is taking the concept further and creating a multi-product, multi-brand concept for an environment that is defined by and for the user.

And if you’re interested in the user experience subject … I’m sure you can see what it means!

“Renaulution” is an integral part of the new UX paradigm called Quantum UX. And the adoption of such a paradigm at such an early stage, including multi-form experiences, Universal Design and Sensorial UX is great news for UX designers and developers.

In terms of presenting this new business strategy, which is also an experiential strategy, Renault decides to deepen the multiform and fluid visual representations where rigidity or flat colors cease to exist to make way for color explosions. and how they are changed.

As I said, we won’t go into the product design itself, but part of this conceptualization is clearly visible in the design of the R5 prototype: if you look closely, the new Renault logo is backlit, which makes it visualize differently depending on the angle. In other words, the new logo emits and is alive. It speaks to the user with its own brand voice.

Conclusion: Viva la Renaulution

The new Renault 2021 logo is a winner wherever you look at it. The conceptualization of the brand, as well as the user experience, has such a complex framework that the strategic design itself is a work of art.

If we had to choose something as iconic in the automotive industry as the 1972 Renault logo, we would clearly choose the Renault 2021 brand strategy with its new logo.

To sum up: this year has started very strongly in terms of brand design (or rather redesigns).

But more importantly, the centrality of the user within the experience, not as a spectator or “receiver” of designs, but as an architect of their own experience, is finally starting to materialize.

And that’s a wonderful thing.

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