Aktualisiert: 1. März 2020
During their rich history since 1923, the Austrian Federal Railways, better known as Österreichische Bundesbahnen, have had three prominent logos. Each emblem embodies its own era quite effectively and is representative of the design trends of the time. Seen from a chronological perspective, the three logos actually share important common elements and do represent a continuous, harmonious brand evolution.
In 1974 the traditional yet very symmetrical and therefore quite dynamic winged wheel was replaced with the modernist "Pflatsch". In English, best translated as "Splash". This emblem was initially paired with orange jaffa livery for locomotives. Just like its predecessor logo, the "Pflatsch" was symmetrical and outlined motion, making it most appropriate for a railway company.
Although the "Pflatsch" became easily recognizable in Austria and to Austrians, abroad it was not immediately associated with the railways. Therefore in 1998, the stylized word mark ÖBB started to appearing next to it. Over time, the word mark has come to replace and supercede the "Pflatsch" as the primary ÖBB emblem, also marking a shift from orange to red for virtually all branding.
With its dynamically dashed O, the current ÖBB letter-based logo once again features a stylized winged wheel and maintains the important theme of motion in its visual language.
Even though all of ÖBB's newest trains with "railjet", "cityjet" or "nighjet" branding are only badged up with the newest word mark logo, the "Pflatsch" can still be seen on some older Class 1142 or 1144 locomotives and on signage at small rural stations. Meanwhile, the original winged wheel enjoys enduring popularity and nostalgic value and is easily spotted on the preserved rolling stock of museums or preservation societies.