When it comes to pizza in the United States, no single brand is better known than Pizza Hut. Available virtually everywhere in the US, the company’s brand of quick, inexpensive pizza set the tone for a variety of competitors and for the food industry across the nation. While it’s rarely listed as a gourmet pizza option, it’s rare to find anyone who hasn’t been exposed to this brand. One of the most interesting elements of this brand is its logo. It has changed quite a bit over the years, though it’s still recognizable even in the early days. The purpose of this article is to take a look at the Pizza Hut logo and determine what makes it stand out, how it has changed, and how it has influenced others businesses.
Pizza Hut Logo Design Elements
In terms of shape, the Pizza Hut logo is remarkably simple. The major element is a circle, perhaps meant to evoke the image of a pizza or sauce on fresh dough. It’s not a perfect circle, though – there’s a messy bit of extra curve on the outside, probably meant to represent the imperfection of sauce. Within the circle is in irregular shape, meant either to evoke an older logo element or the iconic roof on top of the chain’s dine-in locations.
Next to the logo element are the words Pizza Hut, written in a bold, casual script. The words seem to be in a proprietary font, one that’s a mix of a traditional handwritten and typed style. The words are not strictly in upper-case, and are sometimes omitted entirely in promotional materials.
There are only three colors used in the logo. The main color is red – the color of both pizza sauce and of the company’s restaurant roofs. The central shape element is white, even when superimposed on a surface of another color. The written words are almost always black, though they can be written in white in some markets.
Changes and Evolution
Pizza Hut’s logo shape is constantly evolving. The original logo, which dates back to 1955, features a cowboy character called Pete holding the words PIZZA HUT. By 1968, Pete had been dropped in favor of the words Pizza Hut capped by a red roof – something that had become a major part of the company’s image. From there, the changes would be minor in terms of shape – 1999 would bring more of a hand-drawn feel to the words and roof, with a stripe underneath the logo. 2010-2015 would make the font on the logo a bit glossier and lose the yellow stripe, but otherwise make few changes. It wasn’t until 2014 that a version of the current logo would crop up, likely in an attempt to get away from the company’s fast-food and unhealthy origins. By 2018, this logo would drop the name PIZZA HUT from its interior entirely, leading to the current logo.
Pizza Hut has always used red as the dominant color in its advertising. From day one, red has been a major element – others have come and gone, but red has managed to stick around. By 1968, black had become the font color of choice, something that would only briefly change. The company would sometimes use a yellow stripe in the logo, but for the most part the logo has either been black and red or black and white. These colors are identifiably part of Pizza Hut’s legacy.
Pizza Hut’s font has been one element that has clearly been influenced by the times. The original font looks very similar to what you’d see in any local pizza restaurant, but by 1968 it’s more identifiably unique. The change to a new font in 1999 has seem to stick, largely in an attempt to make the brand look friendlier and more modern.
Pizza Hut is one of the original fast-food franchises in the United States, and thus its logo is fairly original. Largely inspired by its own restaurants, it’s safe to say that this classic is in a league of its own. With that said, though, it has many imitators. Countless local pizza chains have made Pizza Hut-lite logos, trading on the company’s success. Other companies that tie their brand to building color, such as Subway, are likely also inspired by Pizza Hut.
- Pizza Hut’s name was chosen because the restaurant’s sign only had room for eight letters
- Pizza Hut has delivered pizza to the International Space Station
- Pizza Hut offers a ten thousand dollar proposal package including a limousine, ruby engagement ring, fireworks, professional photography, and a ten dollar meal box.
Pizza Hut’s logo has gone through many changes, but it has largely kept major design elements the same. This has allowed the public to grow familiar with the logo and, by extension, the brand. Though many smaller businesses have attempted to copy this type of logo, there’s no doubt that the Pizza Hut logo remains incredibly successful and original.