KIA should have gone to Specsavers

44% of people can’t identify KIA’s new logo but confusion creates search queries. Was the redesign actually a success?

What do you see when you look at the KIA logo? Falling dominoes?

Out of 1,062 respondents, who were asked what letters they see on KIA’s logo, a staggering 44% answered something other than KIA.

Two years ago, the car brand revealed the new logo which is meant to suggest movement, innovation and futurism, but the stylised font has left it open to interpretation and at worst, unrecognisable.

KIA has been around since 1944 with one logo consisting of the three capitalised letters in a red oval design. The ‘A’ missing its crossbar in both designs, which is a popular trend in logos. Marketplace stated that this trend went from being 1% of A’s in logos in 1978 up to 2% in 2000, and up to 9% in the past year.

A survey by Rerev found that only 56% were able to correctly identify the letters as “KIA”, and the confusion is confirmed through Google search data increases.

The most frequent guess was “KN” with 26% of responses which has 30,000 monthly searches for “KN car”. This is followed by 3% answering “KM” which likewise sees 1,200 monthly Google searches for “KM car”.

While 2% answered simply “K”, apparently unable to make out the rest. Another 2% answered “KV” while the rest submitted similar variations like “KVI”, “KVA”, “KLA””, “VKN”, and “VAA”.

As with many brand ‘mistakes’, social media loves it. People have been taking to online platforms to make jokes at the new logo, ultimately driving brand awareness. So was the redesign actually a success?