Kia has been talking about a new Kia logo for a while now. 2021 was finally the year that Kia released the new logo. And this will be the logo attached to every car moving forward. Not everyone is a fan of the new Kia logo. Though, there are some who agree that this is what Kia needs to launch into the future.
The new logo is the first step Kia is taking towards its mission to rebrand. Kia is known to make cheap cars. Many might agree that cheap cars are not produced with quality in mind. Kia has not made an effort to completely drop the production of their bargain bin cars. But moving forward they are planning on adding high-quality cars to their arsenal.
The old red-on-white Kia logo is gone now. And in its place comes a new black and white themed logo. The logo looks ambitious. No more stale oval shape in front of their cars. The new logo is stylish and futuristic, to say the least.
But it is not perfect. It has been at the receiving end of a ton of criticism. The truth is that the criticism is justified. The logo does appear to be confusing. It doesn’t scream ‘Kia’ at first glance. Only time will tell if the logo was a success. Maybe the new Kia logo will grow on us.
The History Of Kia
For more than 50 years Kia has been known as one of the greatest car manufacturers in the world. They’ve produced millions of vehicles that are driven all over the world today. They are driven in countries like India, Mexico, Europe, and America. Kia has laid its rubber in every continent and almost every single country.
Ever since Kia became a household name we’ve known them for making affordable cars. Kia has been one of the front runners in that budget car market. But did you know that Kia was once a company that made bicycle parts? So, how did they become one of the best automobile manufacturers in the world?
Beginnings Of Kia
In December 1994, the Kyungsung Precision Industry was founded as a manufacturer of bicycle parts and steel tubing. And from bicycle parts, they went on to produce fully functional bicycles by the year 1951. This was a huge accomplishment for the company, as they were the ones to produce the first full-sized bicycles in Korea.
After a few years in the bicycle industry, the company changed its name to Kia industries and by 1957 they were associated with their first engine, as they were the licensed producers of Honda motorcycles. This was followed up by manufacturing Mazda trucks in 1962.
It wasn’t until 1974 that Kia started producing their own vehicles. Their productions started at the Sohari Plant, starting with the Brisa lineup, which lasted until 1981. Due to industry consolidation enforced by military dictator Chun Doo-hwan, the Kia company was limited to producing trucks until 1986.
Kia In America
In 1986 their partnership with Ford was a huge success. This led way to the creation of Kia Motors America in 1992. The first Kia vehicle sold in the U.S. was the Sephia, a compact four-door sedan. This proved to be a great success for Kia and opened doors to a wider audience. Not long after, Kia introduced their first SUV to the American market in the form of the Kia Sportage expanding its line up in the U.S.
The success did not last long, as a series of events in Asia led to bankruptcy in 1997. But thanks to some aggressive bidding, Hyundai was able to take 51-percent control of the company. This was to beat Kia’s previous partner, Ford. This was when the Kia Optima was introduced in 2000. The model was a success and is still sold in dealerships today.
The Old Kia Logo
Before looking at how the new Kia logo looks like, let us refresh our memory on how the previous logo looked like. Kia logo has been since the 1950s, ever since they were a major bicycle manufacturing company. The Kia logo went through multiple changes over the years. Nothing major but in the color and font aspects.
Though the color and font changed, the name Kia stood out in front. The font was always centered on its oval exterior. This basic design of the Kia logo stood the test of time. The logo is the same all around the world and seen in every car Kia puts out. Except for their homeland, South Korea. They use a different logo in that nation.
The changes we’ve seen in the Kia logo haven’t made much of a difference for the company. It is rarely ever noticeable. The overall trend in the evolution of the Kia logo has always seemed to be towards simplicity.
In the 40s the Kia logo was significantly different from the logo we all have to come to know. Back in the day, Kia used a triple diamond logo similar to the one Mitsubishi is sporting today. Gear and a small diamond containing the name ‘Kia’ is what differentiated it from the Mitshubishi logo. The logo was all black.
First Kia Logo On AN Automobile
The Kia logo saw its first major transition when the company started producing automobiles. This was in the early 1960s when Kia was licensed to manufacture cars. This logo from the 1960s is certainly not the logo we are used to.
The logo was a green circle with a line through it. The design itself was different. It was not an oval but a circle. It was similar to the letter ‘Q’ with the line striking at it, but not exactly the same. The line was more at the top right area of the circle, unlike the letter ‘Q’ which contains the line in the bottom right.
The next update on the Kia logo was in the 1980s. This was pretty much the logo we all know Kia for. The difference was in the color, but the foundations were the same. The color scheme this time was white and blue. The logo was the stylized name Kia inside an oval, or something more like an ellipse. Only minor changes occurred since then. To be more precise, the only changes were with the color scheme.
The Kia Logo We All Have Known
The Kia logo that we’ve seen for the past few years was adopted in the 1990s. This was the official Kia logo for almost 30 years. It has the same design as seen from the 60s but the color was changed. And this was even better looking than the old Kia logo. This time the Kia logo owned the colors, red and white.
Each of these colors has deep meanings for anyone looking into it. The white symbolizes the company’s purity, elegance, and transparency it has for its clients. On the other side, red illustrates the company’s determination, conviction, and rapid development.
There really is not much to say about the font than the name ‘Kia’ is typed in. It is a simple, custom typeface, designed specifically for the company, with few recognizable patterns. Probably the only recognizable pattern for the Kia logo is in the letter ‘A’. It misses the strike-through middle, standing almost like an upside-down ‘V’.
The same type of ‘A’ can also be seen in the Samsung logo. There is not a lot to say about the rest of the letters in the Kia logo.
What Influenced This Kia Logo?
The Kia emblem, the shape, design nor font were particularly inspired by anything. But on the other hand, the name ‘Kia’ is actually more of a phrase than a word. It is inspired by two Sino-Korean characters.
The first part ‘Ki’ is the character that represents the term ‘to come out ‘. And the latter ‘A’ is for East Asia. This together forms the phrase ‘to come out of East Asia’ or also known ‘to arise from East Asia‘. This is meant to show the confidence quality and overall greatness of the company.
With a phrase on their logo, this makes Kia one of the few companies that actually use a phrase in their world-famous logo.
New Kia Logo
The new Kia logo has created much of a debate ever since it was introduced. There are those who argue that Kia dropped all its standards with the introduction of the new design. They were calling it crooked and messy. Overall they are calling it unclear. Saying the name Kia is not even visible even though they made a logo with their name on it.
And then there are some, who are completely on board with this new Kia design. According to their argument, this is the logo that will propel Kia to the future. It is brave and bold to go with a modern design. This separates Kia from most of these other brands.
So which party is correct? Let us dive into the new Kia logo a bit further.
Design Of The Logo
The Korean carmaker says that the new logo signifies a “bold transformation” that will help it to achieve “a leadership position in the future mobility industry”. Whether the logo is completely accepted is yet to be seen.
The rhythmical unbroken line shows Kia’s commitment to bringing moments of inspiration. While the symmetry of the logo symbolizes confidence. The rising logo is meant to show Kia’s ambitions for the brand moving forward. And more importantly, what Kia is willing to offer to the customers. This is the statement from the company and what they want the people to take from this logo. The logo is set to resemble a handwritten signature.
“Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation,” adds Kia’s president and CEO, Ho Sung Song. He further adds that the logo is meant to inspire their customers since as a whole we need to evolve in our mobility. For the employees, the logo is supposed to encourage them to rise to the challenges as the industry is evolving rapidly.
The new logo was unveiled in an incredible display of pyro techniques in the skies above Incheon, Korea. A total of 303 pyro drones were used. And all of those were simultaneously launching fireworks creating an artistic display. Kia celebrated its new beginning with a new logo as well as a Guinness world record. The record was for the ‘Most unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launching fireworks simultaneously’.
In addition to the logo, Kia also added a new slogan. ‘Movement that inspires’.
Positive Take On The New Kia Logo
The least we can say about the new Kia logo is that it is aspiring. The design is highly focused on the brand’s identity. It also shows with a distinctive, bold new design that Kia is evolving to the new future. Upon taking a glance at the new logo, it is evident that Kia is in for a new beginning.
A massive step taken by this new design is to move forward from the oval design. The lettering from the oval along with the Kia brand is now liberated from the oval. many other brands such as Hyundai, Ford, Subaru, and Land Rover also have an oval around their logo.
The logo is supposedly easier to add to the car. And it is also easier to secure on it. But since many companies choose to have an oval as their logo, by moving away from it, we can see the individuality of Kia as a brand. The idea of a single brushstroke, similar to a signature, gives a genuine feeling to the viewer.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that we now live in a digital age. Apart from the logo being in buildings and in front of their cars, it also needs to be on your phone. The logo should also be the face of the official Kia application. Especially moving forward with electric vehicles. And with the black background and the white lettering, it sure looks nice as the face of an app or even in a banner or a dealership.
Criticism On The New Kia Logo
Just like the positives, there are a few negatives with the new Kia logo as well. In many ways, the new logo might have more haters than those who onboard with the update. So here are a few reasons why the Kia logo is not satisfactory.
First of all, if you think it is crooked, it is not your fault, we all see it. You do not really see the letter ‘I’ in the logo. If you are do not know that it is the Kia logo, you might just end up seeing the ‘K’ and a backward ‘N’. So at first glance, you will not identify the logo as Kia.
Once you know that the logo spells out ‘Kia’, you will be able to see the letters. The vertical line that is seen in the backward-facing ‘N’ is the ‘I’. That leaves the rest to be the ‘A’. Though they were trying for a cool and edgy look, for some it is just crooked.
Then if you apply a couple of horizontal lines along the top and bottom parts of the logo you will see that the logo is actually crooked. The bottom right and the upper left corners of the stylized letters are not in line. If you look closely they extend a bit further than the rest of the logo.
It is not that noticeable unless you have a keen eye for finding faults. Regardless, this was a mistake on the part of the logo developers. They might have thought that the problem is hard to notice so it will just slide. Or maybe they just did it on purpose so it adds to the design.
Will Kia Go With This Logo In The Future
Even though some might not agree that Kia should move forward with this particular logo, especially with these slight mishaps, Kia seems to take this logo into the future.
Even though it seems slightly crooked, it will be noticeable when the logo hits on a car. In the digital screens, for now, the logo will not be edited. But even if Kia decides to squash those small bugs and supplies them into the digital world it is not going to be that hard.
For those who think that the entire badge is just too adventurous, can’t help, this is what you’ll be seeing in the new generation of Kias.
Even if some see this as a crooked logo, there are some out there who really dig the new logo.
What Can We Expect To See From Kia In The Future
Kia has big plans for the future. The logo was just the start. They are going to change a lot more in the upcoming years. One of those plans is Kia’s ‘Plan S’. Here the ‘S’ stands for ‘Shift’.
The company plans on shifting its focus to being “more dynamic, stylish, and inventive. This is apparent with their new lineup of vehicles. For now, the focus for Kia is electric vehicles. Thus they have promised to offer at least 11 different electric vehicles by the end of 2025.
The logo itself coincides with what Kia plans for the future. Since the ditching of their classic oval around their lettering, the new design looks futuristic. This sleek design will fit well with their plans for EVs.
Kia is launching forward not the future. And the foundation of this effort is the new logo. The slogan that they have paired up with their logo, is also meant to play a part. “Movement that Inspires”. Kia hopes to increase mobility in customers and continue to provide them with cars like the Sorrento, K5, and Telluride.
Kia has seen a really good amount of sales later in the U.S. In March 2021 the company sold 68,000 cars. The same level of success continued in April as well, as they sold a total of 70,000 cars.
The future of Kia electric vehicles is not limited to sedans. These concepts are above and beyond what we have known Kia for, all this time. They are planning on producing sedans, SUVs, and even supercars. And all these will be fully electric.
Facts about Kia’s new logo and its confusion:
- Kia introduced a new logo in 2021, which looks more like “KN” than “KIA.”
- 30,000 people search for “KN car” every month because of the confusion caused by the new logo.
- The new logo’s design eliminates the crossbar of the “A,” making it look like a lambda.
- The confusion with the new logo is because it looks like “K-backwards-N.”
- Kia’s previous logo was considered boring, and the company has had different logos throughout its history.
- The Korean “flying K” logo is abstracted enough to avoid alphanumeric legibility problems, but Kia did not adopt it for global markets.
- Many logos do not spell out the carmaker’s name, but the problem with Kia’s new logo is that it looks like the wrong letters.
- The solution to Kia’s logo problem is a minor tweak that breaks up the “ᴎ” shape in the logo to read like two separate, recognizable glyphs.
- The solution can be retrofitted to all affected Kias on the road, and packaging for the service part and technical service bulletin has been mocked up.
- Kia’s logo problem can be easily fixed, and the company can contact their supplier of adhesive-backed-chrome-look things to get the ball rolling.
Summary – New Kia Logo
Kia logo is nowhere near perfect. There are certainly some flaws with it. But with this logo, what bothers most of us is that it looks a bit crooked. And it certainly is crooked. The Stylish letters aren’t in one line, because in 2 points the logo extends ever so slightly further than the other letters.
If this was a mistake made by the designing team or a leap of faith to add a bit more style, is unknown. But the exact places where the logo is a bit off cannot be seen unless it is zoomed in. So, mounted on a car, you will not be able to notice this error.
For the creative eye, this logo is what Kia needs at this point. This logo is enough to provide a platform to propel the whole company forward. The design is bold, sleek, and ambitious. To summarise the logo is simply futuristic. And is good to see a different logo among auto manufacturers. A lot of companies use the oval shape for their logos. So with Kia breaking out of that oval cell, the company is more individualized.
Kia has a lot of plans for the future. And this new bold logo is the foundation for them to rise up from and the new face for the company. And with them planning to produce more than 10 electric vehicles this decade, this sleek design for the logo just might harmonize perfectly with the new cars.
Whether you like it or not this is the new Kia logo. To be honest, if you aren’t looking for the faults in the Kia logo you will never find it.