The Nissan logo was first designed in 1933, five years after the Nissan Motor Company was founded in Japan. Since its creation, the Nissan logo has stuck with the belief held by founder Yoshisuke Aikawa: “If you’ve got a strong conviction, it pierces even the sun.”
What does the Nissan Logo Mean?
The current Nissan logo is lively as it points to the automaker’s bright future while remaining happily connected to Nissan’s rich innovation heritage. The company’s name is still placed at the middle of the emblem, depicting a globally recognized brand that brings to mind memories and milestones while also communicating evolution.
The current Nissan logo drew inspiration from breakthroughs in connectivity, science, and technology to make the emblem light, thin, and flexible. The new Nissan logo conveys the message that Nissan is going all-electric in the future.
Nissan is not only an acronym for the original automobile manufacturer but also a fusion of Japanese names “Ni” (sun) and “ssan” (birth or product). The meaning of the Nissan logo comes from the “traditional” Datsun logo, inspired by Japan’s “Land of the Rising Sun” nickname and Japan’s flag.
The Nissan Logo Evolution
The Nissan logo has undergone numerous changes since it was originally designed in 1933. There are at least 29 versions, but we’ll look at the major designs that left their mark in the brand’s history in the main.
1933 – 1940
The original Nissan emblem featured an iconic symbol in a red, white, and blue color scheme. The symbol of the sun (i.e., the circle) was red, with a blue rectangle placed across the circle and containing the white wordmark “Nissan.”
The wordmark was written in uppercase letters using a bold solid font, making the brand’s name look bright and assured.
1940 – 1950
Nissan played around with the shape of its logo in the 1940s. The Nissan emblem had an innovative geometric shape with six corners—two sharp corners at the top and four rounded corners below.
The “Nissan” wordmark was rendered in a dynamic, friendly hand-drawn font with an enlarged “A” and smooth lines. The outlines of letters “s” were trimmed, creating a vivid look. Red was the main color scheme, with the lettering and outline being white.
Above the wordmark was the “rising sun” symbol, contoured in thin white lines.
1950 – 1959
In the early 1950s, Nissan made its logo simpler by using a rectangle containing uppercase lettering in it. The color scheme stayed the same (red and white), and the letters were larger and written in a strong font.
The red rectangle featured rounded corners and a white outline, which made the logo look stylish and soft.
1959 – 1960
The Nissan logo of this period was modeled around the previous design, but the wordmark had more corners and didn’t have an outline. The straight and sharp lines of the font reflected the power and progress of the automobile manufacturer.
1960 – 1967
In the early to late 1960s, the Nissan logo designers tried something different. The logo of this era features a cursive wordmark with sharp lines, making it look modern and stylish. The wordmark is rendered in red against a white background.
This visual identity is minimalistic yet sophisticated, making it stand out from other brand emblems. When placed on Nissan cars, the wordmark was silver, making it look more stylish and luxurious.
1967 – 1970
Nissan was trying to strike the right balance for their wordmark and experimented with a rounded italicized font for three years, complementing it with a brown color scheme. This experiment was short-lived and totally out of character for the brand.
1970 – 1983
Nissan brought back the rectangle framing during this era. The wordmark was written with classic serif font in uppercase letters. The straight and thin lines of the lettering make the logo appear neat and clean—it looks modern and brings to mind a technologically-oriented approach.
1983 – 2001
Nissan traced back its origins in this period. This logo design celebrates the Nissan heritage and features the iconic Nissan symbol to the left and the Nissan wordmark inside a blue rectangle to the right.
The wordmark is strong and confident, and the custom font makes it recognizable and memorable. The color scheme is basic and matches that of the original logo version.
2001 – 2020
The Nissan logo of this period is modeled around the previous design, but its silver color scheme makes it look smoother and more stylish, not to mention bold and luxurious.
The letters are spaced perfectly, and the font’s lines make the wordmark appear attractive on its own or when placed across the symbol.
In 2020, Nissan introduced a new logo design. It was a sleek basic emblem, recreating the original emblem in a stylish, modern way. The black capitalized wordmark is placed between a pair of arches, creating the recognizable Nissan ring logo.
The tips of the arches are sharpened, making them look a little like horseshoes and bringing sophistication to the globally recognized logo, not to mention making it look creative and unique.
The Nissan Logo Design Elements
Symbol: Nissan borrowed its symbol from Datsun, its sister company. One of the world’s most iconic and recognizable logos is a depiction of the rising red sun, a heraldic Japanese symbol.
The Nissan symbol consists of a wordmark inside a rectangle, placed across a circle. The symbol was originally designed in 1933 and has gone through several transformations throughout the brand’s history.
However, between the 1950s and early 1980s, Nissan didn’t use its iconic symbol as its visual identity. Instead, it used the “Nissan” wordmark.
Font: The Nissan logo has always featured the name of the brand. The logo designers used a variety of fonts, including rounded fonts (1933-1950), angular fonts (1959-1960), handwritten fonts (1960-1970), italics (1967-1970), and antiquity (1970-1983). The current “Nissan” wordmark is grotesque and features no serifs.
Color: From 1933 to 2001, Nissan had multi-colored logos with a color scheme dominated by tones of blue and red. The current color scheme is white, black, and silver. The logo has a gradient that produces a 3D effect.
The History of Nissan
Japan has enormously contributed to building the modern world. One of their favorite niches is the manufacture of some of the most original and finest vehicles by major automobile companies, including Nissan. In particular, Nissan has made some really amazing vehicles since the early 1900s.
Nissan is today one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. It’s the 3rd largest and 6th largest automobile maker in Japan and the world, respectively. Nissan is also the highest seller of vehicles in Russia, China, and Mexico.
Alongside its brand name, the firm also sells automobiles under brand names Datsun, Infiniti, and Nismo worldwide.
Nissan was founded in 1928 in Tokyo, Japan, by a well-known Yamaguchi entrepreneur Yoshisuke Aikawa.
The company first entered the Tokyo Stock Market in 1933, focusing mainly on automobile parts. During this period, the number of automotive manufacturers started soaring in Japan. This ultimately meant that Nissan had to position itself as a major auto parts maker.
In the next few years, Nissan continued to make vehicles both for aviation and ground travel. In 1937, Nissan introduced a revolutionary vehicle named Datsun Type 15, which became the first mass-produced automobile in Japan.
Prior to that, Aikawa had toured the US earlier in 1908, where he was instantly struck by the craftsmanship involved in making US automobiles. This ultimately had a major influence on Aikawa, and once he returned to Japan, he made use of this knowledge to improve his company’s innovation. Things went full circle in 1958 when Nissan made its debut appearance in America by introducing the Datsun 1000 sedan.
At the time, the company had been making Datsun models for more than 20 years, and the collection was ready to hit the Western market. Since Nissan had no production plant in America at the time, people had to import Nissans from Japan. Nissan eventually sold 146 Datsun 1000 models before replacing it immediately with the new and upgraded Datsun 1200, which ended up selling 1,318 units.
Nissan’s Western Foray
Nissan launched its first North American production plant in 1966, which was followed by its entry into many more markets. The company continued to import automobiles to the US, including the Nissan Patrol and Datsun 411.
In 1968, the company went on to introduce its first vehicle designed specifically for the American market. At the time, the Datsun 510 received lukewarm approval among American car owners and was available in three different versions, a 5-door wagon, a 4-door sedan, and finally, a 2-door coupe.
As production started to scale up, Nissan automobiles began appearing much more on US roads. By 1971, over 250,000 Nissan vehicles were sold annually in the American market.
In 1973, Nissan sold its millionth vehicle in America before becoming the number one importer in 1975. Simultaneously, the Datsun 510 made a massive impact on Nissan sports sedans and automobiles in general.
Throughout the 1970s, Nissan continued to make high-quality vehicles and at the start of the 1980s, slowing down wasn’t an option. The first Nissan truck was introduced to the US market during this period, and the company established Nissan North America in 1980. Nissan was now making vehicles in many countries for very different markets.
In 1989, Nissan recorded a new milestone when making its millionth vehicle in its US production plants, thereby becoming a major player in the automobile market. Throughout the 1990s, Nissan focused mainly on cleaner driving, which won the company an EPA environmental award in 1991.
In 1992, Nissan produced its first Altima in the US, and the following year the company celebrated its ten years of operations in America. Throughout the 1990s, Nissan made more sedans, trucks, and SUVs than ever before.
Nissan’s Innovations in the 2000s
At the start of the 2000s, Nissan was doing very well, with almost twice the number of automobiles manufactured compared to 10 years previously. Moreover, sales were going through the roof and doubled as well.
The company boasted an incredible lineup after the introduction of brand new supercars and consumer-grade hybrid vehicles. In 2002, the Nissan 350Z was released, powered by an outstanding 3.5-liter V6, which generated 287 hp. The model experienced significant performance gains annually until 2009 when the 370Z drove it out of the market.
At the same time, Nissan also started producing a full-size truck loaded with potential, the Titan. The Titan was successful, and it’s still available on the market today. In 2007, Nissan launched its first-ever hybrid vehicle for customers with the Altima Hybrid. To this day, the company continues to bank on that model’s success.
Nissan in the 2010s
The start of the 2010s saw Nissan adopt an innovative approach. In 2010, the company introduced a vehicle that ran exclusively on electricity, releasing no emissions. Dubbed the Nissan Leaf, this model was the first zero-emission vehicle widely available to the general public, which has helped it become the highest-selling vehicle to date.
Nissan’s latest vehicle to the North American market is the Kicks. This model treats its drivers to a strong set of features, making it a crossover SUV. Since the Kicks comes with modern tech-focused features for connectivity, the model is designed for the future.
Boasting a wide array of safety features, coupled with a top-of-the-range fuel efficiency, there are lots of reasons for you to buy the Nissan Kicks. Moreover, the Kicks is an elegant ride with a tasteful interior and exterior, enhanced further with a myriad of customization options.
Summing Up the History of Nissan
The Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, aka Nissan or Nissan Motor Corporation, is a multinational Japanese vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. The firm sells its automobiles under the Nissan, Datsun, and Infiniti brands. Its performance tuning products (which include cars) are known as Nismo.
Nissan has been in an alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi since 1999. By 2013, Nissan held a 15% non-voting interest in Renault, while Renault held a 43.4% voting interest in Nissan. Also, Nissan has had a 34% controlling interest in Mitsubishi Motors since October 2016.
By April 2018, Nissan had become the largest electric vehicle manufacturer globally, with sales of over 320,000 all-electric vehicles worldwide.