The Burger King Rebrand: Design Fit for a King?

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In the ongoing corporate quest to keep the crown, Burger King has rebranded, serving up its first alternate look in more than two decades, while offering a logo that throws it back to the versions that were in play in different form from 1969 to 1999.

As the brand detailed in a release, “The announcement signals a commitment to digital-first expression and recent improvements to taste and food quality, through the removal of colors, flavors and preservatives from artificial sources from menu items, as well as an ambitious pledge to environmental sustainability.”

The rebrand, featuring work by Jones Knowles Ritchie, is comprehensive—there’s the logo. Packaging. Merchandise. Menus. Uniforms. Signage and decor. Digital assets.

The result is a new look that indicates confidence in the future, while remaining true [to] heritage and what guests love about BK.”

Here, the king breaks it down:

Logo. Confidently, what BK is all about—real, simple and delicious food. Since launching the current logo in 1999, the industry has transitioned to a more modern, digital-friendly design language. The new minimalist logo seamlessly meets the brand evolution of the times and pays homage to the brand heritage with a refined design that’s confident, simple and fun.

Color: Selected colors are unapologetically rich and bold, inspired by the iconic Burger King flame-grilling process and fresh ingredients. The new photography is hyper textured and dials up the sensorial aspect of the food.

Font. The Burger King new proprietary brand font is (appropriately) called “Flame.” The font is inspired by the shapes of BK food—rounded, bold, yummy—and [the] brand’s irreverent personality.

Uniforms. New crew member uniforms reflect flame grill masters, mixing contemporary and comfortable style with distinctive colors and graphics. Real crew members are featured in new BK advertising.

Packaging. New packaging showcases the new logo very proudly as well as bold colors and playful illustrations of ingredients.

So: What does one of the architects behind the former logo’s design think of the new one? PRINT editorial director Debbie Millman was president of Sterling Brands when the company took on the design challenge.

“The ‘BK’ monogram is absolute genius, and I wish they had used that,” Millman says of the inset mark here, which can be briefly spotted in the video embedded below. “I’m afraid that a lot of the general public won’t understand the logo redesign; quite a few people have written me and asked why Burger King went back to their old logo. The new monogram is bold and brilliant, and I truly think it should be the new identity! It is much better than the logo I worked on with my beloved Sterling Brands.”

It’s also worth noting that someone is missing from all of these materials: the wily, moderately unnerving giant-plastic-headed mascot. But rest assured, he’s around.