Mazda Logo – Meaning and History of Mazda Emblem

There are several companies which pay tribute to gods by depicting them in logos but Mazda has gone ahead and based its name on that of a god. Mazda’s name comes from Ahura Mazda, the god of light, intelligence, and wisdom in early civilizations in West Asia. Ahura Mazda is also the name of God to Zoroastrians. The company states the name also derives from the name of its founder, Jujiro Matsuda.

Mazda Motor Corporation Information

Founded 30 January 1920
Founder Jujiro Matsuda
Headquarters Hiroshima, Japan
Slogan Zoom Zoom Forever
Official website www.mazda.com

Mazda came into existence in 1920 as Toyo Cork Kogyo (later renamed Toyo Kogyo) but operated without a logo for a good 14 years. Actually, this is not as bizarre as it sounds simply because the company did not start producing anything close to what could be called an automobile until 1931. It started off making corks and then diversified in machine tools before finally presenting a three-wheeled mini-truck (auto rickshaw).

Mazda Logo

Thus was felt the need of a logo and a stylized Mazda moniker started appearing on its vehicles in 1934. A more proper logo appeared a couple of years later, showcasing a pattern of three waves making letter “M” to represent “Mazda Motor Manufacturer”. The pattern also represented the flow of river of Mazda hometown, Hiroshima while the long side extensions represented wings for agility, speed, and ability to soar to new heights.

The company’s vehicles used Mazda name although it wasn’t until 1984 that the company changed its name. Meanwhile, the company registered a new logo in 1951 for the Japanese market, coinciding with the takeover of Tsuneji Matsuda as president.

Mazda Logo 1951

Soon, the company started exporting its three-wheelers in 1949 and came up with a new logo for overseas markets. Once again, Mazda emblem was just “Mazda” written in Roman script.

Mazda Logo 1954

Soon after taking over, Tsuneji gave a new direction to Toyo Kogyo towards making cars but it took quite a few years before this vision got translated into a product. The first car under the brand was launched in 1960, named R360 coupe. This was commemorated by a stylized “m” in Roman script, symbolizing Mazda.

Mazda Logo 1959
Mazda Logo 1959

Another change came in 1975 when the company started using the monogram logo that we still see on its vehicles.

Mazda Logo 1975
Mazda Logo 1975

Eternal Flame logo and similarity with Renault

But the automaker was still using Mazda monogram for its logo and so, a diamond-like shape enclosed in a circle was adopted as the logo in 1991. Also called eternal flame logo, the emblem also paid homage to the rotary engine which Mazda became famous for.

Mazda Eternal Flame Logo 1991
Mazda Eternal Flame Logo 1991

Mazda logo was soon improvised by smoothing out the diamond’s edges as the previous one resembled Renault emblem.

Mazda Eternal Flame Logo 1992
Mazda Eternal Flame Logo 1992

Current Mazda emblem: Not too old

Seven years down the line, Mazda brought in a new V-shape wings logo standing for “growth” and “improvement”. The wings were enclosed in a dynamic circle symbolizing its readiness to spread wings in the 21st century. In Mazda’s own words:

Capturing the spirit of Mazda, the stylized “M” evokes an image of wings in flight and symbolizes the Mazda’s flight toward the future. The “V” in the centre of the “M” spreads out like an opening fan, representing the creativity, vitality, flexibility and passion that is Mazda.

Mazda Logo 1997
Mazda Logo 1997

Mazda logo was refreshed in 2015, refining the colors and giving a three-dimensional treatment to the Mazda monogram.

Mazda Logo 2015
Mazda Logo 2015

An important thing mostly gone unnoticed is that the Mazda monogram is all small, except the letter “D”. Mazda’s official account is that it is a deliberate choice to showcase the automaker’s precision and reliability. Of course, “d” in a lower case would have gone above the upper line of the rest of the letters.

While the Japanese automaker has been pretty inconsistent with its logo, the current Mazda emblem has been around for more than 20 years. It has classy design elements and is easily recognizable.

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