According to recent trademark filings, a new logo is on the horizon for car manufacturer Nissan, adding it to the long list of companies eschewing 3D for a flat, minimalist design. Not only has the chrome badge been replaced with a thin, monochromatic version, but the 'Nissan' font is now a straighter sans-serif affair.
While Nissan is yet to officially announce the logo, the new design (below) certainly suggests it is moving in a similar direction to other car manufacturers such as BMW by adopting a more minimalist take on its branding. There'll have been no shortage of competition for Nissan to take tips from within the car industry, but if you're looking for logo ideas, check out our guide to finding logo design inspiration.
It's not surprising to see another car manufacturer join the flat design party. BMW recently revealed a minimalist redesign of its logo, designed with "openness and clarity" in mind. We're fans of Nissan's new, sleek look which, with removal of all colour entirely, is perhaps an even bolder transformation than BMW's. We like how, rather than going full circle, the semicircles encase the two 'N's, emphasising the almost-palindrome of the word Nissan.
As well as the new brand logo, a second trademark filing (spotted by MotorTrend) suggests that Nissan will be getting new branding for its Z-car line of sports cars. Launched in 1969, there have been six generations of the Z-car, most recently 2009's Nissan 370Z.
While the new Nissan logo looks to the future with its minimalist design, the new 'Z' (below) appears to be a nod to the past. The 'Z' has changed over the six generations of cars, but the new serif 'Z' with its centre strikethrough closely resembles the logo from Nissan's first Z-car, the 1969 240Z. There have been rumours that the new Z-car could feature a retro-inspired design, and the vintage logo suggests this could be the case.
Whether the flat design trend will disappear and 3D logos make a triumphant return in a few years is anybody's guess, but right now, the switch to simplicity makes sense – a logo needs to work across websites, social media and various types of digital media as well as a car bonnet. Hopefully Nissan will announce the new logos soon, and tell us more about the driving force behind the redesign.