The new Kia logo commits the ultimate design crime

Kia logo
(Image credit: Kia)

Every designer knows the importance of brand recognition – and car logos are among the most recognisable in the world. But Google search data has revealed that one particular car manufacturer's recent rebrand perhaps isn't going down as well as it might have hoped.

Kia revealed its new logo to much fanfare last year (more on that later), doing away with its somewhat childish 3D text in favour of a flat, sawtooth design. But nearly two years later, it seems legibility is an issue – and we have the hard data to prove it. Fancy designing your own logo? Check out our iPad Black Friday deals live blog and get creating.

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We've previously reported that 2021's Kia rebrand has been confusing drivers, with many believing it actually reads KN instead of Kia. And now, a Twitter user has revealed just how many are making the mistake – around 30,000 a month.

That's how many people are currently Googling 'KN cars' every month. And the trend started at the beginning of 2021, which is – yep – when the new Kia logo was revealed in a ridiculous blaze of fireworks and drones. Basically, as soon as the new logo hit the road, the 'KN' searches started.

Kia logos

The old logo (left) vs the new design (right) (Image credit: Kia/Future owns)

To be fair to Kia, we rather liked the logo when it first appeared, describing it as "a sleeker, racier number that still loses the crossbar off the 'A' but carries everything off in a much more stylised way, ditching those half-hearted serifs and instead arranging the logo in the form of a sawtooth wave." But of course, we knew it was the Kia logo – and clearly plenty of road users don't.

A Screenshot showing search data for KN cars displayed as a graph

(Image credit: Future)

We've seen plenty of logo fails over the last few months – and even the world's most offensive logo. While Kia's is hardly offensive, as design crimes go, an unreadable brand name might be the worst there is. When it's time for the next rebrand, Kia's designers might want to check out our guide on how to design a logo.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).