So, Kia Has an All-New Futuristic Logo and It’s Shapes
Lately Kia has been on what can only be described as a tear. The Telluride three-row crossover stole our hearts and took home the gold calipers for our SUV of the Year award in 2019, and the new compact Kia Seltos is one of the best SUVs in its class, as is the smaller Soul. Not only that, but the new Sorento and K5 are very handsome and excellent to drive. No wonder the automaker posted its best retail sales year ever in 2020—so, how is Kia celebrating? With a new logo, of course.
Gone is the old logo, pictured above, with its clean, legible, red-on-white theme. In comes a new, black-and-white colorway and a futuristic vibe seemingly inspired by a similar design tested on the 2019 Kia Imagine concept. There’s just one teeny-tiny problem with the new one: It’s forward-thinking, but also visually complex and difficult to make out if you don’t already know it’s Kia’s new logo. We get that logos can be whatever a brand wants them to be—just look at the Chevy’s bowtie, which, on its face, has nothing to do with cars. However, if they’re supposed to spell out a word, they should at the very least be legible. The new Kia logo could easily be mistaken for “K | A” or a “K” and a backwards “N,” and this presents a potential problem for the brand.
If customers can’t instantly recognize your brand through your logo, they might just stop paying attention. Perhaps the new Kia badge will come to endear itself to customers, with familiarity generated through aggressive and relentless marketing or simply repeated exposure while grains of sand pass through the proverbial hourglass (the passage of time). Though the new logo is something of a designer inkblot test, it still fundamentally includes a K—funny lookin’ though it may be—as well as an “I” and an almost NASA-worm-font-style “A.”
The current logo didn’t need changing. After all, it was the logo that Kia used as it moved from a cheap brand that people bought simply out of necessity into a company that can only be described as an automotive juggernaut. But not everyone knows Kia by its old logo—a few hardcore U.S. fans rebadge their cars with the automaker’s old Korean Domestic Market (KDM) logo, a stylized “K” that is quite attractive. We’ll need more time with Kia’s new logo to see how it grows on us, but there’s no denying it is both new and different.
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