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Nissan is not the most well-known of the Japanese auto brands, but it’s got enough of a following to have customers who keep coming back for more models. A small part of this may be the Nissan logo, which is easily recognizable, and will never be confused with another brand. It also has an interesting history that Nissan continues to utilize.

Nissan has a new logo with a forward-looking meaning

It’s essential to change, grow, and evolve, but there is a risk of losing your current audience in the process. Nissan has managed to circumvent this by keeping many of the same features in its new logo, while updating things. The final result is just enough that anyone who sees a Nissan passing by will recognize the logo, but it’s also different enough that it justifies a second look to see what’s new.

Nissan has several photos of the new logo on its news site, and it reveals a circle split in two with the Nissan name in the center. There is no bar, but this is vaguely represented in the circle thanks to thin lines attached to the end of the circle halves.

The new lettering used on the Nissan name is no longer bold. It looks thin, airy, and light. Car Logos points out that this is Nissan’s way of pointing out it’s moving in a different direction. In this case, it’s that Nissan plans to embrace more electric vehicles.

The background for the new logo is either black or red. When it’s displayed on vehicles, the logo is silver.

How has the Nissan logo changed over the years?

Car Logos reports that Nissan was founded in 1933 by Yoshisuke Aikawa. When he named the company, he chose “ni” (“sun”) and “ssan” (“product” or “birth”). Aikawa held to a belief which said, “Shisei tenjitsu o tsuranuku.” This means, “If you have a strong belief, it penetrates even the sun.”

Because of this, the Nissan logo has often had a circle, which symbolizes the sun. In many instances, it also has the Nissan name boldly displayed in all caps. 

The original logo released in 1933 was a red circle with a blue bar that holds the Nissan, according to Fabrik. In 1940, this changed to an odd geometric shape that is red. The Nissan name is in the middle, and the circle and bar symbol rest above it.

In the ’50s things changed to just the Nissan name. It was displayed in various colors, like red, black, and even a tan outlined with brown. In 1959, Nissan dropped the bold styling, and choose to use cursive. It looked beautiful and was eye-catching, but it was also difficult to read, and this version of the logo didn’t last that long.

 It wasn’t until the ’19’80s that the circle and bar returned. This logo has been displayed as steel-blue, silver and gray, and just plain silver. It was a very modern look, and seems to have defined the recent updates to the Nissan logo.

Why do logos matter for car companies?

For non-auto lovers, it takes a lot for them to recognize one vehicle from another. There are obviously exceptions to this, of course, like Porsche or Jeep models, which have enough defining characteristics to really stand out. For those cars that do not, logos can change that.

With the right logo that stands out, everyone can easily identify which brand it’s from. If they like this vehicle enough, then they may even decide to purchase one in the future. 

Then there are some people who are very loyal to one particular brand, and may even advertise for automakers by getting keychains, wearing T-shirts or hats, or buying other items like towels. Nissan may not woo people to wear its products, but it has succeeded in making its logo unmistakable.


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