Mazda Logo History

Mazda began its life in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. in Hiroshima, Japan. At the time, there was a cork shortage because of World War I, so the company was founded to process a cork substitute made from the bark of an Abemaki or Chinese cork oak tree. It was a good idea at the time, but shortly afterwards Japan could get real cork again and the company foundered.
In 1927, Jujiro Matsuda came onboard and the company began manufacturing tools, three-wheeled "trucks" and then cars. After World War II, the company formally adopted the name Mazda, which depending on who you ask, stood for the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda or an anglicized pronunciation of Matsuda the founder’s name (or both). In the 1936 logo, the M shaped curve was inspired by the emblem of Hiroshima city. The 1991 and 1992 logos symbolized a wing, the Sun and a circle of light. Mazda’s current logo, nicknamed the "owl" logo, was designed by Rei Yoshimara in 1997. The stylized "M" was meant to look like stretched wings, but many people saw a stylized tulip instead.
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