Here is the real meaning behind the Dacia logo
Mention Romania to American consumers, and they’ll think of mythical lands dominated by vampires and legendary creatures like Dracula. Some might even remember Nadia Comaneci, the famous gymnast who became a worldwide sensation in 1976, when she achieved a perfect score of 10.0 at the Olympics. Cold War enthusiasts will even know of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his long despotic reign. However, few Americans know that the country has its own well-developed automobile industry, which produced car models like the Lastun, Oltcit, ARO and Dacia. Romania was one of the main car manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe throughout the Cold War, but the sector suffered after the 1989 revolution. Fast forward to 1999 and the Romanian government sold Dacia to the manufacturer French automobile, the Renault group, which reorganized and reinvigorated the brand.
Nowadays, Dacia is a well-known name and brand in Europe. And the automaker has become synonymous with affordable and economical cars. Moreover, in recent years, the company has broken sales records after sales, and its cars have become popular throughout Europe and even outside the European Union, in countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Turkey. In 2019 alone, Dacia sold 30,951 cars in the UK46,043 to Morocco, 23,066 units went to Algeria and 20,006 to Turkey, according to Statistical. Given the commercial success of the brand, let’s explore the true meaning of the Dacia logo.
Past emblem and visual identity of Dacia
Dacia introduced its first logo in the late 1960s. First revealed to the public in 1968, the original emblem featured a large eagle with outstretched wings. The eagle sat on top of a snowy mountain cliff and above its head there were the letters “UAP”, which was an abbreviation for “Uzina de Autoturisme Pitesti” (Pitesti Automobile Factory). That said, the Arges county armories inspired the original emblem as the factory was in Pitesti, the county capital. The old logo had the classic shield shape that was widely used in the 1960s, and the color scheme was vivid.
In 1978, Dacia unveiled a new emblem, conceptually identical to the previous one, but which eliminated the colors and retained a monochrome appearance. This logo has a gray bird surrounded by a black background rather than a yellow eagle. The silver hues of the mountains and the letters “UAP” are identical.
Fast forward to 1990 and Dacia comes up with a brand new logo. The automaker replaced the eagle and the letters “UAP” with the word “DACIA” written in white on a black background. The Romanian automaker retains the frame of the shield, but adds the border strips in white and black. The company then removed the border stripes and replaced the black background with a blue tint in 1997. The letters for “Dacia” are slightly larger, but the automaker uses the same font. In 2003, Dacia updated its coat of arms giving it a three-dimensional appearance thanks to the tiny triangles contained in the badge. The word mark gets a contemporary typeface, and the designers have added a new gray border. In 2008, Dacia released the first generation Sandero with the new logo. This time, the designers replaced the shield with a metallic shape resembling an elegantly closed and rounded letter “U”. Here, the fonts used in “Dacia” are sober and elegant.
The new Dacia logo
In 2021, Renault unveils a new visual identity, logotype and emblem for Dacia. According to the Renault group,the brand embraces symbols of simplicity and robustness with an all-new logo and emblem, and an additional new color scheme that evokes the great outdoors and the great outdoors. And just like that, Renault communicated the new values of the Romanian automaker. The modern Dacia brand is synonymous with minimalism and a passion for the “outdoors”.
“Our objective, throughout the creative research, was to change the visual language of the brand by drawing on its fundamental characteristics: a robust and simple design, and a desire to focus on the essentials”, explains Julie, Lead Brand designer.
Undoubtedly, Renault has achieved its goal and the new logo communicates a modernism and understated elegance. The letters look sturdy, simple and devoid of any artificial elements, just like Dacia vehicles. Meanwhile, the designers eliminated the closing strokes on the letters “D” and “A”, leaving only certain geographic shapes intact that require the viewer to use their imagination to decode the message. As for the “C” and the “D”, they are mirror copies of each other. Elsewhere, the color palette built around khaki green shows the connection with nature and the great outdoors. Secondary colors are dark green, terracotta, sand hues, orange and bright green, which again convey the image of nature and outdoor explorations. Renault highlights the emblem stemming from the logo, allowing gearheads to see the same simple lines and geometric patterns even here.
“The emblem derives from the logo, with simple and clean lines, it shows the coming together of the ‘D’ and the ‘C’, like perfectly symmetrical links of a chain that come together in a strong and coherent link”, explains Renault.