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So, Kia Has an All-New Logo and It’s Shapes

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The mark resembles a futuristic inkblot test, which may not be what Kia was going for.

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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