The circular blue and white BMW logo or roundel evolved from the circular Rapp Motorenwerke company logo, which featured a black ring bearing the company name surrounding the company logo, on a plinth a horse’s head couped.
BMW retained Rapp’s black ring inscribed with the company name, but adopted as the central element a circular escutcheon bearing a quasi-heraldic reference to the coat of arms (and flag) of the Free State of Bavaria (as the state of their origin was named after 1918), being the arms of the House of Wittelsbach, Dukes and Kings of Bavaria. However, as the local law regarding trademarks forbade the use of state coats of arms or other symbols of sovereignty on commercial logos, the design was sufficiently differentiated to comply, but retained the tinctures azure (blue) and argent (white).
The current iteration of the logo was introduced in 2020, removing 3D effects that had been used in renderings of the logo, and also removing the black outline encircling the rondel. The logo will be used on BMW’s branding but will not be used on vehicles.