Friday, the 200th anniversary of French car maker Peugeot, saw the unveiling of the new Peugeot brand by BETC Design as well as the launch of the SR1 concept car and an impressive promo video retracing the brands history from its humble origins as a coffee grinder maker, via steam-powered tricycles to one of the world's leading car manufacturers.
The new brand is an improvement in some ways on the rather unsophisticated and functional 1989 design but is rather a predictable solution with a few disturbing characteristics.
Most disappointing is the treatment of the lion - Peugeot's heritage symbol - who has lost all his majesty and force, his very lion-ness and now looks more like a teddy bear or a poodle. This, to judge by the comments in internet chat's, is what most concerns the design community and the general public.
The chrome treatment of the lion, the current design trend for all car makers, is poorly rendered, where Citroën's by Landor was successful. There is none of the power and dynamism of Jaguar by The Partners 2002. The typography is light and sophisticated with the same E as Citroën, perhaps to signify their belonging to the same group. One thing I have always questioned is why the lion faces left, when the name reads left to right and facing left is looking backwards. Flipping him to face the future was just too much change?