The world is more interconnected than in any other point in its history. The internet’s availability of knowledge along with virtual interaction at an instant has digitally transformed human life. As such, brands need to adapt to this technological world while keeping its physical roots strong. 

Since the beginning of the century, Nissan’s badge has stood as a symbol of the brand identity on the tops of its vehicles. It has greeted drivers with feelings of excitement and innovation that its vehicles provide. Nissan’s founder Yoshisuke Aikawa had a belief, “Shisei tenjitsu o tsuranuku,” which translates to, “If you have a strong belief, it penetrates even the sun.” 

With Nissan’s new logo and ‘calling card’, it represents the changes that have taken place in the world over the past two decades while keeping that same spirit that Aikawa believed in since Nissan’s founding. It represents a new and reinventive chapter in Nissan’s history but stays connected to the deep history and heritage that has come to define the company. It ultimately evokes a recognizable yet evolutionary step forward for Nissan. 

The redesign journey 

During the summer of 2017, Nissan’s senior vice president of global design, Alfonso Albaisa, began the process of potential ideas to update Nissan’s logo and brand identity. Albaisa focused on three words: “thin, light and flexible” during this process. He gave these three words as advice to the head of his design team Tsutomu Matsuo, deputy general manager of Nissan’s advanced design department. 

“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 digitalization started swirling in our heads.” 

During the course of the next two years, the design team drew and designed various prototypes of the new logo, while simultaneously keeping the founding words of Aikawa in mind: “be passionate, be an innovator, be a challenger.” 

There were several early ideas which the design team had to contemplate, such as having an illuminated logo on the forthcoming all-electric models. These parameters created some challenges in the process, such as making sure the logo’s outline was thick enough to present a crisp look when lit up, all the while making sure it complied with government regulations for illuminated elements on vehicles. It also had to impact a strong presence when not lit up on mediums such as webpages or paper.

After numerous drafts and iterations mocked-up in 3-D, the final result was a developed logo with a two-dimensional effect. This design decision could thus live in two worlds – digital and physical. It ultimately transitioned the brand look from an industrial, manufactured feel to a more streamlined, pleasant and digital-friendly aesthetic. It communicates the evolution of Nissan from a more traditional car manufacturer to a provider of mobility and services. 

“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.” 

A strong presence to attract customers

The new Nissan logo will start appearing in July in both digital and physical mediums. Nissan’s electric vehicle lineup will showcase an exclusive illuminated logo lit up by 20 LEDs (which represents the number of years since the last logo redesign), a proud visual reminder that Nissan is “driving toward an electrified future”. 

After its presence on Nissan electric vehicles, the new logo will be integrated across all formats, from the letterhead and dealership signs to advertising and social media platforms. There will be four iterations of the new logo, allowing the brand flexibility to accommodate itself to various communicative mediums. 

In particular digital and video applications, the logo will “come alive” as it shines and shifts across a variety of backgrounds, reflecting the world’s ever-changing nature and the need to remain adaptable, engaging, and modern. 

The first car to present this new direction and logo came through the unveiling of the Nissan Ariya, the first crossover EV for the brand. The Ariya in particular was a fitting choice to showcase the new logo. It represents the new standard bearer of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which encompasses the three pillars of Intelligent Driving, Intelligent Power and Intelligent Integration. 

“The Nissan Ariya is our latest electrified vehicle, packed with advanced technology,” said Albaisa. “It’s the perfect platform for this new logo.” 

Future vehicles will exhibit this new logo for years to come as Nissan opens a new chapter in its history.  

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