The Kia logo fiasco just won't go away

Poor Kia. Usually when a logo is declared a disaster, it's a subjective thing – down to personal taste and aesthetics. But for once, we have hard facts and statistics to prove that a brand's logo just isn't working – and the numbers just keep coming.

Last month, we brought you the news that over 30,000 people are searching 'KN cars' on Google every month, proving that the (admittedly sleek) new sawtooth design is somewhat illegible. And now, a survey has revealed that nearly 50% of people still don't recognise the new badge. One of the best logos of all time, this ain't. 

Kia logo

KN cars, is that you? (Image credit: Kia)

Car maintenance expert Rerev recently conducted a survey asking its members what letters they see in the new logo. And while 56% saw Kia, 44% saw something else entirely, with 26% seeing 'KN', and others going for 'KM', 'KV', and the rather mysterious 'Other'.

Results of a survey presented as a pie chart

The results of Rerev's survey (Image credit: Rerev)

As we recently said, an illegible logo is possibly the ultimate design crime. In the brand's defence, 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 that was before we heard about those 30k 'KN' Google searches, and long before this damning survey came to light.

Still, at least Kia can take some solace from the fact that it's by no means the only car brand to experience an advertising fail in 2022. Audi fans recently got road rage over the brand's updated 'rings' logo, while the less said about Volkswagen Italy's Instagram bio, the better. Let's just hope next time around, Kia's design team opt for something a little clearer – they could start by taking a look at our guide on how to design a logo.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.