Del Taco Comes Out of the Shadows

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Sometimes rebranding is dramatic, but at other times the changes can be subtle updates that merely enhance and/or modernize the existing brand. Subtle brand makeovers can be most effective when the business already has a well-recognized logo with significant brand equity, and also when the existing logo is not bad but merely a bit out of fashion.

This was certainly the case with West Coast-based taco and burger chain Del Taco. The former restaurant logo design had been launched in the nineties and was becoming more outdated almost by the hour. It featured the name of the fast food chain in bold, capital letters below a stylized sun and hills. The shapes and colors were not bad, but the shadowing was atrocious. This single element showed the logo’s age more than any other aspect of the logo. It presented an outdated brand, which did not say anything positive about the food.

The new Del Taco logo uses the same basic design, but loses the heavy black accents. The background scene is now drawn in basic, colorful lines with the name written in a similar, but unshadowed font. This logo is barely different from the old one… all we can say is, what a difference shadowing makes. The colors look brighter and the logo looks bolder and more modern with only the most minimal changes. The lines are now reminiscent of brush strokes, giving a down-home charm to the design.

The logo is in many ways a return to Del Taco’s history. The sun has a ‘buzz saw’ shape that was used by the company in the sixties and seventies. The shadowing had been a new addition when it was introduced, so removing this element also takes the logo design and brand into the future and the past at the same time.

The decorations in the stores will also change as part of this rebranding. The colors will echo those seen in the logo—bright reds, crisp greens and other bright hues. The font will be an old fashioned one with a blocky shape and significant serifs. The new logo was announced in a press release, but this design and the new store decorations will be introduced slowly in the last quarter of the year.

As you can see, sometimes a logo design can be modified instead of changed entirely. This is really the best plan when it is possible, at least in most cases. It allows the business in question to maintain the elements of their brand that are still relevant. It maintains customer recognition and avoids alienating the market. After all, why fix something that is not broken? However, many logos, the old Del Taco logo, are so outdated they truly need some changes. Sometimes subtle updates are the answer. I doubt that most customers will even notice the changes to their nearest Del Taco signage, but the more modern brand will allow the company to move confidently into the future.