AROnline : Design a logo – win a prize!

Keith Adams

AROnline needs a new logo. Are you up to the challenge?
AROnline needs a new logo. Are you up to the challenge?

Our logo has stood us in good stead for a number of years now, but in line with the site’s new look and shiny new underpinnings [sorry I do go on about it, but I think it’s brilliant to work on now – Ed] we’re looking for an updated version, something that reflects the direction the site is moving in. But also it needs to be eye-catching and draw people in.

If you have any concepts that you’d share with us, or feel you’d like a crack, please let us know by replying to this story.

Closing date: 10 August.

Prize: Er, not sure yet…

Keith Adams
Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)


  1. Did the logo’s creator Peter, not have some alternatives at the time? I’m sure there was a funky SD1 one.

  2. Frankly Keith, I still like the current logo in its 1980’s “Austin Rover” style – which says it all! Having said that I do like the on-going site improvements and navigation and think your efforts have been worthwhile. Congratulations

  3. I’ll get thinking!! I’m forever doing doodles. New logo ideas will make a change from silly faces or 2D car shapes I’ve dreamt up!

  4. Flippin’ eck – you’ll have had more logo changes than BMC/BL/ARG/MGR at this rate! πŸ˜‰

  5. Why not think about the logo as part of the whole banner area at the top? That banner area is underutilised, does not quite line up with the left while the logo sits on its own, disconnected.

    My suggestion would be to incorporate the logo into a working banner that goes across the top of the site, move the secondary navigation menu down a tiny bit and give the banner some space. The black background, left, top and tail is a tadge dark and undertaker-ish, perhaps time to make a mood change in line with the new logo? I would normally take the site’s colour theme from the logo when building a new site.

  6. It’s an interesting dilemma to design something that encompasses the variety of cars, designs and styles from BMC to Austin-Rover to MG etc and beyond.

    I can see why Keith wants something new, or relevant, but to create something that doesn’t hit at any part of the history would be odd, if not wrong. That’s why I still feel the blue/green chevrons of the Austin-Rover-Triumph-Jaguar early 80s is the best starting point, after all, it’s exactly the same task they found themselves facing back then.

    If we chose just one marque it would seem biased (Rover’s burgundy or MG’s new chrome look). I used the font Eurostyle in the examples above as that was used by Austin Morris, Rover and Land Rover over the years and looks both retro and modern.

    Even though the site is called AROnline, we all know that AR stands for Austin-Rover. If the design was to leave behind all references to Austin-Rover then I’d suggest a name change would be appropriate, something along the lines of:

    British Cars, AutoBritania, UKRoadShow, The Ultimate British Showroom, The British Motor Collection (BMC), Britain in the Metal, Bye Buy British.

    Or perhaps variations of our favourite BMC/BL/MG strapline? Your mother wouldn’t like it…… A British Adventure… Relax, it’s British…

  7. I’ve got an idea.. But it relies heavily on being able to use defunct and existing marques? Though not in their entirety..

    What’s the rules on that? Will ya get an angry letter Keith?

  8. The above discussion reflects the points why I preferred the original ‘the unofficial Austin-Rover web resource’ logo – it was not relying on any badge the make had ever used, yet due to the use of colours and fonts it was visually simple and strong. IMO a logo needs to be recognisable 10ft from the screen from the corner of your eyes… I would like if someone can come up with suggestions based on the name of the website (as this is now like a well known brand) and not something based on any old BL/ARG/MGR-brand logo.

  9. Some great logo ideas – the dilemma is that the site now caters for so much more than BMC/BL/ARG/MGR products. The only common threads are: a) The cars featured were UK products (generally), b) The brands are almost all defunct, c) The site laments a long-lost slice of motoring history in the UK. However, AROnline is a successful brand – so why change the name for the sake of accuracy – after all Coke is so much bigger than 1 sugary soft drink. Maybe a tagline to the logo along the lines of ‘AROnline – & UK Car Making Resource’ (I’m sure the more creative amongst you can think of something more eloquent)…….Ta Ta!

  10. I do like the look of some of Ayd’s initial designs based on the old Austin Rover style & colours – but modernised for 21st century consumption.

  11. At the end of the day Keith, you have to remember the point of the site, and to lose too much identity is a mistake. This is Austin Rover online and it’s main purpose was to sing the praises of all things Austin ROver, British Leyland, Austin, Morris et al, and that is as important today as it was 10 years ago. If this site becomes just another resource to all things current and commercial then it will lose it’s appeal. I like the original logo, but admit it could be smartened up, but I wouldn’t veer too far from theme or you’ll end up just another, which has completely lost it’s way. Hardly anyone contributes to the forum anymore and there is little in the way of info or site updates other than trying to advertise second rate car parts specialists at every opportunity. I realise AROnline has been a labour of love for you, but I can honestly say i don’t believe there is a resource as comprehensive and interesting as this anywhere on the web. Embrace that position and build upon it. Considering the most interesting and most recent design developments were around or before the time of Austin Rover and before, I still think Austin Rover Online is the most appropriate name/brand. You cannot update something too much when it’s main purpose is to store and share the past for future generations surely?

  12. One last comment, from all the recent troubles with hosting and web traffic AROnline clearly isn’t short of interest or visitors, Whilst it might be inkeeping with modern times to keep things fresh and sadly irrelevant, is there really a need to rebrand a site that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors on a regular basis? If anything, I’d argue all you needed was a “Donate” option to help keep this detailed and fascinating resource in tip top shape. I’d donate tomorrow.

  13. I think the idea of continuing the black background would be good. I was thinking it would look good as chrome letters like on the bonnets/boots of a few different cars over the years.
    Dare I say it, even like on the back of a cityrover, maybe with the union flag in the bottom corner?

    Not sure if the link will show it on here, but this gives an idea of how it would look, but would need doing properly. I only have “paint” on my computer, which is pretty crap!

  14. Hi Keith
    Geoff C’s one is a corker.
    Add a bit of blue to it and………………..
    Chris in Devon

  15. There’s some brilliant stuff here, as well as a number of offerings from Peter Roberts, the chap who did the last one.

    I’ve been really impressed. πŸ™‚

    Keep ’em coming in!


  16. I love the inspiration that contributors have made to logo design and they all have their merits… I still like Ayd’s no 23 & 37 best though.

  17. I think James has a point. The strongest brands in the car world don’t change their logos very much (Audi, BMW, Merc, Ford etc). I do like number 38 though!

  18. Reflecting “the direction the site is moving in”…hmmm, perhaps just someone pissing on a clutter of AR badges.
    Seriously though, isn’t it time to come clean and do an entry hub site from which one could then access AR, Ford, etc., etc. with cross-references and stuff to your (and our) heart’s content.
    For such a supersite Geoff C’s almost heraldic design would be great. I wondered if he could try reversing the red and green of the front row chevrons while making the roundel blue? Or even, reflecting the current situation and loads of possible connotations, make the roundel red.
    But I love Ayd’s simplicity and prefer the idea of an evolution. Post 13: one of the two bottom ones; or either of post 37. They seem to keep the theme, thus maintaning continuity while bringing a thoroughly fresh feel. Wonderfully understated work.
    One final thought. While both would work brilliantly, one as Supersite the other as AR-specific, Geoff’s will “date” quicker, because there’s so much going on in it.

  19. I am amazed by the work here.
    Thanks Geoff for doing the blue, Most excellent.
    I do also like the Supercover ones too, But prefer Geoff’s most of all,

    Chris in Devon

  20. I’m liking Ayd’s work 37 & 23 are looking good. Encompassing the MG octagon, AR lettering and Modern Land-Rover’esque lettering.

    I think we do need to try and keep some sort of AR link here, otherwise it’s just another car site and you may as well change the name, would i actively look for another site if you did. No of course not, but then i would never have come across it if i hadn’t once randomly pondered if the domain was registered.

  21. @Geoff C your no.47 why not make the O in ‘Rover’ or ‘Online’ an ‘MG’ octagon but without the ‘MG’ lettering?

  22. As I mentioned before, get in pros to sort out the site and logo. All the above are utterly dismal jokey amateur efforts.

    How would you like your new gas boiler installation designed and installed by a jokey amateur. Same thing applies to the AR site. These people are well-meaning but haven’t a visual clue, frankly. Total waste of time, visual illiterates when it comes to the business of seduction.

    Seduction. A key word. It may not work, and it rusts, but FFS it’s got seduction. You’ve all forgotten that with your naff logos.

    Why have you not gone to top agencies with this, as recommended weeks ago Keith? Or indeed former AR designers/stylists? (now that would be V.V.V. Interesting!!!!)

    i.e., People Who Have A Clue. This site should be so cool, but just right now is so mediocre/boring. Come on Keith, do something radical!


  23. James, 30 and 31. Agree with him totally… OR Keith, you do an utterly amazing makeover by top talent ONLY.

    Or just forget the need to re-invent. You did well son first time around.

  24. Ed, thanks for the advice. It’s always good to involve readers, I think – as it’s their site as much as mine. If you could point me in the direction of your site by way of inspiration, that would be cool…

  25. Hello!

    This is my suggestion.

    My inspiration was the plaques that enthusiasts of British cars decorate their much-loved cars with. I haven’t seen that on any vintage cars from anywhere else. To me this is appreciation of heritage and not just the automobile itself but the complete history of the marque as well as its homeland surroundings.

    I also wanted to use the Union Jack because it’s a very strong graphical element and a way of preserving both the blue and the green from the current logo, without the obvious reference. Then I ended up doing a version without the green as well.

    I hope you like it.

  26. hey i love the logos designed at 13 you must keep the chevrons in its a legacy!!!!! the supercover ones are v good to bloody fantastic.

  27. I wonder if this is going to end the same ways at the ‘Blue Peter Design a Doctor Who Monster Competition’ of 1967 where not only was a winner not announced but all entries mysteriously disappeared as did the children who supposedly sent them in.

    A year later The Krotons appeared on the screen, a monster so rubbish that everyone thought it must have come from the Blue Peter competition.

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