UPDATE: Interesting to note a hidden (intentionally or not) subliminal message in the new logo, first “discovered” by StockLogos.com. The word “MOM” appears to be hiding in Wendy’s collar. When the logo is printed in black and white, or one spot color, it becomes much more apparent. Check out this post over at designtaxi.com that lists famous corporate logos with subliminal messages you may have overlooked.
“We are improving the total customer experience, with bold restaurant designs, fresh product innovation, more engaging advertising and digital media advancements,” said Emil Brolick, President and Chief Executive Officer.
What do you think of Wendy’s new look? While keeping the iconic little redhead in it’s brand, this is the chain’s first logo update since 1983, and presents their “mascot” a little older with a hair makeover that’s redder and less orange. A more casual font, a simplified layout and the removal of the words “Old Fashioned” (and even the word “Hamburgers”) represents a new direction for the growing chain with what they call a “new contemporary brand logo.” Wendy’s website says the new look will “premiere” in March of 2013, but you can check it out on their website. I’d say the change is both overdue, and a great success.
Wendy’s is in the process of expanding it’s menu in order to compete with chains that offer more upscale choices and dining experiences, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. To reflect the evolving direction of the company, a logo refresh was definitely called for. I remember the previous logo from all the way back in the early 1980’s, and thought at the time that the “old-fashioned” theme and carnival-sideshow artwork style of the logo was not appealing. The first Wendy’s restaurant in which I remember eating had tabletops that were decorated with old-timey newspaper images from what looked like the late 1800’s – never was quite sure of that connection. In step with this new menu and thorough brand refresh, Wendy’s will also be updating everything from restaurant lobbies to employee uniforms.
Wendy’s new logo visually modernizes the brand in a similar way that KFC modernized their look in the 1990’s from the old Kentucky Fried Chicken days. The logo was simplified, streamlined and made to appear more modern, both in the text and the artwork. The change seen below follows the same logic of the Wendy’s brand refresh above.
These marketing changes illustrate the importance of keeping your brand fresh. A total redesign is generally not necessary, but unless your logo is established as a thoroughly iconic image (by that I mean you are Coke or McDonalds!), most logos and marks need to consistently be evaluated and evolve over time to avoid becoming stale and giving the public an impression you do not want. Time to get started?