Opel is one of the oldest automotive companies, whose history began in 1862 with the production of sewing machines and bicycles. From the end of the 1920s, Opel was part of the General Motors concern, and since 2017 the German brand belongs to the French PSA Group.
Meaning and History
Opel passenger cars wore an “O” through which a stylized airship was pierced. The famous Blitz trucks, which in German means “lightning”, impressed with their size and the distant voyages they took. Blitz’s lightning bolt replaced an airship. The Opel badge officially appeared in this form for the first time in 1964.
1862 – 1910
The first logo is nothing more than the initials of the founder of the Company, Adam Opel. Since 1962 OPEL has been manufacturing sewing machines – at that moment the logo was the brown letter “A” inscribed inside the red letter “O”.
1888 – 1889
This was the second logo made for the sewing machines, and the first one for bicycles. The logo was in the shape of a gray hexagon with gray circles at its four corners. At the top of the logo was written the name of the creator and at the bottom was the city, which is still the headquarters of the company. In the middle were depicted lions with crowns.
1889 – 1893
The third logo for sewing machines was in the shape of a grey crossed-out “O”. On the upper arc of the letters were the initials of the creator, on the lower one was the name of the city, and on the dash in the middle was the name of the company.
1893 – 1899
After the Company began to manufacture bicycles, OPEL acquired a new logo depicting a cyclist and an angel flying over him, with the slogan Victoria Blitz, as if hinting at the victory of the brand’s bicycles. OPEL.
This logo was used several times during the period when the company was run by the creator’s wife. The name of the company and the city in which the headquarters were located were written on a gray, curved shield.
1899 – 1902
In 1899, the picture and inscriptions from the logo were removed, leaving only “Opel” and adding “Fahrräder” – “bicycle”. The openwork font, red background and green curls make the emblem brighter. Many bicycles have been produced under this logo by the Opel Company.
1902 – 1906
The logo resembled the shape of a red eye, inside which there was an oval with the name of the company, and at the top and bottom there were words “Motorwagenfabrik” and “Rüsselsheim”.
1906 – 1909
In the early stages of car development, OPEL worked closely with Renault. It was at this moment in 1906 that an art-decorated black logo with a brown inscription OPEL RUSSELHEIM appeared.
1909 – 1910
In 1909, the logo was simplified. Only the name Opel remained. The logo was intentionally simplified to emphasize its energy.
1910 – 1921
After Wilhelm von Opel visited the USA to study the technologies of conveyor production of cars, the Duke of Hesse proposed the idea of a new logo in the form of a stylized blue eye entwined with a bay leaf. This logo was also called an “Opel Eye”.
1921 – 1928
The “Opel Eye” was now yellow with a black outline and the company name in the middle.
The logo was in the form of a square with a division inside, reminiscent of a chessboard. On the brown squares were the letters “O” and “L”, and on the white – “P” and “E”.
1928 – 1937
The logo again took the shape of an eye, but this time it was depicted in yellow in a red circle.
In 1930, the Company began production of the fastest truck, which weighed 2.5 tons and was equipped with a 6-cylinder engine with a displacement of 3.5 liters. Inside the already familiar yellow eye was the inscription “Blitz Rad” in black color.
1930 – 1936
The logo was now a black oval with a gray outline. The name “Blitz” was specially written at an angle to emphasize speed and impetuosity.
This was the third logo was only used on Opel delivery trucks. The logo consisted of a name “Opel Blitz” completely crossed out by lightning.
1936 – 1952
This truck logo consisted of the words “Opel” and “Blitz” in white color on gray rectangles.
1937 – 1938 (badge)
The logo and the airship were depicted in black.
1937 – 1947
Symbolizing the primacy of the Germans in advanced technology, the grey airship flew through the yellow letter “O”, which resembled the name of the founder of the Company, and a bicycle wheel symbolized society.
1937 – 1950 (badge)
Half white and half yellow oval logo with black company name in the middle.
1938 – 1947 (badge)
The letter “O” now had three layers and the entire logo was rendered in gray.
1947 – 1954
The logo was a simplified version of the 1937-1938 logo.
1950 – 1970
A copy of the 1937-1950 emblem, with the addition of small details.
1951 – 1953 (badge)
Modernized version of the 1937-1938 logo. The airship was depicted with a wing and a letter “O” with two layers.
1952 – 1964
The fifth and final emblem that was used for trucks and was in the form of a horizontal lightning bolt.
1953 – 1956 (badge)
Slightly modified version of the 1937-1938 logo.
1954 – 1963
A copy of the previous emblem, but in yellow with the company name at the bottom.
Thicker version of the airship logo.
1956 – 1957 (badge)
The airship logo, in which the letter “O” had only one layer.
1957 – 1959 (badge)
The letter “O” was again depicted with three layers, and the one in the middle was noticeably thicker. The wing has also changed.
1959 – 1963
Gold-colored logo with airship and single-layered “O”.
1963 – 1964
1964 became a landmark in the history of the Opel logo – a lightning appears crossing the circle, which is the emblem that is now recognized throughout the world. Lightning is an echo of the famous Blitz machine, which has been successfully produced for 30 years.
1964 – 1968 (badge)
The gray logo now showed only a circle and a lightning bolt crossing it.
1964 – 1970
The aforementioned logo was now displayed in a square that also contained the name of the company.
1968 – 1970 (badge)
Slightly modified version of the 1968–1970 logo.
1970 – 1978
The circle and the lightning have been simplified and now depicted on a beige background with the company name below.
1978 – 1987
In 1970, the Opel logo began to be placed on a yellow background, the traditional color of dealer networks.
The name of the company disappeared, and the lightning and the circle had only black outlines.
1987 – 2002
Lightning and a circle were depicted on a beige background. Under it was the name of the company. And the whole logo was inside the rectangle.
1991 – 1995
The lightning and circle were white on the black circle.
1995 – 2002
The zipper and circle were black with the company name at the bottom.
2002 – 2007
The logo has become three-dimensional, larger and brighter, the yellow name of the company has shifted downward.
2007 – 2009
Improved version of the three-dimensional logo.
2009 – 2017
Three-dimensional silver logo with the company name on a circle crossed by a lightning bolt.
2016 – 2021 (badge)
Previous version of the emblem with minor color changes.
2017 – 2020
Rejection of the three-dimensional image. The logo featured only a minimalistic circle and the lightning.
2020 – present
This is a variation of the 2017 logo with a font called Opel Next. The name of the company reappeared under the circle and lightning.
2023 – now
The redesign of the Opel logo, held in 2023, has added more sharpness and geometry to the iconic emblem of the automaker. The recognizable lighting bolt has been split up into two parts, divided by a thin white horizontal line. Another change was made to the circular outline, which became thinner than in the previous version. As for the lettering, it was slightly refined but kept the initial style and shapes.
Emblem and Symbol
The Opel emblem is made in several shades of silver and also has black shades. The silver lightning is adorned with black accents, and the Opel name is printed in black letters at the top of the emblem. This is the first emblem of a German company in a long time to be devoid of any yellow elements.
The fifth generation Corsa (marked with the letter E) made its debut in 2014 and its successor will be available soon.
The fifth incarnation of the Astra (factory designation – K) went on sale in 2015.
Opel Mokka has been on the market since 2012, and after a facelift (in 2016) it was given a new name – Mokka X.