KIA Logo


Kia is a South Korean automobile manufacturing corporation that was founded in 1944 and was the one to produce first Korea’s bicycle in 1951s Today Kia is one of the largest car manufacturers in Asia, which distributes its vehicles across the globe.

Meaning and history

Kia Logo history

The company we know today as KIA was established in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry. It was a small factory in southern Seoul, which was involved in manufacturing bicycles and parts for them. The company also produced industrial goods. The first bicycle, Samcholli-ho, was produced by the manufacturer in 1946. At that time, it was a real breakthrough, as most of the bicycles that rode on the streets of Korean cities were imported from other countries.

In 1952, the company changed its name to KIA Industrial Company. It was, actually, called after one of the bicycle models, manufactured by the company during those years.

In 1955 KIA became incredibly popular and sold a lot of bicycles all over its country. This prompted the company to open a new plant in Shaikhung and start thinking of expanding its activity. This is when the company came to a conclusion about the feasibility of producing motor vehicles, and already in 1957 the first KIA scooter saw the light, and in 1961 a three-wheeled motorcycle C-100 came out.

In 1970 the company had almost completely gotten rid of dependence on imports which allowed it to focus on the development of its technology, which eventually led it to even bigger success. In 1971 the Titan and Boxer KIA four-wheeled trucks were introduced to the market. In the same year, KIA changes its name to KIA Corporation and begins collaboration with Japanese concern Mazda, which was already a very reputable player in the Asian automaking market.

The modern history of the company starts in 1972 when KIA receives a license to manufacture cars. And it took only a few months after getting the license for KIA to create its first automobile engine.

As we can see, the company changed a lot of activities before it started manufacturing cars and its visual identity history shows every significant step of the KIA brand timeline.
The only thing that remained untouched in the KIA logo is the presence of the wordmark, but the style and the typeface varied from one redesign to another.

What is Kia?
Kia is an automaking company from South Korea, which was established in 1944, and by today has grown into one of the leaders in the automobile industry, not only in its region but worldwide. Kia manufactures not only passenger automobiles, but also commercial vehicles, and has its subsidiaries located on all continents.

1944 – 1964

KIA Logo 1944

The first KIA logo was designed when the company was focused on the manufacturing of bicycles. It was composed of a three diamonds pattern with a gear in the middle. The company’s name was placed inside the gear and framed on another diamond. It was a complicated and strong work for its time. The monochrome palette added a sense of professionalism and authority.

1964 – 1986

KIA Logo 1964

In the 1960s the company’s profile changed and KIA started manufacturing licenses cars. The new logo featured a green circle with a diagonal line coming out of it and looking upwards and right. The emblem resembles an upside-down letter Q.

1986 – 1994

KIA Logo 1986

In the 1980s the KIA logo was composed of a stylized wordmark, executed in thick bold lettering of a custom typeface, with a curve line, replacing the upper bar of the letter “K”.

1994 – 2012

KIA Logo 1994

In the 1990s the base of the current KIA logo was designed. A horizontally located oval with a wordmark inside. The red and white is the official color palette of the brand new, where the red represents the company’s passion and energy and white stands for purity and loyalty

The custom typeface of a wordmark is simple and clear, and the only unique element of the lettering is the absence of the horizontal bar in the letter “A”.

2012 – now

KIA Logo 2012

The previous emblem was only slightly refined by today. The lines became more bold and clear, the colors — brighter.

The KIA logo is an example of minimalist and laconic design, which is stylish and timeless. It has no extras, but the essence of the brand is readable.

2020 – Today

KIA Logo

The redesign of 2020 brings a young and futuristic style to the KIA visual identity, by minimizing the elements on the badge, yet keeping the uniqueness and recognizability of the brand.

The new logo is composed of a stylized red inscription, where all three letters are connected with each other, “K” merged with “I” in the top point, and “I” with “A” — in the bottom, and this makes the wordmark look like two Cyrillic letters “КИ”.

The nameplate looks like it has been enlarged and now does not fit in the screen in its whole size. The upper left and bottom right corners are diagonally cut.

The Korean Logo

Kia logo

The most interesting thing about KIA’s visual identity is that the brand has different logos for international and Korean markets.

The logo used in the brand’s homeland is completely different. It is composed of a blue circle with a thick black outline the KIA symbol inside the circle and the wordmark around its perimeter.

KIA Korean logo

The symbol is a stylized image of the letter “K”, drawn in elegant white lines. It is a sophisticated and bright emblem, which is completely different from the logo we all used to see.

The Emblem

kia logo

The KIA emblem uses silver metal when placed in the cars. The silver color adds volume and makes it look more sleek and vivid. The KIA emblem looks good and light due to the simplicity of its shape and lines. It is easily complimented with any typeface of the car model name, which is usually placed on the right of the emblem.


Why does Kia have different logos?
Kia has two different badges to represent the company in two different markets: international and local. For the international market, the South Korean company uses a stylized logotype, while for the local market Kia has an emblem with a sleek letter “K” on it.

What does the Kia logo stand for?
The Kia logo is composed of a stylized name of the brand, executed in a red and white color palette, where red is the representation of the company’s passion and energy, and white is a symbol of loyalty. The ellipsoid frame of the logo symbolizes the Earth, showing Kia as an international brand.

Does Kia have two logos?
Yes, Kia, the South Korean car manufacturer, has two logos, which are used for two markets where the brand is present: the local one and the international one. The logo for the local market is more laconic and stylized with just an elegant letter “K”, while the global badge depicts the whole name of the brand, executed in a futuristic designer font.