Established by two brothers in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, with a single pizzeria, Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, is “the world’s largest pizza company” — according to their own description which I don’t doubt but I put in quotes to clarify it wasn’t my statement — with $12 billion in global sales and more than 15,000 restaurants in 93 countries worldwide, employing over 160,000 people. Their pizza? It’s fine for mainstream global standards of pizza and they did give us cheese-stuffed crust because all that cheese simply wasn’t enough. Yesterday, Pizza Hut introduced a new menu — billed as “Flavor of Now” — that represents their biggest evolution yet, introducing ten new crust flavors like Honey Sriracha, Salted Pretzel, and Ginger Boom Boom; new “drizzles” and sauces; and premium ingredients like Salami, Fresh Spinach and Peruvian Cherry Peppers. (Spinach! Premium?). Along with the new menu, Pizza Hut also introduced a revision to its logo, designed by Deutsch LA.
Pizza Hut will look different, too, as the iconic red roof logo has been contemporized, along with delivery boxes, cups and even employee uniforms. All of these changes will be heralded in a national advertising campaign celebrating the “Flavor of Now.”
The main elements of the logo — the iconic hut roof and script wordmark — remain in place but are now placed inside a smear of tomato sauce. (Animation that demonstrates this can be found at the end of the last video later in the post). It’s nice to see a simpler version of the logo without all the gradients and multiple colors and it works remarkably well in a single color but there is something rather odd about the combination of those two iconic elements with the new holding shape. It might be one thing too many. I’m not convinced it’s totally wrong or bad as it now gives Pizza Hut another graphic element to use as a quick identifier and you can see it working well in the new menu (pictured below too in case our international readers can’t access it) where the splotch and the roof stand in as the logo.
Typographically, Pizza Hut is actually getting a little adventurous and outside the common visual language of pizzas with the use of an industrial-looking font family and the rugged Flavor of Now wordmark, which is not half bad.
I’m not sure what was the most recent version of the Pizza Hut box — Google Image results show dozens of variations and since I never order it I haven’t seen one IRL — but the new one has a cool simplicity to it and the black ink gives it a slight touch of premium-ness.
In the videos above, particularly in the stunts, you can get a taste of their new design approach and, again, it’s not half bad. The bold typography has a welcome confidence to it and it more clearly separates Pizza Hut from Dominos.
Maybe the most interesting aspect about the redesign are the new uniforms, which go from the typical dowdy polo shirt and slacks — see Google Image results here (which, btw, include far too many mug shots to be considered good for Pizza Hut’s brand associations) — to the much more relaxed and cooler range of t-shirts, plaid, and dark gray button downs paired with jeans and sneakers. Some of those t-shirts I would actually pay money to own (I’m looking at you vintage Pizza Hut logo t-shirt on the top left).
Overall, you can definitely see that Pizza Hut is trying to be a little cooler and I think it does come across as a relatively genuine effort (other than the publicity stunts in the badly-named towns) with decent results, specially for a mainstream product like this.