• Dec 1, 2010
Mazda celebrates 90 years and we look at its changing logo – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda turns 90 years old this year, and during the Japanese automaker's near-century of building cars, it has stayed true to the Zoom-Zoom ethos that defined it. One thing that has changed over the years, however, is its logo. In 1936, Mazda entered the world of automobile manufacturing and hit the ground running with not one, but two logos: a simple "Mazda" written in script and a triple "M" symbol that was said to be both a tie to its headquarters – home of Hiroshima City and the sense of speed and agility that Mazda puts into its cars. That triple M also served to stand for Mazda Motor Manufacturer.

Over the course of Mazda's 90 years, its logo would be changed four more times. Today, The stylized M more closely resembles outstretched wings and the Laguna Seca Blue font below it shows just how dedicated Mazda is to making cars that are, at their core, fun to drive.

Take a look through the gallery below and travel through a timeline of Mazda logos.

[Source: Mazda]
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A logo through the century
Leverkusen, 29 November 2010.

A logo's evolution reflects the unfolding of a brand's story through time – capturing its spirit and aspirations for the future. Over its 90 years of existence, the Mazda brand has experienced a rich and fascinating evolution. And its logo has grown into one of the recognized and respected symbols in the automotive industry. A logo's evolution reflects the unfolding of a brand's story through

This is the first recorded corporate Mazda logo, dating back to 1936. It was the registered trademark for Mazda when production began on its three-wheel trucks. The name Mazda derives from Ahura Mazda, a god of wisdom, intelligence and harmony, from the earliest civilisations in western Asia. It is also said to derive from the anglicised version of the name Jujiro Matsuda, founder of Mazda' automotive business.

Mazda also introduced this brand symbol in 1936, which was inspired by the emblem of Mazda's hometown. It expresses the brand's strong link to Hiroshima city which is still today home to the company's global headquarters. The peaks in the logo's middle form a stylised triple "M" symbolizing "Mazda as a motor manufacturer". The wings on both sides represent Mazda's agility, speed and ability to soar to new heights.

Both the corporate and the brand logo were introduced at the same time to ensure that those who saw it on the company's products knew immediately that Mazda's roots lay in Hiroshima.

The introduction of this classic "M" logo coincided with the launch of Mazda's passenger cars in 1959. The first vehicle to wear it was the Mazda R360 coupe which featured several cutting-edge Mazda technologies – a car that broke with conventions, heralding the future of Mazda's passenger cars.

In 1975, this timeless logo was introduced at the same time as Mazda's new corporate identity. Today, 35 years later, the logotype remains an intrinsic element of Mazda's visual identity.

This brand symbol was introduced in 1992. It was accompanied by Mazda's 1975 introduced corporate logo. Its shape expresses the dimensions of wings, sun and a circle of light, and was ultimately the take-off-point for Mazda's current logo.

This new logo was introduced globally in June 1997. It depicts the Mazda "M" whose distinctive "V" shape embodies the company stretching its wings as it soars into the future. It represents the creativity, the sense of mission and vitality that are Mazda – in other words, its quest to continuously grow and improve. In 2000, this philosophy was enhanced with the introduction of the Zoom-Zoom tagline to express the "emotion of motion" built into Mazda vehicles. This Zoom-Zoom ethos, still very much embodied in the logo, soon appeared in the new generation of vehicles which brought the company further along on its road to success.

It is Mazda's intent that this logo, and the spirit it communicates, represent a symbol of excellence and a promise to its customers worldwide. It expresses Mazda's commitment to providing high-quality products that deliver unique driving pleasure and distinctiveness.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Darren Mercieca
      • 11 Months Ago
      what is the green car beside the rx7 fb
      • 4 Years Ago
      I fell in love with Mazda in the mid 90s. I was looking for a small, cheap, car but I didn't like any of the Corollas or Civics I drove. They were incredibly boring. I wanted a Senta SE-R, but they wore expensive and hard to find. Then I drove a 94 Protege LX. It wasn't the fast thing in the world, but it handled great and was fun to drive. I put an additional 120k miles on that car and loved it. I have since bought two more Mazdas.

      I really want to buy another 6, but they made it fat and ugly. Then they put that ugly smiley face on the 3. Really, Mazda, I want to buy another Mazda, but you have to fix that styling first.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hey mazda, how about instead of looking backwards at logos you figure out a way to make our turbos stop smoking (mazdaspeed3).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. (mazdaspeed6)
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be much more effective to present the logos on a white field with white space around them instead of crammed right to the edges which really makes all of the logos look terrible.

      The 1959 circle-m logo is very nice, although looks very dated, but could have been updated very nicely if they really tried. And I think that the current one is really nice - I like that the M is more of a shape and less obviously an M. That separates it a little from the oval-letter logos.

      - Creative Director (which is a former designer who now goes on-and-on telling designers what to do)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Happy anniversary Mazda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 1959 logo is BY FAR the best one. They should go back to that one and keep it for good.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The current Mazda logo feels "fake." Like something that would appear in Grand Theft Auto or a bank commercial because they don't want to license a real logo. Lately it's also been too big on the cars. I have an older Protege and the smaller logo looks sharp.

      Still, the '59 logo is the best. There's something classy and historic about it. As though you would like to have it on a t-shirt or hat.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Even so, it looks far better than the Toyota logo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is the current logo always the worst one? In this case it looks like a tiny crazed mustache on top of the ridiculous wide open mouth (the grill). I know Mazda prides themselves on design, but their design is the one thing that keeps me away from their product (and the fact that they look cheap, but that's part of the design isn't it?).

      -Graphic Designer
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like the previous one better. The current owl line doesn't do anything for me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Opps - current, not first.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I actually like the first one.

        - Graphic Designer
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Benfolio - that would actually be preferable to the current logo.

        IMO, the Japanese are way to big into stylized single letter logos:
        - oval-T
        - oval-L
        - oval-S
        - oval-H
        - box-H
        - box-A
        - slant-S

        Keeping the box-M really doesn't help here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I personally like the lower cars "m" with the circle around it. It has personality, the new flying "M" look not really feeling it. Its not horrible , but its not as pronounced either.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I never understand the previous emblem that looks like an eye sideways. WTF?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wasn't the '92 logo also meant to portray a rotary engine? Maybe not, but I always felt it looked rotary-ish.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Guess it would need to be more triangular.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You must have had some sh!tty cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I always thought it was a toilet seat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The logo of the early 90's, the "eye" looking thing, If I remember then (when I was a kid), it was called "Eternal Flame", and it was described as Mazda's passion for building sporty cars. But the logo was called "Eternal Flame".
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