KIA or “KN”? The confusing new logo


As the industry increasingly turns to electric, many car brands have decided to modernize their visual identities. And among these brands that have changed their logo, there is the Korean Kia.

FYI, Kia’s new logo was presented in January 2021.

Here is the old logo:

And here’s the new one:

“Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon of change and innovation”said Ho Sung Song, CEO of Kia, during the presentation. “The automotive industry is going through a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes.”

According to the Korean multinational, it wanted its new logo to look like a handwritten signature. The mark also evokes symmetry, which is supposed to inspire confidence, while the upward “gesture” should symbolize Kia’s ambitions.

There is just one small problem

The problem with this new logo is that many people don’t recognize the Kia brand when looking at this one. If the designers wanted to draw the letters K, I and A, some people read “KN”, or even “KM”.

In an article published recently, our colleagues from The Verge relayed a publication by Ashwinn Krishnaswamy, owner of a marketing agency, indicating that there would be 30,000 searches per month for “KN car” or “KN cars”.

Apparently, many people who do not know Kia, or who do not know that the brand has changed its logo, do this search on the web, after seeing a vehicle with this new logo on the street.

Note also that as early as 2021, the Creativebloq site had already mentioned the confusion created by this new logo, such as this tweet from a person asking for the brand of this car.

The good news is that Google being very smart, people who search for “KN car” land directly on Kia’s website. And the number of searches for “KN car”, although high, is negligible compared to the number of searches for “Kia” on Google.

Be that as it may, one wonders if Kia’s designers hadn’t anticipated this confusion when creating this new logo.

Other brands that have changed their logo

As mentioned above, many brands have changed their visual identity in recent years. Among these is BMW, whose change was announced in 2020. Despite this change, the brand is still perfectly recognizable.

According to an article published by Dezeen in 2020, after the fashion for three-dimensional logos with chrome effects in the 80s and 90s, today the automotive industry tends more towards a return to “flat design”, so that brands remain relevant. in the digital age.

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