Accepting change

The evolution of fast food logos

I complained about the new White Castle logo a couple years ago. Today I was driving home, saw an old Taco Bell sign and was transported back to a happier time—when evolution wasn’t so far out there.

How I miss the crisp gridded balance of yore. The warm tones are fading. Browns replaced by blues. Type now looking like it would be at home amidst fluorescent splatter from the 80’s.

*big inhale* Okay, fine. I can deal with all this change. I am resilient. I am hopeful.


  1. This just reminds me of the NeXT days… my latest is up on localtype (click the link).. not finished yet, but it gives food for thought.
    Then again, you should never fall in love with hardware.

  2. Interesting food for thought there.
    Fret not, I’m not in love with hardware, but I would love the spinning beachball to go away on my Mac laptop.

  3. this was a good move on apple’s part. as the laptop market grows, intel has proven itself the leader in fast, affordable and cooler (temperature-wise) chips. plus, with DRM on the chips, apple can now offer an “iFlicks”-type streaming movie service and further the whole digital lifestyle business model.
    i hope the newton comes back.

  4. i with you 100% on the death of good logo design.
    it seems we’ve trained a new generation of simple computer operators who can create clipping paths, change colors at will and assemble something new from existing parts, but are missing the fundamental design skills.

  5. Absolutely… Whew. Why do all of those new logos have to be so PLAYFUL? Oh that’s right, we’re marketing to children so we can further warp a new generation. It’s weird though, The Taco Bell logo breaks so many food-color rules in my head. Isn’t it also weird that they’ve all either added a new color or replaced the old colors completely? I mean, for example, it would be pretty weird if Coca Cola added blue to their branding color…

  6. Hi,
    Was just looking around for an answer to my logo question and happened upon your site. If you’ve got a minute I’d like to toss my question out to you for an answer, if you would. Does a logo with given colors, such as red, yellow, green… need to always remain in those colors? If a company, product, etc., has shown same colors for quite a while, must the logo *always remain in those colors? I’d like to change our logo’s colors to fit in with a color scheme on a new website.
    Is that in keeping with logo decorum?

  7. If you are commissioned to update an existing logo and after presenting it to the client they decided to cancel the job and not pay you, only to see them using the updated logo at a later date, how can a designers protect themselves from this type of infringement?

  8. These new logos are terrible, I completely agree.
    On the other hand, I wonder how much of our collective distaste for these redesigned brands is rooted in our own sense of nostalgia.
    Maybe nostalgia isn’t the right word. But I know that, for myself, I don’t like to see logos I’m familiar with change at all. I like them just the way they were when I was a kid.
    On the other hand, the logos that I knew when I was a kid were often redesigns of earlier versions as well. And maybe the adults of the 70s and 80s also resented those redesigns as being inferior to the ones that they knew.

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