It’s not exactly an about-face, but the latest news from VW *is* about typefaces: Volkswagen has announced that its future does not include the Futura-based (known as VW Utopia) font the brand has used in its advertising since the 1960s.
VW will soon move to a new typeface to be used “in and on” (according to VW marketing boss Xavier Chardon) upcoming Volkswagen models, so while the press release from MetaDesign (the firm that created the proprietary new font) talks about the importance of the typeface used on instruments and infotainment systems, we’re reading the strong possibility its design will end up on exterior badging, too.
There are a couple variations on the updated text style: one is called Volkswagen Head, and the other is Volkswagen Text. There’s no suggestion how they differ or will be used, but the the MetaDesign release is full of juicy, nerdy-dirty PR talk about radiating “dynamism, modernity, and the human touch,” and “angles, edges and curves (creating) visual bridges and a pleasant flow.”
Have a look at the differences between Futura and the future font in the graphic, originally published by Car & Driver.
What we don’t see here is a reason for the change, other than how the use of a proprietary font will save money by eliminating “license payments for unlimited user rights.” VW has already begun using the new typeface to “communicate in a new visual dialect around the world and across all media,” and will be used in/on vehicles as they are redesigned.