First opened in 1969 in Louisville, KY, Long John Silver’s (LJS) is a QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) seafood chain with over 1,100 locations worldwide, but mostly in the U.S. Privately owned until 1998, LJS is currently part of Yum! Brands, who also own KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. I’ve never been into a LJS but I’m guessing they are no different in expectations and delivery from what its sister brands offer. Leading up to Lent season this March — where fish consumption increases as meat is verboten — LJS is unveiling a new identity and tagline, “We Speak Fish.”
The new look attempts to change the perception of LJS from a low-end, boppy fast-food chain to a faux, semi-upscale one. A worthy goal, but a really hard one to achieve, especially when a lot of their locations are still housed in what look like smelly fisherman cottages.
Let’s assume we are willing to take that leap. The typography is indeed nice and upscale-ish in the slender, tracked out sans serif (Trade Gothic?) but the fish icon bring its down again to that cheap fast-food look with all those swirlies. It’s not bad-bad, just okay-bad. The best thing about the whole upgrade is the tagline, not that it’s groundbreaking, but it’s cute and it helps LJS sound like an accessible place that doesn’t have the typical cheeseburger offerings of most fast-food chains.