Everywhere we go, graphic design surrounds us. From billboards to printed flyers to food packaging! Ever wondered how some of the most iconic restaurant logos use design to build customer awareness and recognition? Look no further! This is your one-stop guide to the best restaurant logos out there! As well as some major logo design inspiration and key tips that you can learn from their branding.

Famous Restaurant Logos

Burger King

Burger King is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world with 18 locations across the globe. Furthermore, it was established in 1953 in the USA and has been through 5 major redesigns. Feeling stuck in your design journey? Don’t fret! It took Burger King 16 years to find their signature style!

Key Features:

The restaurant logo aims to honor tradition and legacy while maintaining strong ties with the modern world.

  • The logo uses clear typography, with the bold red text placed between two orange buns.
  • The ‘King’ has been enlarged to achieve balance between the layers. Morevover, the typeface is a modern, sans-serif font for better readability and a contemporary feel.
  • Finally, the light cream background perfectly contrasts with the bold red tone to frame the emblem.

Designer Credits: Jones Knowles Ritchie

IHop

Did you also think of buttermilk pancakes? The magic of IHop (in part) is its restaurant logo! In fact, established in 1958, this International House of Pancakes has rebranded its logo 5 times.

Key Features:

The red curve under the ‘o’ and ‘p’ represents a smile. Subsequently, the inner circles of the final two letters are the eyes thereby creating “The IHop Smile”.

  • Flat, light blue lettering, with rounded corners and a red smile under the text.
  • Only primary colors are used in the logo. Blue and red on a sharp white background stand out for maximum readability.

In sum, these features come to signal warmth and happy memories with family.

Designer Credits: Studio Tilt

Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill is integral to American metropolitan food. Their bowls and burritos have been around since 1993. Furthermore, alongside their made-to-order Mexican food, even their restaurant logo has seen a modern upgrade.

Key Features:

The initial restaurant logo has been rebranded from a simple typeface to a more professional-looking medallion.

  • Red dominates the logo to create a sense of excitement and spice – typical of Mexican food.
  • The sans-serif typeface creates a clearer, more sleek version of the restaurant logo.
  • The pepper design is stylized and fun, making the brand feel more friendly.

Designer Credits: Sequence

Related: Why Do Restaurant Logos Use Red And Yellow?

Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. is one of the most popular burger joints in the US, Australia, and Canada. Did you know that the restaurant started as a hot-dog truck in 1941? Since then, the restaurant has rebranded many times but never left out the smiling star, “Happy”.

Key Features:

In 2017, Carl’s Jr. and their sister restaurant, Hardee’s, wiped the smiles off their stars.

  • The color scheme switched from red, yellow, and white to only yellow and black for a more sleek look.
  • A bold, modern typeface makes for smooth text.
  • Appeals to a wider audience by simplifying the restaurant logo elements.

Designer Credits: CKE Restaurants

Hard Rock Cafe

Did you know that Hard Rock is a larger brand including casinos and hotels? What’s more fascinating is that two Americans founded the chain in London in 1971! Alan Alrdridge designed the famous restaurant logo taking inspiration from the Chevrolet logo.

Key Features:

The Hard Rock Cafe restaurant logo features a custom 3D typeface that is both legible and creative.

  • Colors are optimistic yellow paired with a brownish orange and white.
  • The ‘H’ and ‘R’ are capitalized with unique strokes – likewise for ‘k’.

Designer Credits: Alan Aldridge

Related: A Guide To Different Types of Logos

Cheesecake Factory

Drooling at the thought of cake? In 1978, this iconic cheesecake restaurant chain began operations in California. It all started when Evelyn Overton, mother of CEO David Overton, baked a cheesecake from a recipe in the local newspaper.

Key Features:

  • The cursive and gold color typeface creates a classy look.
  • The soft yellow hue adds to the fun element of the restaurant logo.
  • Targets the demographic of millennials, college students as well as mid-level income earners.

Designer Credits: Doyald Young

via GIFER

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse opened its doors in 1993 and embodies the American Dream. Its USP is being an affordable Texas-style restaurant with hand-cut steaks and ice cold beers.

Key Features:

This steakhouse has a nostalgic 1950s ambiance, with free peanuts and a classic jukebox to boot! Moreover, its retro feel and family-friendly approach to dining is mirrored in its restaurant logo.

  • Bright neon signage with bold, capital typeface.
  • Black solid shape as background to highlight the vintage appeal.
  • Crisp iconography in the green Texas state outline with a cowboy hat.

Jersey Mike’s

Recognize the tagline ‘A Sub Above’? It’s Jersey Mike’s! Established in 1956, the restaurant believes in the value of fresh ingredients and always making the best subs for its customers.

Key Features:

The restaurant logo for Jersey Mike’s is simple, clean, and playful.

  • Primary colors blue and red are backed by a minimal white background to make them stand out further.
  • The bold, cursive typeface in red is outlined in white for instant recognition.
  • The color scheme reflects classic American colors found in the nation’s flag.

Designer Credits: Johnny Ink

Key Takeaways from Famous Restaurant Logos

What goes into making an iconic restaurant logo? From the restaurant logos you see above, we’ve handpicked a few common factors:

  • Adapting to the times and modernizing typeface and iconography.
  • Keeping it clean and simple with minimal designs for better legibility.
  • Using a maximum of 3 colors to prevent visual overcrowding. For instance, the IHop logo!
  • Last but not least, expressing the personality of the restaurant through the logo. For example, the stylized pepper in Chipotle’s restaurant logo feels friendly and fun.

Related: Your Ultimate Guide to Typefaces: Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts

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