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|
|Slogan||Zoom Zoom Forever|
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).
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.
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.
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.
Another change came in 1975 when the company started using the monogram logo that we still see on its vehicles.
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 logo was soon improvised by smoothing out the diamond’s edges as the previous one resembled Renault emblem.
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 was refreshed in 2015, refining the colors and giving a three-dimensional treatment to the Mazda monogram.
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.