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Since 1962, Taco Bell has been serving up creative, Mexican-inspired menus, while continually redefining the restaurant experience to reflect their customers’ maturing tastes. Embodying their mantra to “Live Más”, the company is no stranger to innovation. But, approaching 2016, the fast-casual restaurant segment had evolved, with brands vying for the savvy millennials who demanded more from their food experiences. Despite its continued restaurant and menu innovation, Taco Bell’s brand identity had remained largely unchanged for over two decades.
It was with this challenge that they engaged Lippincott. Our objective was simple: to help Taco Bell claim a leading role in this latest revolution and to create an iconic look with their signature, playful personality.
There was no denying the equity of the bell logo. We sought to modernize it, making it more relevant to the brand’s culturally diverse customer base. The challenge became creating something that was as dynamic as it was iconic.
We started with an exploration of the bell itself, deciding on a visual streamlining of this beloved icon. But simplification doesn’t mean generic, bland or undifferentiated. It creates space for joy and seduction. By opening up the bell as we did, this instantly recognizable shape can now be filled with an endless array of patterns, textures and images. We then paired the icon with a simpler, more approachable and more modern expression of the name. From digital channels to commercials, billboards and beyond, the sans serif font heightens legibility across all touchpoints.
Further, the new design celebrates the brand’s heritage with a fresh new palette of seven vibrant color combinations. The blend of color and pattern provides greater flexibility of usage — from neon to queso and Texas to Taipei — while maintaining Taco Bell’s iconic framework as it continues to build new cultural ground.
Taco Bell unveiled the new identity at the opening of its 7,000th restaurant and first flagship destination in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new Taco Bell Cantina offers a dining experience fit for the Vegas Strip, including digital menu boards, a tapas-style menu of shareable appetizers and dedicated space for DJ entertainment.
There, the logo marks the beginning of a new era for Taco Bell. Emblazoned on everything from slushy cups to merchandise to the glowing sign at the door, it will serve as their beacon as they pioneer new restaurant experiences and pursue their growth plan to become a $15 billion brand by 2022.
Summarizing the experience, Jennifer Arnoldt, the Director of Retail Engagement and Experience at Taco Bell, said, “As a marketer, the honor of updating a logo for an iconic brand like Taco Bell is a once in a career opportunity; and I couldn’t imagine a better partner in Lippincott. Their vision and partnership allowed a dynamic and evolved brand identity to shine through and reflect the innovative brand we truly are.”