Decoding the Burger King logo design and its history


Last updated July 20, 2023

Burger King is one of the largest fast food brands in the world. Its logo is an impressive and unique design that mainly targets the young audience and expresses their happiness. But the logo has its evolutionary history. Starting as a simple wordmark, it is now a colorful iconic logo.

Burger King’s iconic logo has seen several changes over its long history dating back to 1953. Along with redesigning and changing its logos, the company has also given a new look to its staff uniform and to the packaging of its products as part of its brand strategies. The intention of redesigning the logo was to refresh the brand visuals for the new generation of consumers.

It’s almost hard not to have heard of Burger King (BK), the second largest hamburger chain with a global network of more than 17,800 locations in over 100 countries (as of 2020), whether you like or not the hamburgers.

What does the Burger King logo represent?

The Burger King logo symbolically expresses a hidden meaning, which viewers can understand instantly. The logo is the company’s badge, representing a hamburger that the company sells. The burger usually has a layer of meat, which the company name represents. The symbol of a hamburger between the buns represents the essence of the company.

Thus, the logo expresses the happiness of satisfied consumers who regularly buy Burger King fast foods. The emblem expresses their joy and becomes a cultural symbol of fast food consumption.

The history of the Burger King logo

Based in Miami-Dade County, Florida, this burger chain was first introduced as Insta-Burger King in 1953. Insta Burger King was taken over by its two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, who renamed it “Burger King”. in 1954 when she was experiencing financial difficulties.

Over the next fifty years, ownership of the brand changed hands four times, with the third group of owners, a joint venture between Bain Capital, TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking their company public in 2002.

During the second half of 2010, 3G Capital (Brazil) acquired a considerable stake in the company through a US$3.26 billion deal. The company launched a reorganization effort to improve growth and marketing. Burger King and Tim Hortons, a Canadian donut company, have been consolidated by 3G and Berkshire Hathaway under a single-parent name.

The company launched a reorganization effort to improve growth and marketing. Burger King and Tim Hortons, a Canadian donut company, have been consolidated by 3G in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway under the new parent company Restaurant Brands International. As fascinating as the history of Burger King’s ownership is, so is the journey of the logo.

Decoding the Burger King logo design and its history

Here’s how one of the world’s hottest fast food restaurants changed its visual identity to keep up with the changes.

professional logo

1953 – 1954: The Rising Sun logo

When the company started in 1953, it was known as Insta Burger King. It obtained its logo the same year. Next, the logo was a rising sun with the sun’s rays stylized as triangles around the half-disc. The Burger King brand name was in all caps and bold letters. At the time, it was a black and white logo. Although a friendly icon, the company only lasted a year. So the first step towards the next Evolution of the Burger King logo created a simple black and white combined logo.

Rising Sun Logo

1954 – 1957: Just the wordmark

The company acquired the restaurants of David Edgerton and James McLamore in 1954. To show its authority, the logo also featured a new design. This time there was no rising sun; instead, the brand name made the logo.

Just the wordmark

THE old Burger King logo was a minimalist, bold wordmark in a sans-serif font with uneven letter edges. It was a simple logo with no other details. The company retained this logo for three years as its brand identity

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1957 – 1969: Colorful and engaging logo

The company introduced a multi-color yellow, red, blue and brown logo in 1957. At that time, it was an exciting and attractive logo due to the use of colors. A bolder and neater font made the logo impressive. There was also a slogan, “Home of the Whopper.”

Colorful engaging logo

This time, the designer made drastic changes to the logo by incorporating a happy clown sitting on the burger with a huge glass of soft drink. A good range of colors and the clown gave the logo a distinctive look.

1969 – 1994: The first Bun logo

The iconic Bun logo we know today was designed in 1969. Its bold red letters were the main attraction and a key element. The bold red sans-serif letters with smooth lines immediately caught the eye.

First bun logo

Even though the color palette of this design came from previous versions of the logo, the composition, shape, and style were still new. The wordmark sandwiched between the two layers of buns made the logo unique. This design also visually indicates that the company sells fast food.

1994 – 1999: The modified bun logo

In 1994, the company changed the logo slightly to give it a traditional, solid look. The color of the buns was a little brighter this time to express the happiness of a satisfied customer. Additionally, the wordmark was capitalized with the rounded sans serif letters. Many restaurants still use this logo today.

Modified bun logo

This logo is an example of how simply changing the style of the letters can significantly change the appearance of the emblem. The change from the somewhat elegant letters in the previous version to the straight letters in this one gave it a new look.

1999 – Today: introduction of the round shape version

The company redesigned the logo again in 1999 to give it a round shape and a distinctive look. This time, the enlarged wordmark was placed diagonally between the halves of the bun. The bright yellow buns had a few white streaks to give it a refreshing look.

Presentation of the round shape version

Additionally, a blue C-shaped arc around the wordmark became the appeal of the design. This further gave the logo a distinctive look. This design is today the fundamental identity of the brand.

2021 – Today: the vertical logo

In 2021, the company redesigned the logo again in bold red letters, placed between the two buns. The color of the buns has also been changed to orange. Additionally, the background was light cream, which constitutes the framing of the emblem. The color palette makes the logo look more warm and friendly.

Vertical logo

This design seemed compact to make a different impression on the viewers. The top bun this time was bigger than the bottom one. This made the buns seem bigger and had more stuff inside.

Burger King logo elements

The Burger King logo has its fonts and colors, which gives it an identity among consumers and target markets. Most Burger King Logos the letters are capitalized to express its authority in the market. The heavy sans serif typeface allows the design to stand out.

The color palette of the logo is also crucial in making it a distinctive visual identity. It has red and orange as its primary colors. While the background is in a light creamy beige shade, the dominant colors are bright and eye-catching. These colors evoke energy and happiness.

Overall, these are the phases of evolution of the iconic Burger King logo. The logo versions met the requirements of the times to convey a brand message.

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Burger King is the world’s leading fast food brand. Its iconic logo is a well-known emblem that people can recognize instantly. But the logo design has gone through its evolutionary phase. Initially, it was a simple black and white work mark. Then it became a colorful logo with buns and a wordmark in between. The company has been making necessary changes regularly to make it look refreshing in the eyes of new consumers.


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