The Angry Designer
March 9, 2021

Logo Review - The New Kia logo - 5,000 years in the making


Can a brand be stronger than it's logo? 

The Kia brand was once known as a budget friendly car. From it's ads, to it's logos, no one wanted a Kia, they merely settled because of it's price point.  In recent years however, Kia's cars have become technological marvels offering more value with more innovation than vehicles twice its' price tag. Has the product outgrown the brand? 

With a bit of history, some interesting new vision statements and a glorious new logo reveal event, The Angry Designers rant about the new Kia logo providing both a biases AND unbiased opinion. You don't have to be a car enthusiast to appreciate this episode.

Transcript

00:00:00
I think they also set a world record when they revealed their logo in drone form at nighttime with lights and they set a new world record for this year. They released it like pretty damn cool. They had all the drones spelled out at nighttime. They did a fireworks display. 


 00:00:14

Wait, which apparently was better than most new year's displays a country. So good on Kia. I, again, you're listening to the angry design. All right. Hey Sean. Hey buddy. Hey, how you doing? Pretty well. How about yourself? 


 00:00:35

Thank you. Very good. Excellent. We are trying this number two one. What do we have today? We are going to review a brand new logo and even tagline we can talk about from a small little company called. 


 00:00:50

Kia. I don't know if you ever heard about this, our company, 


 00:00:55

Right? Yeah. Interestingly enough, Kia, a little history was founded in 1944. Not actually as early as I know, right. It was actually later that's like just coming out of war times, right. It Korean or is it, I believe it's South Korea or, yeah, it was Korean company. And the funny thing is, okay. They didn't even start as a car company. They started as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts nuts. Right. Eventually they ended up becoming Korea's first major domestic bicycle company. They didn't even start making cars till like 1973. They're actually pretty late to the game. So, I don't know if anybody remembers kids or even knows anybody who drives a Kia, like Kias have actually come a long way compared to. So, why this new logo came about? I mean, in my opinion is pretty obvious, like kind of a car guy. 


 00:01:49

I kind of get it according to Kia, the signature logo, the new one was designed to represent Kia motors, new brand purpose, and values. This focuses on creating electric vehicles and other mobility services past regular cars. They've definitely evolved when it hit commonplace out here. It was around the same time. A little later after Hyundai kind of made a mess with their first introduction to the market. And they were really cheap cars. You couldn't get a cheaper car. There. 


 00:02:20

Was a there's a while where I think it was the. 


 00:02:22

Cheapest car in the market. Right. Nobody can ever, get behind a cheap car. It's almost like you have to get it. You don't want to get it, but they've done a great job of changing over the past 20 years. I've seen that company evolve and I know people who have kids and I do, actually, my brother has a stinger and it is it like a sports car? It's like their high-performance coop. Oh. And honestly it kicks my BMW's ass. Oh, it really does. So they've come a long way. The attention to detail is there. It handles incredible. It incredible, like even has launched control, dude. What, like it's got launch control. You basically floor it. It launches you like a flipping rock. It is huge improvement in their quality that the cards are good. ? So now they're not that budget brand anymore. Yeah. But their old logo was a budget. 


 00:03:19

Brand. It was a joke. 


 00:03:21

Right. It was, it was a total joke. Okay. So since 1950s. Okay. Yeah, he has gone through six brand transformation. Six they've had no idea who the hell they've been. The local that we have known as of recently that was created in 94 where they thought they'd get creative and put three letters. K I a in a novel. They were like, Hey, we're so progressive. We're just going to drop the bar in the a that's how progressive we are back up. People. Like it was a pretty bad logo and the font was pretty cartoony. Yes. It, the logo felt low, it felt cheap. Yeah. Unfortunately, that brand resonated with the carts. It was cheap. Yeah. It's hard to shake that even though even the. 


 00:04:04

Sexy oval around it, couldn't see it, dude, 


 00:04:06

Even that sexy, even the old wasn't sexy to the point, what's funny, there was a point actually, within the past five years that people love the cars, hated the logos so much. 


 00:04:18

They were actually taking their badges off. 


 00:04:20

There was these after-market badges on eBay and on Amazon have this really cool, funky, subliminal, silhouette, K that people were actually replacing their kilocals wall. That was actually a pretty cool looking too. I'm not going to lie. It was nice looking. Cause it was just the front part of the K just like the two angles. Right? Yeah. It was beautiful, but that's how much, so here we had a loyal fans. Yeah, yeah. 


 00:04:45

Their product. Yeah. They hit in the past. 


 00:04:49

Seriously. It's like, I mean, honestly you see what's coming out of that company right now and it's pretty impressive. I just don't think that they knew who. Right. I think that their brand has progressively gotten better. I think the quality of their cars have gotten better. I think they've been more in touch with customers and they've and cause I mean, some of the other car companies out there are not in touch with their customers. Sadly. I genuinely feel that they've, they give a lot of value to people at a lower price. Yeah. Over the years what's happened is just, they've created a great product and the brain was what was. 


 00:05:24

Holding him back. Yeah, absolutely. 


 00:05:27

Right. So, of course they, started coming out with this new logo, which represents the company's commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation. That's actually what the president said. Oh yeah. Whole song key is president and CEO. Right. So, I mean, that's pretty bold statement, big time using the logo. 


 00:05:50

What do you think? Oh, I just gave it away by my. I really like it. I love it. I think, I think it's absolutely kick ass. It is so different. Yes. They have very different. 


 00:06:04

In a good way, isn't it? Yes. Oh. 


 00:06:06

Yeah. Beautiful. Yes. In a great way. Yeah. 


 00:06:09

It's one of those rebrands that had to happen. Yes. I think in this case, it's like even want to say, it's a rebrand. I want to say this is like being reborn. Yes. Because I think it's their brain. That's been holding them back. I think just this silly change that they've done, are actually not silly, but this change in brand probably would elevate the price, honestly, in my opinion. Yeah. I mean now it's substantial logo. Yep. It's elegant. It's sexy. You know, it's a little abstract. Yes. 


 00:06:39

It's bold. It says you don't want on Kia and I'm part of this now. Right. You know what I mean? 


 00:06:46

The logo will stint actually. I think it's better than half the court car company out, to be honest with you, it's a hundred and the top half now. Totally. Right. They claim that I love this stuff, but what that features symmetry, rhythm and rising elements that embody key is confidence and commitment to customers, man. I mean, okay. That's a boat load of, 


 00:07:09

But you don't know what they're saying. I agree with them with the rhythm. Cause it's kind of that it is, what I mean? Like it's kind of right. 


 00:07:16

The funny thing is you write that the logo keeps going. They tried to make it resemble a hand written signature. 


 00:07:25

Kind of what it does because it does it's connected. All the letters are connected. Yes. Yeah. 


 00:07:29

It's connected in a very sexy way. Yeah. Right. Like it is, it's a very sexy logo. With a sexy logo comes a sexy tagline. Right. They used to say power to surprise, which I don't even know what to say about that again. Wow. The new slogan is movement that inspires. So it's brilliant. In my opinion. I mean, I genuinely like this logo. I, at first I didn't hate it, which made me want to take a second look at it. At the more I looked at it, the more I was like, wow, this is so right. 


 00:08:06

For this company. Yes. This. 


 00:08:07

Is, this is what a rebrand should be. In funny, because generally when companies rebrand it's risky because they're not evolving their brand. This is something completely new. Yes. In this case, I think they needed it. Yeah. And I think it worked really well. 


 00:08:23

Big time. Yeah. If you've, if you have people that are prying off your existing logo to put on a new logo, you need an, a new. 


 00:08:34

Right. Brand Mark. Absolutely. So let's critique the artwork here. Yeah. Yes. So, so first off, we always critique it with the same criteria. We're trying not to be too biased here with our own opinions, but our five categories that were critiquers simplicity, minimal, iconic, relevant, and timeless. So number one, simplicity. Do you think that this new logo, the new Kia logo qualifies works as being a simple logo? 


 00:09:03

Yes. Yes. Totally. Because it's like one line, like you said, it's like the signature. Yup. Right. 


 00:09:08

It's got a couple little beveled edges and such. Right. It's a flat logo. What I mean is some of the edges are. 


 00:09:16

Yes. Beveled in that sense. Yeah. Right. Yeah. But you're right. Like it's, it does look like something that was painted. Yes. Yes. 


 00:09:23

Maybe more calligraphy style calligraphy. Like what's a Japanese calligraphy, but it does have that. It does have that. Yeah. 


 00:09:32

Does it get that cool kind of really does. Yeah. 


 00:09:34

I don't know if it can be much more simple than this. I don't even think it's outlined to be honest. I think, I think it's just the word, the letters three letters. Yeah. 


 00:09:41

Minimal. It is as minimal as you can get. 


 00:09:44

Absolutely. Right. Again, there's no bevel to this. There's no three DIYing. There's there's no gradient to this color. I think I don't. I mean, as of right now they launched it as a black and white logo. Like, are you serious? Any more minimal? 


 00:09:56

That's hardcore. I love that. Honestly. 


 00:09:58

I mean, I'm sure they're going to probably bring back red or introduce it in other areas. 


 00:10:02

Yeah. That's a, that's like the like, what we talk about all the time is if your logo doesn't work in black and white. 


 00:10:10

That's absolutely. Yeah. Then it's already a failure. Yeah, absolutely. 


 00:10:15

Right. You add the color to it, 


 00:10:17

You add the color sexy. Right. So is it okay? 


 00:10:21

Yes, absolutely. I think so too. I think this is like, 


 00:10:25

It might be a challenge in some ways where people will be, they may not see the Kia right away. 


 00:10:29

It's yeah. But the letter form. Yeah. The symbol, the shape. Right? Yep. I think that. 


 00:10:35

Pretty easy to see how that can progress into that, to become an icon for that. 


 00:10:40

Yeah. The funny thing is like that K that bottom kick-out, that's gone the logo, what I mean? When I first saw that I was like, Oh, that kind of interrupts the flow, but that also gives it that's the most identifying piece of it that's because the IAA is, it's just a smooth, right? Yeah. Yeah. That K is the part that makes everything make sense. 


 00:11:03

Absolutely. Absolutely. No, I agree. A hundred percent now, is it relevant? 


 00:11:09

Yeah. Yeah. I would say so you, yeah. 


 00:11:12

What, based on the fact where the company has come and where they continue on going with their new directives, I absolutely think it's relevant. I think it's relevant for, the company's future. I think, I think it's actually they're well-intentioned it doesn't feel fake. Right. GM's feels fake. GM's rebrand Kias doesn't feel fake. This kind of feels like shit. You guys are like five years behind you. Should've launched five years ago. Right. And I mean, not bad. I mean, they made everybody wait for it and it's just like, wow. I think that's why everybody's embraced it. 


 00:11:43

That's awesome. Yeah. It's so relevant that it should have been done five years ago. I agree. Ooh. And timeless. This, this is tough one. That is a tough one, but I think it could stand the test of time. 


 00:11:58

Well, the funny thing is, you said earlier, not your words were that it felt like that Asian Oriental calligraphy style, and that's been around for how long I seen. I mean, again, even when I was a young, aspiring Ninja, I remember seeing stuff like that in documentation. Yeah. So yeah. There's not much that can go out of style on this bad boy. 


 00:12:24

Holy shit. I'd never even, I never even drew that clue, that connection cause thousands of years old. 


 00:12:30

Absolutely. That's why I feel that, I don't feel that there's anything here that can go out of style because they didn't create a new font. They made it resemble something that's already been around for years and people are familiar with like, it does give, you have to admit, it gives that presence when you see it. You're you're taken back and you're like, that's interesting. You kind of, you actually like not many logos, will I give an extra look that one I did. Yeah. Again, I had to actually stop and think if I liked or not. In the end I was just like, good job. Yeah. Loved it. Yeah. Yeah. 


 00:13:01

Yeah. That's jeez, that's all across the board there. 


 00:13:05

Right? Absolutely. So, so this is one of those cases, again, generally, if, one question we always ask is this logo a natural progression or departure into completely uncharted territory? And generally if it's a departure from their old into new, I genuinely hate that generally. I think most people generally despise when a logo's completely so foreign. It's like a new company because they don't trust it. Yeah. This one, I think they got bang on it's a departure a hundred percent big time. Yeah. It's because I think the brand has finally, and this is unique. The brand has caught up to the product where usually it's like, they, again, horrible to say, but people create these fake brands, these amazing logos, these awesome taglines, their product sucks. They make it better to catch up to the brand. This is the one case where it's like, the product was better than the actual brand itself as the I, or the identifying elements of the brand. 


 00:14:02

Yeah. Now it was like, this was almost like the cherry on top of the sundae. 


 00:14:06

Yeah. This was like, this is absolute perfection. Right. This is what it was waiting. This is what, yeah. This is what everybody was waiting for. Exactly. 


 00:14:13

That's why I think in this case they did a great job. Yes. 


 00:14:17

Whereas I would like to say, I think GM kind of did it ask back? I'm not even sure if they're going to be able to get into the market that they're driving to. Yeah. There's a pretty ambitious, very ambitious. 


 00:14:30

We've, we've gotten there naturally by creating great product. Yes. Now let's just finish it off by putting it all on the beautiful, their brand is a good brand. Now it just feels the way it should be the icon, the identifying elements, the logo, the tagline. This is now where the product has evolved too. So good job on them. 


 00:14:49

Six gear. Yeah. If you will, 


 00:14:52

Right. Oh, I think they're up to like seven or eight and automatic transmission, 


 00:14:56

But there you go. Yes. So, 


 00:14:58

Much so that so far, most of the car critics that I've actually read and followed up on their lowest, they've all, they're happy. Everybody's ecstatic in the sense they've dropped their cartoony logo. They've dropped their pathetic logo. They've dropped and everybody is cheering for this awesome new brands. So, I mean, again, I think across the board kid did a great job. I think they also set a world record when they revealed their logo in drone form at nighttime, with lights and they set a new world record for this come, how they released it. Like pretty damn cool. They had all the drones spell out at nighttime. They did a fireworks display, which apparently was better than most new year's displays of countries. So good on Kia. I can, you know, geez. I'm telling you they, yeah, they do it up right over there. Right. So this was a good one. 


 00:15:46

I was pretty happy I was, but this one made me smile. So this is a good one. So, 


 00:15:49

And this one's all good. Interesting footnote. Were car shopping and my wife said, we're not going to buy a Kia. I was like, why they're decent cars. Right. She's like, I hate that. 


 00:16:04

Can you see that? So, just in a couple of weeks, she'll figure it out again. Sure. The new one, 


 00:16:11

We will have a new Kia, right? 


 00:16:15

Yeah. I figured if your people are like this logo is ugly. It's hurting your brand. They've really stepped it up now at this point. It's new. Yeah. It's this is great. Yeah. 


 00:16:27

This is a good one. Right. Then, Sean, what do you think? Is this new Kia logo dope or no, I got to say is dope. This one's dope. 


 00:16:42

Yeah. That was inappropriate. Sorry. Sorry. This is dope yet. We're so good. Really, really liked it. 


 00:16:51

Really like it. Yeah. Yeah. I was would you show me this? I was just like, Holy shit. That's awesome. Right. Like right off the bat, I was like, this is absolutely great. Yeah. Cool. 


 00:17:03

Be happy. Come back, stay tuned. We're going to be reviewing a lot more new logo, reveals new brand reveals. We're going to be talking in detail about what people think, what we think and break them down. So, please by all means, subscribe to us on your favorite podcast station. If you did love, hate, heard something that you needed to share. Shit. 


 00:17:24

My name is Mossimo. My name's Sean. We are out of here.