When you look at the logo a Mazda car brandishes, what do you see: a stylized letter M that obviously represents the brand’s name or the wings of a bird whose species you cannot tell?
No matter which symbol you guess, you’re right!
Founded by Jujiro Matsuda nearly 100 years ago, Mazda is one of the leading car manufacturers on the face of the planet. It also has one of the most simple and easily recognizable car logos around — it is virtually impossible for anyone to mistake the Mazda logo for the logo of a different car.
But did you know that the iconic logo didn’t look like that until 1997? If you’d like to know more about the well-loved car brand’s logo history, read on!
Earlier, we mentioned that Mazda entered the world of automobile production in 1931. However, back then the vehicles the company produced had no logo on them.
It was when 1934 struck when the very first Mazda emblem came into being. There was nothing really special to it — it was just the word Mazda in cute letters. As a matter of fact, technically speaking, it wasn’t a logo.
The people behind Mazda had a change of heart and finally decided to have a proper logo designed. It consisted of three horizontal bars, and it was inspired by the emblem used by Hiroshima Prefecture, the hometown of Mazda.
But to make it Mazda’s very own, a hint of the letter M was introduced into every bar. The logo’s primary and solitary design elements looked like the waves of the ocean, although they also looked like mountain ranges.
A little over a couple of decades later, the Japanese automotive company decided to sport a logo, one that is no longer inspired by Hiroshima Prefecture’s emblem.
This time, it was a small letter M whose both ends extend to the edges of the round design, but in opposite directions. The new logo debuted with the first passenger cars of the company — yes, before 1959, Mazda produced trucks only
The logo that was introduced in 1959 was the official Mazda symbol for the next 16 years. In 1975, however, Mazda’s logo’s appearance changed — it’s a stylized name of the Japanese carmaker, using bold strokes.
Other than on its automobiles, Mazda used the brand new logo on its various products, too. If you look up this 1975 Mazda logo, you will find that it looks familiar — it is still being used these days on documents, ads, and others.
It is during this part of Mazda’s history when the people behind it hungered for an artistic emblem once again. The company came up with a diamond-shaped logo that incorporated elements from older logos.
However, there is one problem with this new symbol: the content of the circle badge kind of resembled the symbol of Renault, which is a French automobile manufacturer that makes anything from vans to race cars.
Because of the fact that many noticed that the automotive company’s brand new logo was reminiscent of Renault’s logo, the Mazda diamond logo was scrapped after just a year.
What the Mazda logo designers did has they rounded off the edges, thus creating a smoother version of the discontinued emblem. By the way, it’s this 1992 logo that would serve as the inspiration for the next logo — the one that we see on all Mazda cars these days.
The badge that you can spot on any current Mazda car is actually a little more than two decades old. This doesn’t come as a surprise because when it was unveiled in 1997, the company, as well as the consumers, loved it.
Apparently, it bore a stylized letter M. However, this logo Mazda uses to date also symbolizes wings, which serve to represent the Japanese car manufacturer’s mission to keep soaring into the future.
Well, that’s it — we just talked about all of Mazda logos throughout the company’s history. As you can see, not a lot of things changed about the company’s mission, vision, and goals since it came into being in the early 1930s, except for a time when it started churning out passenger cars — although the Mazda logo itself underwent a handful of changes throughout the course of its history in an attempt to find one that could best represent it.
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