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Evolution of the Type 34 Registry Logo

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This graphic from an internal Karmann document was the seed of inspiration that lead to our current logo...eventually!

Longtime Type 34 fixture Steven Ayres submitted this great article about the evolution of the Type 34 Registry logo. Our thanks to him for his contribution and this great history lesson!

It's very easy to contribute to the site, if you have an article that you feel is of interest to many people (How-to, Authenticity, Mechanical, Historical, etc...) Just click the "Submit an Article" link! We'll review it, edit it (don't worry about spelling, just get close!) and put it up live to the whole world. This also includes articles for our "Featured Car" story each month. Thanks for getting the ball rolling Steven! Read more to see the actual article.

In June of '96 I discovered the Registry at the bottom of a box of parts in the front boot while getting to know the car I'd just bought. I found a stack of newsletters collected by Daniel Gamez, the owner previous to the guy who sold the car to me. They include Issues 3, 4 and 5 of The 1500 Ghia Report and four issues of the Registry newsletter as we came to know it later. I pored over these pages as a godsend to me in the work I was taking on, and I contacted Lee Hedges right away to sign up for more.

There's a lot of great stuff in that pile that I think a lot of us will find interesting, but with this article I'd like to focus on the Registry logo.

Edited by Chip Wimer, The 1500 Ghia Report had a masthead graphic adapted from our familiar brightwork, but issues #3 and 4, from the fall of 1987 and spring of '88, do not mention registering cars or even refer to a club. With issue #5, in July '88, the first edited by Lee Hedges, the idea of a registry had come to the fore. This issue was still titled The 1500 Ghia Report, but more prominent on the front page is a new logo for the "Volkswagen Type III Karmann Ghia Registry."

When I took over publishing the newsletter for my own local VW club, I wanted to upgrade the look, and a big part of that was updating the club's graphics. With issue 5 Lee went through much the same process in expanding the newsletter's scope and refocusing the mission.

On the back page of #5 we have the graphic from the top of the article. As Lee tells it, "I had been corresponding with several German T34 owners and one of them sent me a copy of a unique Karmann factory internal document that had a really cool graphic. The graphic was an engineering measurement tool with a T34 Coupe inside the circle. I scanned the graphic, removed the tool, and built a black ring with white text inside the ring, leaving the T34 inside the circle." On the right is that first version of the Registry logo as it appeared in #5.

Lee continues: "At this time most of us knew the T34 as the 'Type Three Ghia', so that's what the text said on the first generation of the logo. But as I read more of the original Karmann factory documents I learned that this car was officially called the Type 34. So I changed the logo again in 1989 to reflect the name change and the final name of the organization became VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia Registry."

My collection jumps a few issues from that point to November 1990, which carries the logo used by the Registry right up through the end of '03. Like our cars, the Registry graphic went through some tinkering in the first year, but stayed pretty much the same for most of its life.

With the move to the Website as primary communications tool, the logo has changing again. Lee: "Scott McWilliams borrowed the 1961 sales brochure from my collection and created the color logo with the internet address as part of the logo, a fitting symbolic change for the major change in organization format and leadership."

Let's hope the new logo is at least as successful as the previous one!