The Japanese automobile brand Mazda is known worldwide; today, it is one of the 15 largest auto giants. More than one and a half million new cars are sold annually, and even the children recognize the company logo, although it has changed dramatically and often.
Meaning and History
The company was established in 1920 in Futu, a suburb of Hiroshima. Its founder, the son of a simple fisherman, Jujiro Matsuda, bought the building materials factory but decided to produce not only products for the construction of traditional Japanese houses but also engineering equipment. During this period, several motorcycles were manufactured at the factory, one of which won local races in 1930. And in 1931, the first lorry named Mazda appeared on the streets of Hiroshima.
The origin of Mazda has a double meaning. That is exactly what the name Matsuda was pronounced by the Americans, from whom he gained knowledge in the automotive industry. And this is the name of the deity of wisdom, harmony, and light, Ahura Mazda, highly revered in Japan.
1920 – 1931
In the first years of its existence, when the plant produced only engineering equipment, the emblem was a stylized image of a milling cutter for metal cutting and machine parts.
1931 – 1934
Then in 1931, it was replaced by a triangle known to us with white and blue sectors, visually forming a star with three rays. The company name is written in a slanted handwritten font in transparent letters consisting only of a frame.
The first logo of a full-fledged automobile plant appeared in 1934.
1934 – 1936
The first emblem placed on the front radiator of the car was only the name of the company, written in elegant oblique italics in the Japanese style of writing – with thickening letters and pointed edges with small serifs – dark-blue color.
1936 – 1959
The emblem, created in 1936, has changed dramatically. The symbol of Hiroshima, which looks like a stream of the river of the same name within the city, was taken as its basis. Designers took three such parallel lines, in the center of which the kinks form the letter “M,” which means the new name “Mazda Motor.” In a visual image, this logo resembled the aviation sign of the time.
1959 – 1975
The logo was again radically changed. The year 1959 was a landmark for the company – the first Mazda passenger car was released. The emblem was a white circle in a thin red frame. In the center is the handwritten letter “m” in the lower case with elongated sidewalls – left up, right down. The bright red letter attracted attention with its soft, soothing lines and unusual presentation. And under the circle was placed the name MAZDA in capital letters, but with a slope. The color of the inscription is blue.
1975 – 1991
In 1975, the owners decided to return to a simpler and more spacious logo – only the name of the company but made in the original minimalistic and stylish font. It was developed by order and had no analogs. This font is called “Mazda” and is still in use today. Its peculiarity is low capital letters, the spelling of the first “m” in lower case, and the letter “z” with white diagonal stripes. The color is light blue.
1991 – 1992
It was decided to add a symbolic icon to the company name. Initially, it was in the form of a rhombus located inside the oval.
1992 – 1997
In 1992, the strict geometric shapes of the symbol softened, the lines became smooth.
1997 – 2015
During this period, the brand symbol that was relevant today was created and used. The diamond-shaped sign was replaced by the English letter V (symbol of victory), the drooping wings of which, together with the oval frame, form M (symbol of Mazda). This icon seems to be flying, looking forward to the future. The icon color is metallic gray with white, made in 3D technology, which gives it a three-dimensional. The name Mazda in blue is placed below it.
2015 – 2018
The logo underwent minor changes: the icon remained the same, and the name was made larger and grayer in tone, with a highlight on the top.
2018 – present
Again, the changes affected only the company name at the bottom of the logo: it was made the same in color and 3D presentation, like the badge, which raised the trademark to a higher level.
Experts recognize the modern emblem as flawless in design and one of the best in automotive symbols.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The modern version of the logo is composed of two basic parts. The first is “V,” a sign of victory, a stylized letter “M,” conveying the auto giant’s name and the symbol of the Hiroshima River, where the city of the same name is located. This element comes from the 1936 emblem. The second fragment represents an oval that appeared in 1991. Their combination has created the most recognizable and successful label in the automotive industry.
The emblem’s design underlines Mazda’s transport identity: the logo has a metallic sheen that visually makes it look three-dimensional. The 3D effect is enhanced by the shadows in the lower part of the “M,” the legs of which harmoniously merge with the circle.
In early logos, the name of the company is written obliquely: letters resembling a handwritten style. In 1975, the word “Mazda” took on a stricter form – it became thicker and squat. Since 2018, a branded typeface based on the classic Optima font has been used.
The emblem color has never been bright: it contains navy blue, cyan, gray, black, and silver. They emphasize the rigor, restraint, and “metallic” nature of the products. The unique combination of light and dark shades of gray creates a three-dimensional effect.