It’s a bird, it’s an M, it’s both. The logo for the small brand beloved by enthusiasts became the word Mazda once the carmaker started exporting from Japan, only to return to a symbolic logo in 1997 for a global market. The M-shaped wings in an oval trademark is said to stand for “Mazda’s determination to pursue ongoing improvement to drive powerful, continuous growth.” The brand is under 2 percent in the U.S. market. What might be more interesting to typographists and OCDists alike is how Mazda displays its name in all lowercase letters except for the D, so that it fits flush and full in a box, without the vertical element of the d sticking out by itself. Of course, in a case of ethnocentrism for the American-speaking crowd, it could emphasize D for Drive. Zoom Zoom.
This is the Mazda logo on display at the Pittsburgh Auto Show Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018.