The Datsun brand has disappeared and reappeared twice. Its history dates back to the early 20th century when two Japanese companies merged into one large structure to produce luxury cars. At the same time, the range was based on an inexpensive model that dominated the US market in the 1960s. However, the fame did not last long: the trademark ceased in 1986 and was forgotten for the next 27 years. She returned in 2013 with new machines targeted at buyers from several countries.
Meaning and History
What is Datsun?
The automotive brand Datsun has experienced two births. It appeared in 1931 when the first subcompact prototype from DAT Automobile Manufacturing was introduced. In 1986, the brand disappeared, giving way to Nissan. The restart took place in 2013: Datsun began to produce inexpensive cars for several countries. In 2020, production in Russia and Indonesia was stopped, but the machines continue to be manufactured in India.
Datsun is directly related to Nissan Motors because that company originally owned it. As far as we know, in 1934, Jitsuyo Automobile and DAT Automobile merged, the two automakers that gave birth to Nissan. At the same time, the products of the newly formed structure were sold abroad under the Datsun brand. First, the lineup was represented by luxury cars. During the fighting, the time has come for military technology. When World War II ended, the US Army ordered Datsun mini-trucks from Nissan, saving the automaker from bankruptcy.
So gradually, the Japanese brand became popular and captured the American market with its cheap transport. But the parent company had completely different plans: it decided to abandon Datsun to unite all areas under Nissan’s common name. This required a huge financial investment that did not even pay off. The executives didn’t take into account that people were used to the old brand. If Japan knew about the existence of Nissan, then in all other countries, motorists were familiar only with the Datsun logo. As a result, sales in the overseas market dropped sharply.
The automaker started from scratch. He had to re-win the trust of customers and draw attention to his products. It is all the more surprising that in 2013 he decided to restore the Datsun brand, for which he launched a whole campaign to “resurrect” it. The owners decided to do without total rebranding. They retained the original name, which was composed of two words: “DAT” (initials of investors) and “sun” (symbol of Japan). By the way, at first, the creatives were going to give the brand a completely different name – Datson. It would indicate that the brand is a subsidiary of DAT. But in Japanese, this spelling caused negative associations, so the penultimate letter was replaced.
After the unexpected return of Datsun, the logo was retained, albeit with a modern look. Over the century, it changed many times, but most often, laconic inscriptions prevailed. They were an integral part of the iconography of cars that made it to export markets. However, the most popular and memorable round sign with a rectangular plaque where the brand name was written.
1935 – 1951
The original emblem contained a red circle divided into two equal parts by a blue rectangle with ” DATSUN ” white lettering.” The word was written in bold type with long and sharp serifs. The letters were disproportionately squeezed at the edges.
1951 – 1963
Another early symbol looked like a red plaque with rounded corners. Inside was the brand name, highlighted by an elongated white line. The most unusual was the first “D,” which had the shape of a rectangular trapezoid. Moreover, all the letters consisted of strokes of different thicknesses and were slightly flattened—the presented badge adorned cars of the Datsun 320 model.
1963 – 1965
In 1963, a logo appeared with widely spaced letters that were connected by thin horizontal lines. The font became handwritten, with a noticeable slant to the right. The rectangle disappeared, and the red color was replaced by blue. This wordmark could be seen on the Datsun Bluebird 410 radiator grilles.
1965 – 1970
The brand had another version of the logo. The designers almost exactly repeated the inscription from the emblem of 1951-1963 but removed the colored background and repainted the word yellow. The font has changed slightly: the letters have acquired a strict shape and proportion. The stroke weight has increased, and “D” has become symmetrical. A rough analog of this badge was used on Datsun Bluebird 411 cars.
1970 – 1972
In 1970, the inscription was placed inside a gray oval with a red and black ring in the middle. The gradient gave the elliptical shape a three-dimensional effect. The letters also seemed three-dimensional because they were outlined with thin dark lines contrasted with the base white. Moreover, large rectangular serifs made the brand name noticeable against the background of other elements. This logo was first used for the Datsun Cherry 100A E10.
1972 – 1976
In 1972, another version of the word mark appeared: a simple black inscription on a white background. The most prominent detail was the very long and sharp serifs on the edges of the letters. A similar symbol adorned the Datsun 240K C110 cars, but it was missing some elements.
1976 – 1986
The Datsun corporate logo was developed in 1976. It was based on the original design and contained the same elements as the first emblem: two red semicircles, a blue rectangle, and white lettering. The font changed because the developers preferred the sans-serif version, with bold lines of the same thickness. Due to the small spacing, the letters practically crawled over each other. Due to its characteristic structure, Americans have nicknamed this symbol “hamburger.” In the 1980s, it was used on cars and the Nissan emblem, and then it was abandoned. The Datsun brand remained a marketing tool for selling products until the mid-1980s when the parent company began unifying its names. In 1986 he was forgotten for a long time.
2013 – 2020
What does the Datsun logo mean?
The Datsun logo has several meanings. First of all, the blue oval represents the sun, which symbolizes growth, development, and modernity. This sacred element illustrates the brand name and pays tribute to Japanese culture. A rectangular figure with rounded edges located in the middle represents energy and forward movement.
In 2010, the owners decided to restore the historic trademark. The preparatory phase took three years, and already in 2013, Datsun machines returned to the markets of some countries. They needed a little image change to show their commitment to progress. Therefore, the logo was changed, although it retained some of the classic elements.
In the center of the blue plaque is the word “DATSUN.” The inscription has a linear white-to-gray gradient; the letters are highlighted in black outlines on the right side. The rounded rectangle is embedded in the same blue ellipse. In addition to color, they are united by a radial gradient, making it appear that an invisible light source is located in the left corner. The outer part of the logo is a silver oval bezel with a cut top and bottom.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
What is the Datsun symbol?
The main symbol of Datsun is the sun because it is depicted on the flag of Japan and is associated with the unspoken nickname of this country: “Land of the Rising Sun.” The sun is also on the car brand’s logo, but it isn’t easy to recognize it because of the non-standard design.
What is the font of the Datsun logo?
The lettering on the Datsun logo takes center stage, so the designers paid a lot of attention to the typography. They chose a bold sans-serif typeface that has no counterpart. The typeface roughly matches the paid MicroSquare Bold Extended from FontSite Inc. and with the free Plateia Bold by Steve Gardner.
The circle in the middle represents the rising sun – the main symbol of Japan. It demonstrates that the company is committed to development and modernity. The circle also illustrates to some extent the name Datsun. The dividing rectangle represents the power of energy – what helps the brand move forward.
Following an established tradition, the designers used a sans-serif font for the logo. The official colors of the car brand used to be red, blue, and white – the same as on the US flag. After the revival, the emblem became silver-blue, as America ceased to be the main market for Datsun.