Monday, April 3, 2017

Carl's Jr and Hardee's loose the smile

Carl's Jr and Hardee's are two American burger restaurant chains with around 3,500 locations taken together. Although using different names, the two chains share most brand attributes, using similar logos, design and marketing. Last week, the company announced an overhauled advertising approach that will use humour and an actor playing the chain's founder. This puts an end to an absurd twelve year campaign where the chain marketed itself with women in bikinis. Simultaneously, the "happy star" in the chain's logo has lost its satisfied grin.

The new logos remove most of the effects of their predecessors, leaving only the stars and wordmarks intact.

Previous logo.

The refreshed logos appear to have been launched on social media in February, with the change getting official with a press release last week.

New Hardee's logo.

Previous Hardee's logo.

The new look is briefly explained in the press release:
In addition to the new commercial campaign, the overhaul will touch many facets of the brands’ identity, including:

  • Modernized company logos - The previously retro-inspired logos will be replaced with a bold, yet streamlined, modern typeface that combines the classy, smooth look of the original script font with an elevated sensibility; a simple yellow star will remain a focus to honor CKE’s iconic “Happy Star” heritage.
  • Food photography (including product imagery, menu boards, billboards and point-of-purchase promotional assets) - Characterized by a dark and bold richness, each menu item will see its inherent quality and dripping deliciousness put in the spotlight — literally. CKE’s menu offerings are taking center stage as the hero for this rebrand, and the company’s updated presentation style ensures nothing distracts viewers from the true star of the show: the food.


  1. Rebranding is an essential part of renewing one's brand for the changing times and is sometimes essential. By creating a new brand logo design , these companies probably want to disassociate with their older kid like logos(with the smileys) and perhaps want to appeal to a more mature audience. This is evident from the use of darker colours in the associated photos. Thanks for sharing.