Logo History and Branding

Carlton Henry

Professor Thelma


KFC Logo History and Branding

Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is a widely popular fast food chain restaurant since the 1950s.  People

everywhere recognize the Colonel Sanders, founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Since1952,

the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) logo has about four times, however the visage of Colonel Sanders has

always been present. From 1952 to 1978, the KFC logo had a very simplistic and unappealing design that

was in black and white. The logo was very plain looking and din not stand out very much.  It showed a

serious expression of Colonel Sanders that did not have a friendly and inviting look and did not emit

warmth or welcome customers. The only difference between the 1952 version and the 1978 was the change

in the style and size of the typefaces.  They only used black lettering and a San Serif based typefaces to

show how serious they were about their product. The Colonel’s visage did not have a welcoming feel

towards consumers.  Only until later on did KFC decide to change their logos gradually, to fit in with the

modern society and give off a warm and family oriented type of feeling.

It wasn’t until 1991 that color was added into the KFC logo to show a lively image of Colonel.  It was during

this time that the name Kentucky Fried Chicken was abbreviated into “KFC” to get away from the word

“fried” that meant fat and made their restaurant seem unhealthy to their customers.   In 2007, a San

Francisco based branding company named Tesser remade an American icon, the KFC logo into an

appealing piece of art by bright colors and tight lines without having to use shading. Tesser is a branding

company that goes all out to unify both the brand and the logo by using their environment and experiences

to create a visual concept that will make a positive impact on their customers.  They have made logos for

well-known companies such as Popeye’s, Wendy’s, I Hop, Domino’s Pizza, Quizno’s and many other

popular restaurant food chains.  The KFC logo incorporates a visage of Colonel himself smiling with a

bright red chef apron and a red background.  Also, there are thick lines used to define his facial features to

make him look as if he’s popping out at you, which initially attracts people’s attention.  The name of the

restaurant is shortened to the initials of Kentucky fried chicken into KFC in thick black text underneath th

e framed picture of the Colonel. The text uses a slightly modified form of the Friz Quandrata typeface.  It

has a simplistic appeal to consumers.  KFC started to grow and develop changing with the times and the

demands of the costumers making them well known for their logo and delicious food.  The Bright red used

in the logos brings a sense of warmth to the Colonels face, which is inviting to consumers.  The smiling

Colonel is displayed against a red background that equates his red apron, with the company name in black

thick inscription below his chin. The emblem has dynamism, depth and dimension, without falling back to

shading, strongly indicating the fact that a well-conducted arrangement of shapes can convey the

intended message more directly and clearly as compared to any detail of shading.  KFC has been one of the

companies that kept its brand identity consistent and had only four small changes over the past fifty years

of its history. In 2007, KFC launched the current logo in which the Colonel changed his white suit jacket for

a red cook’s apron, giving him more credit and empowering him as a chef. The new KFC logo has bolder

colors and added dimension, depth and dynamism to the Colonel’s icon. The red color in the logo has

given KFC identity a more bold and energetic look and works well across different media from web to TV or

print. The typography is also bolder and more assertive and gives the KFC logo a renewed energy and

freshness, more appealing to its clients.  The new logo can be seen in all it’s glory on the KFC chicken


Logo History and Branding




Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, it tells them what they can expect from

your products and services.  An ad I viewed on the internet by KFC, featured a mother, her son and

daughter and a bucket of KFC chicken which featured the logo, between the two children in the back seat.

In the opening, the family is driving home from KFC.  The mother is driving home while singing a song

that was playing on the radio, the daughter then joins in, and soon after, the son joins in as well.  The ad

then cuts to a voice over telling the viewers more about the bucket of fried chicken. ­­­

The ad was targeting families with young children, who are probably on the go a lot.  Throughout the ad

you get a feeling of happiness and unity from the family, that seem to be centered around the KFC, which

is what the KFC logo represents.  KFC also has a large social media presence, with 1.2 million followers on

Twitter alone.

Work Cited

Press, Associated . “KFC Unveils New Logo With Giant Image in Nevada Desert.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 14 Nov. 2006, www.foxnews.com/story/2006/11/14/kfc-unveils-new-logo-with-giant-image-in-nevada-desert.html. Accessed 30 Sept. 2017.

Press, Associated . “New KFC logo: It’s all about The Colonel.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 14 Nov. 2006, www.nbcnews.com/id/15705220/ns/business-us_business/t/new-kfc-logo-its-all-about-colonel/#.WdPPx1PytdA. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.

Armin. “Colonel’s Second Tour.” Brand New: New Identity and Packaging for KFC by Grand Army, Brand New, 1 Oct. 2015, www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_identity_and_packaging_for_kfc_by_grand_army.php. Accessed 20 Sept. 2017.