In an industry that is over a hundred years old containing automakers that have been around for decades, it’s not uncommon to see a car brand evolve with the times. Technological advancement and styling trends are perhaps the most obvious evidence of this, but occasionally, a change is as subtle as a logo redesign.
Case in point, Nissan has taken their familiar emblem back to the drawing board and tweaked it to better represent what they say is their new chapter. For a number of years, Nissan’s logo has been underpinned by an ethos of its founder Yoshisuke Aikawa, “Shisei tenjitsu o tsuranuku,” which he interpreted to mean, “If you have a strong belief, it penetrates even the sun.”
Still embodying this core belief, the new logo was inspired by the shifting dynamics within society that have occurred over the last two decades since the previous logo evolution.
“We are more connected than ever before. People are growing up with the access to knowledge and the potential for interaction that the internet offers. Our lives are as much digital as they are physical. Hence strong brands need to have effective touch points in both realms. Nissan’s new logo comes alive as it pivots to the future while staying proudly connected to its rich heritage, and tradition of innovation,” detailed Nissan in a statement.
Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s Senior VP of Global Design, spearheaded the undertaking to evolve Nissan’s logo and brand identity. In 2017, he appointed Tsutomu Matsuo, Deputy GM of Nissan’s Advanced Design Department, to lead a design team that looked at everything from a slight evolution to an elaborate reinvention. Albaisa’s brief to the team was summarised as “thin, light and flexible”.
“Inspiration was drawn from breakthroughs in science, technology and connectivity. How these have brought fundamental changes to our customers,” said Albaisa. “As you can imagine, visions of digitalisation started swirling in our heads.”
Several months later, the fresh design was born, carefully honed to look at home on any canvas it might appear on; be it paper, digital, wall, or, naturally, the brand’s vehicles. It made its debut in July 2020.
“The new Nissan logo communicates our guiding message, carried over from past iterations: If you have a strong, determined belief, it can even penetrate the sun,” said Matsuo. “At Nissan, this strong belief in the power of achievement has never wavered and can be seen in our pioneering efforts in electrification, driver assistance and digital connectivity. Our logo has to convey all of this in just a glance, to show our commitment to our customers, employees and society.”
Nissan’s electric vehicles (EVs) will get an exclusive version of the logo, which is illuminated by 20 LEDs that reflect the number of years between the logo redesigns. It’s meant to underline the fact the company has an electrified future firmly in its sights. In fact, the first car to be graced by the logo is the recently launched Nissan Ariya, the Japanese automaker’s first crossover EV.
“The Nissan Ariya is our latest EV, packed with advanced technology,” said Albaisa. “It’s the perfect platform for this new logo.” More vehicles will feature the new logo in the coming years as Nissan enters into a new chapter.