Mazda Logo: A Symbol with History



In 2015, CNN named Mazda the 4th most reliable brand, and in 2017, the Telegraph called it the 11th most dependable car. In Japanese, the word Mazda means wisdom. Mazda’s philosophy of wisdom? Safety and simplicity. 


The Mazda brand utilizes a sumptuous, iconic design. It remains synonymous with the Mazda car today. With reliable vehicles optimized for driver control, Mazda is one of Japan’s most durable and dependable car brands in the world. At Walker’s Renton Mazda, we boast a selection of new and pre-owned Mazda vehicles. Get to know the Mazda brand a little better by finding out about its logo.



The history of the Mazda symbol




The first Mazda symbol was a corporate logo designed in the 1930s. It first appeared on the company’s three-wheel trucks. The symbol in 1934 was the word “Mazda” in slanted font with a slight accent of the letter z. This symbol remained in place from 1934 to 1954 on selected Mazda vehicles, like their three-wheel automobiles.


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The symbol that follows simulates the river of the brand’s hometown. As such, the emblem comprises of three waves that look like a flowing river. In the center of the three stacked lines are two rising crests that subtly form the letter M. The Ms in this symbol stand for three words - Mazda Motor Manufacturer. The ends of the line elongate on either side of the logo to represent the Mazda car’s soaring capabilities alongside its unmatched speed and agility. 


The company modified the symbol in 1936 to match the emblem of the city of Hiroshima where the brand first started. This allowed them to pay homage and show dedication to the brand’s home. 




Mazda used their next symbol, created in 1959, for the next sixteen years before replacing it. This change in the emblem coincided with the release of the brand’s first passenger cars. The logo became a simple san serif M in lower case. It also featured both ascending and descending stems on the edge of the letter. The letter M is contained within a circle, and it was commonly used in most Mazda cars until 1974.


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After a long hiatus without a new logo, the company decided to adopt a new corporate identity symbol. In time, this became the only Mazda symbol across all its vehicles. 


The logo was the word Mazda in both upper and lower case. The letters “a” and “d” were in lowercase with the letter “z” standing out in the center in upper case and an ultra-high-tech font. 


Upon close inspection, the Z looks like it has been stenciled onto the logo. The use of this symbol went on until 1997 and was adopted by the Mazda sales channels to establish the brand worldwide. There were a few variations to the logo, especially during the 90s, but they all maintained the word Mazda.

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In 1997 the automaker changed the brand symbol into something similar to what was commonly used in their corporate written documents. This is the letter mark logo with a stylized Z in the center. The symbol was adopted in 1997 and was unchanged until today. It’s a circle that has a design that looks like a V made with a pair of wings. 


The wings represent the company’s ability to soar into the future and take on even more significant challenges. The company is focused on improving its brand and vehicles in the market. 


Rei Yoshimura designed the current logo, but a lot of people think it looks like an owl. Upon close inspection, the logo does look like the head of an owl or even a fancy tulip. The idea behind the symbol is to remind customers of the company’s ability to scale and remain resilient, standing up to industry challenges and evolving to adapt and remain on the cutting edge of new technologies.



In 2000, the company introduced the zoom-zoom tagline, which focuses the consumer on the concept of emotion in motion that has been incorporated in all Mazda vehicles. 


Jujiro Matsuda, the second president and founder of the company, is responsible for naming the brand. Matsuda had been with the company since its inception when it was still called Toyo Kogyo. The name Mazda sounds very similar to Matsuda when spoken out loud.


However, the key members of the company opted for Mazda because they felt it was a symbol that connects the Western and Eastern civilizations and cultures through the use of automobiles. The renaming of the Toyo Kogyo to Mazda Motor Corporation was the beginning of many changes that represent the company. 


There has been a constantly evolving meaning that surrounds the brand. One is that the word Mazda has always remained as the base from which the symbols are derived. Logos and symbols always incorporate the word represented by a letter or the entire word in a stylized form.


The second consistent meaning is that Mazda has always strived to symbolize growth, soaring, agility, and speed with its brand symbols. These are values and qualities that the company closely identifies with and works towards achieving in all their car models.


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The Mazda logo remains well recognized and inspires trust in customers. With such a rich history behind the name, driving a Mazda is like driving a car with character. Even today, the company still pays homage to its naming heritage with nuances like using an uppercase “D” in its corporate logo with a stylized finish. 


These are design trends that the company has used in the past with excellent results. The name Mazda represents family heritage and tradition. It also shows dedication to the roots that hold the company together. The origin ultimately stems from Hiroshima, the company’s home city, to the gods that represent the symbols they hold dearly.


With such a meaningful history, there is no doubt that Mazda comes from the best. If you are interested in a durable vehicle for you and your family, check out Walker's Renton Mazda for a selection of new and pre-owned Mazdas to pick the right one for you.


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