Nissan's New Logo Is Sharp And Simple

Illustration for article titled Nissans New Logo Is Sharp And Simple
Screenshot: Nissan

Nissan revealed a new logo during its 2021 Ariya electric crossover showcase. It’s lighter and sharper than the current/outgoing embossed “NISSAN” hamburger, and I think it’s a big improvement.

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(It was never actually a hamburger, by the way. “Nissan’s logo has stayed true to a belief held by its founder Yoshisuke Aikawa, ‘Shisei tenjitsu o tsuranuku,’ which he interpreted to mean, ‘If you have a strong belief, it penetrates even the sun,’” according to Nissan.)

This image was first seen a few months ago in trademark filings, but as of July 14, 2020, I guess it’s official. And the Ariya will be the first new car to wear it.

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To be honest, I had completely forgotten that Nissan trademarked a new brand logo design, I only paid attention to the revised “Z” emblem. So I’m guessing I’m not the only car enthusiast who wasn’t expecting this. (Or, am I? I am I just a huge slacker today?)

At any rate, I really like the font. Particularly the Ss. They’re so balanced and elegant.

Now I want to know: Is this going to be on cars as a decal, a single piece of plastic, or eight individual embossed pieces? The latter would look the nicest. On the Ariya, it’s lit up, which... I’m not into it, but, on an electric car, it doesn’t offend me too much.

Interestingly in the Ariya application, this new logo is effectively laid over the old one which makes it look, well, pretty much like the old one when it’s not lit up. Maybe this is meant to be an intentional “emblem-transition...” There is a precedent of Nissan doing that I guess, who can forget the 1984 300ZX wearing both “Nissan” and “Datsun” emblems to help people understand it was the same company?

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Nissan included a few executions of its new logo in a press release, so we can get an idea of what the logo will look like in different mediums.

Illustration for article titled Nissans New Logo Is Sharp And Simple
Graphic: Nissan
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The automaker also posted a little story about the two-year(!) development of this new graphic, which I’ll just share with you wholesale in case you’re interested:

New Nissan Logo Design Process 

“The journey began in the summer of 2017, when Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president of global design, began to study potential changes to Nissan’s logo and brand identity. He set up a design team led by Tsutomu Matsuo, deputy general manager of Nissan’s advanced design department, to study everything from a subtle evolution to a complete reinvention. Albaisa offered the keywords “thin, light and flexible,” and set Matsuo and his team on their journey.

“Inspiration was drawn from breakthroughs in science, technology and connectivity. How these have brought fundamental changes to customers,” said Albaisa. “As you can imagine, visions of digitalization started swirling in our heads.”

Over the next two years, the team sketched and plotted several iterations, always keeping Aikawa’s directive words in mind: “be passionate, be an innovator, be a challenger.”

The team needed to consider several variables, including an early decision for the logo to be illuminated on upcoming all-electric models. This presented technical challenges, such as gauging the thickness of the logo’s outline to ensure a crisp impression when lit, and of course compliance with government regulations for illuminated elements on cars. The logo also needed to make a strong impression when not illuminated, such as when it appeared digitally or on paper.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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DISCUSSION

acorr550m
Bimmerphile?

Now if only Cadillac can fix theirs... I mean both the crest AND the script. They’ve updated the crest a couple times since 2000 and I actually think the latest version looks terrible with its 3D-style graphics. Everyone else is going flat these days - and I’m not saying they should just follow the crowd but I generally agree that flat logos are the best and stand the test of time. Their current one looks like there wasn’t enough red/yellow/blue enamel to fill up the spaces.

But what REALLY screams old person to me is the Cadillac script. My lord does that need to go:

I’m of the opinion they should replace the script logo with the design that is seen on the Blackwing V8 engine cover. It’s simple, solid, and vaguely intimidating: