What Kodo Really Means

March 23rd, 2018 by


If you have ever visited Mazda here in Charlotte, you’ve probably come across something called the “Kodo design language.” This might seem like a term that’s just used for marketing purposes or to invoke images of elegant, artsy design, but the design language actually plays an important role in the overall production of Mazda vehicles. For the company and its designers, this design language actually defines what a Mazda car is supposed to be, including how it looks and functions. It’s a different approach to designing a car that has the potential to create something truly unique for Mazda customers.A design language itself is nothing more than a guideline to the overall design and production of the vehicle. It ensures consistency between all the models of the brand. It also allows the designers to put their own stamp on what they think a company’s vehicles should actually look like. It reveals some insight into how an automotive company thinks about the design of their vehicles from a practical and aesthetic standpoint.If none of this seems important to you, understanding the Kodo design language leads to many practical benefits. Knowing how Mazda is approaching the design of their vehicles will allow you to find the best one that suits your needs based on what they intend. You might also begin to appreciate the amount of work and detail that goes into the design of each model.


The Role of a Design Language

For any company, especially one in the automotive industry, consistency is key. If you have a lineup of vehicles that seem disconnected from one another, almost to the point where they belong to different companies, this can confuse customers. It also makes it difficult to find the right vehicle for anyone looking for that perfect option. Since it is important to keep everything consistent, a design language like Kodo actually makes the company better in their overall design work. A design language acts as a stylistic guide for their vehicles. It dictates how they should look and function both inside and out. Beyond the practical considerations like engine performance, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency, a design language invokes a certain emotion in drivers. This means that people should get more from their vehicles than just a practical means of transportation.With the Kodo design language, Mazda realizes that driving one of their vehicles can be a whole experience in and of itself. The feeling of being behind the wheel of a fast car, driving down winding roads with others looking at your marvelous steed is just one thing Mazda has in mind with this language. Basically, if they can provide customers more with their vehicles than just a means to get from point A to point B, they’re getting the job done.


What Kodo Really Means

From an artistic point of view, Mazda design is all about the pursuit of absolute form and beauty. This is an idealistic way of saying that they want perfection out of their design. The company doesn’t settle for “just okay” when it has the ability to achieve something even greater.Practically, the design process tries to explore different forms and shapes in order to find what works best for their vehicles. Sometimes, this means bucking the trends of conventional automotive design. Every now and then, other designers will even work on objects that have no place in the automotive world. In doing this, the designers can see what shapes and forms are pleasing, inspiring, or otherwise invoking of various emotions. The idea of an emotional experience is particularly important in Mazda design. Realizing that a car can offer so much more than practical benefits, designers try to target specific emotions they want to invoke in the driver and passengers. Since emotions can come from visual and physical experiences, a car is a perfect platform to do just this. The exterior shapes, for example, can remind people of forgotten memories, long-held desires, or unique thoughts they would not otherwise have with something else.


The Practical Benefits

You don’t need to have a degree in art history in order to appreciate the true benefits you may get from the Kodo design language as a customer. One thing this design language tries to accomplish is the look of “speed and tension” even when a vehicle is sitting still. In other words, Mazda designers want their vehicles to look fast and active. Practically, this uses shapes that are extremely aerodynamic.

A car is like a knife cutting through the air. The final shape of its exterior determines how well it can slice through the air, which will then affect overall performance and fuel efficiency. By trying to design something that looks fast, designers are required to create sleek curves and lines that promote airflow.

Beyond the emotional aspects of Mazda design, this provides a very practical benefit since the designers are always concerned about the physical effects of a car’s shape. Compared to other manufacturers that might focus just on static looks or physical performance, this blending of the two is the reason many Mazda cars look like sculptures but drive like street legal performance racers.


Learning More

When you’re searching for a new car, there are many things that you will no doubt start to consider and research. Basic information like the specifications of each vehicle, the history, safety ratings, and other data metrics will help you make the practical choice for what’s best for you. But your brain can’t help but pay attention to the indescribable, intangible qualities about the vehicle as well. In other words, how does it make you feel? What is it like when you’re actually driving the vehicle? A company that pays attention to these indescribable qualities through a design language is more likely to meet your needs. With Mazda always in the pursuit of that ultimate form factor, it is likely you will find a vehicle that suits your needs more so than the competition. At the very least, you will find something that is pleasing to look at as you begin to research and check out different options around your local Mazda dealership.

Posted in Mazda Charlotte