The Roundel has played prominently in advertising campaigns over the past 90 years, and its origins have been the subject of much discussion among enthusiasts of the marque.
For a well informed article on the history of the logo, refer to BMW Motorcycle Magazine.
Playing off the theme of incorporating the logo into the spinning blades of an airplane propeller, the folks at BMW recently crafted an impressive display.
BMW is the organizing sponsor of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Italy on the shore of Lake Como. The event is a fantastic gathering of the most important cars and motorcycles, garnered from collections around the world.
Playing off the use of the logo in a 1929 advertisement, seen below, some crafty engineers were able to recreate the effect in real life. Click on the video for a demonstration.
Life imitating art! The 1929 BMW advertisement comes to life at Villa d'Este.
Just so there is no confusion, the famous checkered white and blue background of the roundel was not originally meant to represent an airplane propeller. Rather, as anyone who has visisted southern Germany will know, the white and blue colors are from the crest of the Free State of Bavaria. Despite the origins of the company in aircraft engine design, the propeller logo advertisement was not utilized until 1929, well after the roundel was created. Nonetheless, the logo was used in graphic design, to fantastic effect.
See below for other advertisements prominently showcasing the famous "weiss und blau" roundel!