How the Picanto’s Color and Trims Were Developed

June 13th, 2011 Posted in Design,FYI   

  • By Kia Design Center

The All-New Picanto, Decorating Roads Around the World



“If we are not able to properly understand what appeals to our global consumers emotionally, we will not be able to satisfy them no matter how much effort we put into improving the vehicle’s performance.”

By collaborating with the Kia design center in Europe, we extensively analyzed local consumers’ lifestyles and trends. We then proceeded to coordinate colors that appeal to their emotional senses.

Exterior Color

The concepts for the Picanto’s exterior color are “Vintage Paint Box,” “Play House,” “Blusher” and “Tinted Silver.” We suggested a solid color with a vintage feeling (Vintage Paint Box), a lively color that young people would like (Play House), a luxurious golden and pinkish color (Blusher) and a sensible tinted silver color (Tinted Silver).

We developed six unique exterior colors in addition to the four standard colors to make the distinctive Picanto’s features even more outstanding and ensure emotional satisfaction of our customers.



We developed various pastel colors to appeal to female drivers and proposed unique color names (Milky Beige, Honeybee Yellow, Lemon Grass, Alice Blue, Café Mocha, Signal Red). The Milky Beige color, which gives off a deep, glittery and luxurious effect through a multi-coating process, has especially been receiving consistent and positive reactions.



Interior Color

The interior color concept is “European & Sporty, City Style.” Our intention was to offer a sporty and practical interior with the combination of energetic and elegant colors.

We applied a variety of colors to meet the tastes of our customers. With a young consumer target base in mind, we used a glossy black in the interior for a sporty and refined feel. Meanwhile, we used an orange interior color (orange color pack) to appeal to trendy female consumers.



The Picanto interior has the largest variety of colors (8) in the current Kia lineup. We pursued distinct perfection by applying many colors and materials mainly to the center garnish, a key characteristic of the Picanto, as well as high main trims that are often touched.

Every color and material should be equipped with properties that meet durable and functionality standards as well as relevant regulations. As a result, it was crucial to develop colors that pass the Material Property Test.

A month before production, the quality management department requested the removal of the glossy white/black and the soft gold metal paint coatings on the dash trim due to problems with scratches and the materials’ properties themselves. We continued conducting research with the relevant department right up to production to find solutions and finally passed the scratch and material property tests. So the unique dash trim coatings were able to be included in the Picanto.



Joo Yoen Lee, Color Researcher



“The color team should be able to execute all three of the following key factors: color coordination, emotion and quality. We should improve the emotional added-value of vehicles, reflecting current trends as well as maximizing design value.

I thought to myself, ‘I want to create new and interesting roads for color.’ It was a personal goal I set when starting the all-new Picanto project. Whenever I went on a business trip to Europe, I thought that the colorful vehicles on the roads there were impressive and fun.

I tried to give the Picanto many colors, hoping to turn roads full of achromatic-colored cars into colorful and fun roads. I hope that the Picanto with its various colors is loved and is able to beautifully decorate the roads.”

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