After rebranding with three-dimensional, chrome-effect logos in the 80s and 90s, carmakers from Nissan to BMW are reverting to flat designs to retain relevance in the digital world. We’ve rounded up seven examples.

Simplified, two-dimensional logos replicate better on screens and in miniature as app icons, prompting designers to ditch the three-dimensional logos that were popular among automotive companies in the 1980s and 90s.

These logos had reflections and textures that mimicked how emblems would look in cast metal and enamel on a real car. But this approach, called skeuomorphism, has fallen out of favour as digital communication takes precedence, with logos now designed primarily with screens in mind.

“With the advent of digital brand touchpoints and especially small mobile screens, all those fiddly bevels and gradients meant the logos became little grey smudges, indistinguishable from one another,” explained Dan Beckett, lead designer of Toyota’s latest logo.

“I don’t see [flat design] as a new trend,” Beckett added. “I see it as the logical solution to a universal problem created by a different trend.”

Read on Dezeen selection of seven car brands that have recently rebranded with flat design: