We recently saw Domino's and Arby's do it. Now it's the turn for Wendy's, which describes itself as the world’s third largest "quick-service hamburger company," encompassing more than 6,500 franchise and company restaurants worldwide. And what Wendy's is doing is exactly what its competitors are doing, which is to "contemporize the brand and dramatically improve the customer experience." Concretely, that means a shift to what Wendy's describes as "Image Activation" restaurants, those sporting a modern look complete with lounge seating and fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and digital menuboards, along with an increased emphasis on fresh ingredients and fresh preparation.
It's been almost 30 years since the last major brand logo change for Wendy's but there was no question of dropping the central image, based on founder Dave Thomas' daughter. San Francisco-based Tesser was tapped not only for the logo redesign but also for meal packaging and prototypes of the new Image Activation restaurants. The new logo dramatically simplifies the current cluttered version by eliminating extraneous colors, design elements and all text but the brand name, which moves from the corny woodblock-style typeface to a simple script. The Wendy image itself has also been simplified, in a manner reminiscent of the Starbucks logo redesign, with a similar movement away from a 19th century treatment. To my eyes the redesign is a success, with it keeping just enough of the brand's historical juice while positioning the logo as a close fit for the new direction of the chain. Look for it to be rolled out globally in March of 2013.
The current Wendy's logo.
The new Wendy's logo.
Wendy's logo timeline.
An example of the new Wendy's Image Activation restaurants.
The new logo previewed on Times Square.