Skip to main content

Fast food logo design and branding lessons

All of us have at least one fast food restaurant where we have eaten at regularly. Just the sight of the logo of our favorite fast food joint is enough to make us feel all fuzzy and warm. Granted this has to do a lot of with the food and the dining experience but the branding also plays an important part.

So what do you think makes the logo of fast food establishments powerful and highly effective? Let’s look into the logos of a few famous fast food restaurants design ideas.

Your fast food logo doesn’t have to be witty all the time.

As designers, we sometimes pressure ourselves too much so we can come up with a visual double entendre. Does your fast food design have to be that clever all the time? Not really.

Sometimes, you can take the organization’s name literally and from there create an icon that will become memorable and easy to recall for years to come. Let’s take Domino’s Pizza as our fast food chain example. It’s so painfully obvious to have a domino as a logo for it, but it actually works. The designer didn’t make the extra effort to try to infuse hidden imagery and make the domino look like the letter D. The pizza restaurant logo design is simply a simple and straightforward representation of the fast food joint’s name.

Inject your tagline into your logo.

When creating a logo, don’t immediately assume that people know what your quick service restaurant is all about. You have to make your logo express something about your company so that viewers will have an idea of what it does or sells.

Business, especially fast food restaurants, usually have a one-liner tagline or slogan that is able to connect with their audience and convey with them their goals. While it can be a little hard to incorporate a phrase or a short sentence into your logo, sometimes it works for the best and helps your audience to quickly identify with your brand.

For instance, think about Subway’s logo. With the brief statement “eat fresh”, what do immediately comes to your mind? Probably vegetables, choice of cold cuts, cheese, and other healthy stuff. It works, right?

subway logo

Create a friendly face for your brand.

Marketers have long known that a smiling face associated with a brand makes it seem warmer, more approachable, friendlier, and more memorable. What fast food joints have widely recognized mascots? There’s KFC, Wendy’s, and Carl’s Jr. How can customers resist buying from them with their warm smiles?

Multiple versions of your logo may be necessary.

During the logo design process, there are many things to consider. One of the most important and practical considerations is how your logo will be utilized in the real world, particularly in print and digital advertising. Will it look nice on a billboard? Will it view properly on a business card? What if your logo is circular and you have to put it on a horizontal panel?

Because of the many advertising options available to us today, designers have learned that one size does NOT fit all. Provide your client with a color version, a black-and-white version, a web version, a print version, a long version, a circular version, and so on. By doing so, you’ll prevent being flooded by requests from your clients for help in adapting their logo to their new advertising medium.

In the case of Chick-fil-A, its logo has two versions: a long one containing the company’s full name and a simple block containing an image of a chicken that appears as the letter C in the first one. Chick-fil-A’s logo design team didn’t have to create another distinct logo. What they did is that they merely shortened the original logo so that they can have a logo that can fit into smaller spaces.

chick fill a logo

Do a gradual logo overhaul.

Let’s say that you’ve got a well-established brand with millions of loyal customers. If you feel the need to give its logo a facelift, then the best way of doing so is to gradually evolve it. Look around for fast food logo ideas and see how other brands are implementing their identities. Don’t shock your customers with big changes. You can always modernize your logo without removing its old feel. Also don’t use free fast food logo maker type software since the logo you get will not be unique and will create issues down the line.

Take for example Burger King. It’s hard to put into words, but the new logo is able to maintain the original one’s integrity. One look and you’ll know that it’s still the same old Burger King. The basic idea is still there and was merely enhanced.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.