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Breaking Down The Rolls-Royce Re-brand

A recent brand update by the British Luxury car company Rolls-Royce sparked reactions all across the world. Here’s our breakdown of how the refreshed design works for the brand.

Rolls-Royce logo
Rolls-Royce's new logo featuring the Spirit Of Ecstasy | Pinterest

Think of fame, luxury, and elegance in a vehicle, and the first name that pops up is British luxury car brand Rolls-Royce. Ever since its inception in the automobile market, the company has been a constant innovator in terms of technology and design. Given its reputation, it came as no surprise when the company revealed an updated look to its logo and the ‘Spirit Of Ecstasy’ symbol design. London based design company Pentagram overlooked the redesign process aiming at making the auto-manufacturer appealing to a younger audience. The company also intended to differentiate itself from Rolls-Royce Engineering Company which manufactures aircraft engines and uses the same logo.

As one can easily tell, the iconic “double R” logo has been the logo for Rolls-Royce ever since its birth. However, designers looking to spice up the brand's image decided that the company must move in a different direction making its spirit of ecstasy logo the brand's main logo. Seen as the hood ornament on every Rolls Royce car, The Spirit Of Ecstasy statue was designed by sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes in 1911. The figurine features a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched. A previous drawing of the ornament was updated from its former left facing design to a right-facing one to make the brand image “move forward”. The linework on the design was updated to give the logo a perceived sense of motion. A simplification of the design makes the logo friendlier for online use, where the company intends to engage with a newer and younger audience.

Rolls- Royce’s wordmark was also updated changing the design to all capitals as compared to the previous mixed capitals design. The font was also updated to a similar yet modern looking font ‘Riviera Nights’. Pentagram aimed at refining the wordmark and making it more “future-facing”. The enlarged Rs and the coherent design maintain the relation of the wordmark to the iconic double- R logo while also giving a fresh and futuristic look. The company however decided to maintain the original “double-R” symbol as it is. A partner of Pentagram, Marina Willer spoke to Dezeen Magazine saying,

“We didn't feel it was appropriate to change it. We did experiment with it a bit, but felt it would always look like we were trying to produce some kind of fake version of it because it is so valued and recognizable."
Rolls-Royce logo
Rolls-Royce's updated typography | Pinterest

Another added design element to the brand was the “Spirit of Ecstasy Expression”, an abstract reproduction of the new logo. The design features multiple parallel lines forming the silhouette of the Spirit of Ecstasy symbol. The design brings depth to the two-dimensional design and intends to come off as a “silken fabric.” Although 3D branding was all the rage a decade ago, in today’s world, it isn't looked upon as the cutting edge of design. However, Pentagram used simple layering in 2 dimensions to give a subtle effect making the design look futuristic yet elegant. Rolls-Royce intends to use this design on its apparel and accessories.

Rolls Royce logo
The new 'Spirit Of Ecstasy Expression' design | Pinterest

The updated designs rebrand Rolls-Royce from a luxury car heritage company to a cutting edge automobile company while maintaining its sophistication and refined taste. Along with the updated design, the company has also introduced a new car in the form of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, a smaller vehicle that allows new customers looking at experiencing driving the car themselves to enjoy the ride while maintaining the luxury of a Rolls-Royce.


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