Today Nissan announced the Ariya, the brand’s first fully electric SUV—and the company also announced a new logo.
The Ariya was concepted as a future-forward vehicle, able to drive up to 300 miles on a charge, and featuring hands-free capability as well as haptic switches and touch icons in the cabin instead of buttons and knobs.
The new logo replaces the company’s mainstay of the past 20 years. Development began in 2017 when Nissan senior VP of global design, Alfonso Albaisa, set up a team to consider everything from a progression of the existing mark to a total overhaul of it. He offered three directives: “thin, light and flexible.”
“Inspiration was drawn from breakthroughs in science, technology and connectivity—how these have brought fundamental changes to customers,” Albaisa writes in a Nissan release. “As you can imagine, visions of digitalization started swirling in our heads.”
Another directive early on was that the logo needed to be illuminated on the brand’s upcoming electric vehicles, which influenced the thickness of its outline for legibility, as did government regulations for such design elements.
“The result was a logo with a two-dimensional impression. Looking more designed than manufactured, it has the flexibility to live in multiple worlds. The process started in 3D and then developed in 2D; the illuminated brand badge was drafted first, pulling the illuminated area out to represent the brand in 2D form.”
Ultimately, Nissan retained the circle of the existing mark, and adapted it to move from an industrial aesthetic to a refined digital vibe.
“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,” says Tsutomu Matsuo, deputy general manager of Nissan’s advanced design team, citing a phrase favored by the company's founder. “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.”
The logo will begin to appear in different touchpoints in July, and will debut on the Ariya when it rolls off the production line—where it will be illuminated by 20 LEDs, each marking a year since the last mark was deployed.