Many years ago, I travelled across the USA. It was an incredible experience that I will always cherish. Business has kept me traveling back and I have since designed branding and packaging for some of the countries largest retailers. One of my memories of my time traveling the US was the bright branding used by the many of fast food companies. Competition in the US was so much greater than that of the UK, where at the time I had travelled from. Now living in Cape Town many of the chains are starting to appear here. We recently saw the arrival of Dunk'in Donuts. I am not necessarily, someone that frequents fast food establishments, but the branding is of interest to me. I love how some are stooped in the history of 1950's America. I also love how they have subtly changed over the years. To read through some of my older posts, there are stories on the evolution of Burger King and Ihop.
Taco Bell is another of the brands that I did not got to see, growing up in the UK. Back in 2002, when I travelled extensively throughout so many of the countries states, Taco Bell, the brand and the concept was very new to me! In particular in LA, I was amazed by the rich Mexican food culture! The company was established in 1962 in California. Full company history here!
I can still distinctly remember seeing a blast from the past in the old brown and yellow, 1985 Taco Bell logo, still being used back in 2002. Reading through the design press, I was interested to see that Taco Bell was going through a subtle rebranding. One area of change that I really like is the new fonts used on the word-mark. See below for more news on this:
Brown and yellow Taco Bell Logo 1985-1994
Below - From the Taco Bell company website, discussing new re brand.
Brand Evolution – 25 Years in the Making
While Taco Bell restaurants have seen continuous evolution, the logo has remained unchanged. In fact, the previous logo made its debut back in 1995.
In what the brand terms an “evolution, not revolution,” the new logo mirrors the new restaurant strategy: one size doesn’t fit all. In this modern take, color makes a splash and allows customization through patterns and textures, giving usage flexibility while maintaining its iconic framework.
Digital rollout of the logo refresh takes place today, while physical assets like restaurant design, packaging and impacted retail partners will roll out more gradually, depending on development and refresh timelines.
The refreshed logo was created is partnership with the leading creative consultancy Lippincott and Taco Bell’s internal design group, TBD.
Unveils Flagship Restaurant in Las Vegas, New Logo, and the Taco Bell Experience of the Future
Irvine, Calif. (November 14, 2016) – Taco Bell makes its debut on the Las Vegas Strip today, becoming the brand’s 7,000th restaurant and first flagship destination.
Alongside its opening, Taco Bell revealed its first logo refresh in over 20 years and follows the recent unveiling of new restaurant design concepts. These latest developments represent the brand’s evolution and growth plan to become a $15 billion brand by 2022 while adding 2,000 new restaurants globally and 100,000 new jobs in the U.S.
“If you’re going to throw a party to celebrate the growth and evolution of your brand, there’s no better place to hold it than Las Vegas,” said Taco Bell CMO, Marisa Thalberg. “This flagship restaurant is our ultimate expression of the Taco Bell brand, and lifestyle."
A Flagship Experience
Las Vegas becomes the fourth Taco Bell Cantina restaurant to open, following Wicker Park Chicago, SOMA San Francisco and Austin, and the first of its kind to offer 24-hour service. The flagship restaurant is centrally-located on the Las Vegas Strip on Harmon Corner, directly across from CityCenter and The Cosmopolitan Hotel.
The restaurant will offer a dining atmosphere fit for the lifestyle of the Vegas Strip, inclusive of experiences unique to Taco Bell Cantinas:
• Retail: The Taco Bell retail experience is the latest example of how the brand looks to create new cultural ground. For the first time, customers can now purchase exclusive Taco Bell merchandise and memorabilia in the restaurant. Selections include limited edition Las Vegas branded retail and newly designed brand merchandise, ranging from hats, shirts and bags to bikinis, rings and sweatshirts. Select branded merchandise will also be available online in Taco Bell’s Taco Shop.
• Freeze Wall: Eight Freeze drink taps line the back wall. Equipped with eight base flavors (Margarita, Cola, Pina Colada, Lemonade, Orange, Baja Blast, Cherry and Blue Raspberry), customers can add alcohol (Tequila, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey and Spiced Rum) and additional flavors for customized concoctions. Both Freezes and Twisted Freezes (those including alcohol) will be served in 16 or 32oz. souvenir cups.
• Technology: The flagship restaurant will feature digital menu boards and digital ques to monitor your order process, in addition to portable ordering tablets to reduce wait times. The 16 screens lining the interior wall will feature entertainment, live-stream video, sports and social media conversation.
• Transparency: An open kitchen design and food served in open-faced baskets gives customers a look inside Taco Bell’s quality ingredients.
• Shareables: Cantina restaurants feature a tapas-style menu of shareable appetizers – including nachos, quesadillas and chicken fingers, in addition to the full craveable and affordable Taco Bell Menu.
• Vegas Touches: Dedicated space for DJ entertainment, Wall of Taps, outdoor misters and heaters, community style seating, VIP lounges and unique custom artwork will also be featured. The two story building is faced with a wall of glass, an upstairs mezzanine and lounge overlooking the action and an outdoor patio right in the middle of it all on Harmon Corner and the Vegas Strip.