Logos define a company, and new ones don’t come around very often. As the literal identifier for a brand, a logo’s importance in ingraining itself into customers’ minds and culture at large can’t be overstated.
Yet this week, not one but two logos have been changed in the automotive industry. Both General Motors and Kia debuted new ones.
Kia’s was unveiled a couple of days ago in its home market of South Korea. As with its old logo, the new one is just the three letters of its brand – KIA – but has a distinctively different feel with rising lines.
Kia says its new logo represents the brand’s transformation and that it features “symmetry,” “rhythm” and a “rising” motif. It complements a new brand slogan: “Movement that inspires.”
“Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation”, said Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President and CEO. “The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes. Our new logo represents our desire to inspire customers as their mobility needs evolve, and for our employees to rise to the challenges we face in a fast-changing industry.”
New Logo as GM Preps for Future
An arguably even more seismic shift came today with the redesigned logo from General Motors, whose brands include Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
The logo is a big departure from its prior one, and its first update in 57 years. Rather than the big, blocky all-caps GM lettering with a line underneath that we’ve known for decades, the new one uses lower-case letters and has a line beneath the “m.”
In debuting the logo, GM also has an eye on the future. The company said General Motors is transforming itself “to deliver on a vision that creates a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
GM’s redesigned logo also comes with a new campaign – “Everybody In.” GM says the campaign “is a call to action meant to reflect a movement that’s inclusive and accessible.”
“There are moments in history when everything changes. Inflection points. We believe such a point is upon us for the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer. “Unlike ever before, we have the solutions, capability, technology and scale to put everyone in an EV. Our new brand identity and campaign are designed to reflect this.”
In debuting the new logo, GM emphasized its forward thinking as the company prepares for an electrified future and the Ultium batteries and powertrain that will be used in electric vehicles like the upcoming GMC Hummer EV.
The company said the logo “features a color gradient of vibrant blue tones, evoking the clean skies of a zero-emissions future and the energy of the Ultium platform. The rounded edges and lower-case font create a more modern, inclusive feel. The underline of the ‘m’ connects to the previous GM logos as well as visually representing the Ultium platform. And within the negative space of the ‘m’ is a nod to the shape of an electrical plug.
The new logos for both brands are pictured above, along with their soon-to-be-outgoing counterparts.