Wendy’s Returns to Core Brand


Sometimes a logo design must be changed not because it is outdated or not relevant to the audience, but because the company itself is changing. The recent redesign of the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group logo is a good example of this. The awkwardly named holding company was formed in 2008 when the company added Arby’s to its lineup. It is now dropping the Arby’s name because the company has dropped Arby’s altogether.

Arby’s was sold last month to a new company, leaving Wendy along once again as the face of the corporation. Hence, the new logo design. The old logo feature a red stylized W with a yellow strip to create the implication of an A. It was not the best image, but it was fine as far as fast food corporate logos go. It was red and yellow, which are typical fast food colors, and featured the name of the holding company in modern upper case lettering. A tagline was placed below: Serving Fresh Ideas Daily.

The old logo design was… okay. We wish we could say the same about the new one. It is a return to the core Wendy’s brand, but the execution is just not what we expected from a company of this size and clout. It features the familiar Wendy’s image, with the new name and tagline below.

In theory, this seems like a good logo design idea, but in reality it just does not seem to work. The font feels lazy and thoughtless. The shape of the letters is French-fry-like, although we don’t know if this was done on purpose. The use of capital lettering for ‘The’ and ‘Company’ while both upper and lower cases were used for ‘Wendy’s’ makes it seem like Wendy’s is the least important word in the name, which of course it isn’t. It would make more sense if ‘Wendy’s’ was in capital letters while the rest were mixed case.

This is not a font that has been used before in the Wendy’s corporation, so there is no reason for it. It is completely gratuitous. That would be easy to overlook if it made the restaurant logo design more attractive, but it doesn’t. The picture of Wendy at least relates to the corporate history, although this too does not work well in a corporate logo. Ditto for the tagline; it was once a Wendy’s tagline.

Because fast food companies seem to be in a constant state of buying, selling and changing hands, we doubt that this logo will have a long life span. It certainly will not work when another company is brought into the fold. Wendy’s should be looking at what works for other fast food holding companies. For example, Yum! Brands was able to put a stop to the constant rebranding process by designing a corporate brand that does not relate to any of the fast food brands it represents.

We can’t blame this entirely on the designers, either. There is a good chance that they were told to produce a logo like this and given very little to work with. While this may be exactly what The Wendy’s Company wanted, it simply is not that professional.