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Hyundai shared an interview they did with Woo HyoJu, Head Researcher of Kia and the person responsible for the color/material design for K5. There are 3 new colors designed for the K5 which is pretty cool.


Color designers of cars don't just design colors. They design from the exterior color to the materials and patterns of the trim for the interior. Woo HyoJu is the color designer for the new Kia K5. She searched for the right colors that would suit the fastback sedan best and the right materials for the cockpit interior. She did not forget to improve the design quality through delicate details. Here's what she had to say about the new K5.

Q. Color is one of the most important factors in automobile designing. How did you begin when you designed the color of K5?

I started thinking about how I could highlight the interior and exterior styling. Since K5 has a revolutionary design, I wanted to underline the new structure. I also considered the emotional quality so that the colors make harmony with each part of the interior and the exterior.

Q. K5 seems very sporty and stylish. How did you design the exterior colors?

The new K5 offers six choices - Snow White Pearl, Steel Gray, Interstellar Gray, Aurora Black Pearl, Gravity Blue, and Yacht Blue - for the exterior. Each has its own unique style but they all go so well with the exterior style. The new K5 has a very robust yet stylish exterior. The sleek body line that makes it look like a fastback sedan is the best part of K5. Any color option would be a good choice. K5's solid-looking surface gives the body paint dynamic hues.

I guess the Snow White Pearl option will be the most popular because the simplicity of white matches with the exterior quite well. Gray or blue looks more dynamic and chic. Steel Gray and Interstellar Gray are depending on the brightness, and Gravity Blue gives a darker touch, just like chic navy suits.

Q. What are the signature colors of K5, and their meanings behind?

The brand new colors designed for K5 are Interstellar Gray, Steel Gray, and Yacht Blue. The most vivid one is obviously Blue Yacht. It is designed to make K5 even more dynamic and sporty. Its pure blue color that reminds us of a deep ocean. There is a wide spectrum of blue pigments, but Yacht Blue paint is a literally pure and deep blue color.

Interstellar Gray looks somewhat glamourous yet heavy. To develop a much more suitable body paint for K5, we modified the usual Dark Gray color (Platinum Graphite) to make it look more neutral, and increased metallic particles to stimulate the bold exterior. Steel Gray is a substitute for silver color. The best part of Steel Gray is that it matches well with the chrome parts of K5. The high-density silver color paint and the chrome details on the roofline give a slender look for K5.

Q. The interior seems to be more dynamic and young. Did you do this for younger consumers?

The usual K5 had black or brown interiors with dark-colored trim. But the new K5 has a brighter yet chic interior. The Saddle Brown color package is an attractive option that changes the mood of the cockpit. Bright brown seats, door armrests, and a console armrest look even softer and luxurious. Saddle Brown is also gaining popularity for the new K7.

Q. Emotional quality is trending. What are the materials that upgraded the quality of K5, the signature midsize sedan?

We changed the pattern of the trim, from top to bottom. The new pattern depicts an actual texture that real leather has. After scanned actual leather, we carefully studied the pores and texture. We added an In-mold stitch to the dashboard and applied a denser embossing pattern on the armrest.

The main garnish is the key factor of the K5 cockpit. We used the Technical embossing pattern to highlight the main garnish. Also, K5 has Texture Wood Trim that looks matte and therefore has a more woodlike texture, which is optional.

Q. The materials and colors of seats dominate the atmosphere inside a vehicle. What are the special details or colors of the seats that K5 has?

The Kia K5 is a global model, and there are different color options based on the region. For Koreans, we offer genuine leather seats and door trim options. We added Quilted Stitch on the seats to give cozier look. The Double Stitch on the door trim also evokes a sophisticated look. Customers with luxurious tastes should try them.

Q. What were the obstacles when you were designing the colors for K5?

Designing Interstellar Gray paint was the hardest part. The usual dark gray color, Platinum Graphite, was very popular in many other Kia models. Improving something already popular is not an easy task. But I believe that Interstellar Gray is born perfect for K5. Its sparkling particles are the key ingredient. I hope this color would also be available on other Kia models.

Q. Choosing a color is the biggest question when people buy a car. What would be your choice when you buy K5?

I designed the color options from a consumer perspective. I am only satisfied with my work when I designed the car that I want to have myself. We considered various tastes of consumers when we developed the colors for K5 and put much effort, so it is very hard to choose only one.

But I would choose Interstellar Gray for the exterior and Saddle Brown for the interior if I have to. Interstellar Gray is 'Off Black', which evokes a strong, solid yet glamorous style. Saddle Brown interior adds a more luxurious and lighter touch. High-quality materials manifest the sporty-looking interior. If you are in a mood for the new K5, a lot of color choices and options will be there to suit your taste.
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