The International House of Pancakes just got a face-lift.
The Glendale, Calif.-based breakfast food chain has unveiled a new face-like logo that grins with a thin red smile along with a pair of puffy pale blue eyes and nose, rendered from last letters of its name: “OP.” It’s sort of reminiscent of the countenance of the clay clown puppet Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live, curled into a typographical smirk. (Hey, at least that’s better than AirBnB’s recent anatomical emblem mishap.)
Why the change? The company’s old logo apparently looked too despondent. IHOP’s vice president of marketing Kirk Thompson tells BuzzFeed News that the prior design “appeared as a person’s frown,” which “was not in concert with guest expectations.”
“Our guests have told us for many years that coming to IHOP, and in many cases just thinking about our world famous pancakes, makes them smile,” Thompson said a statement. “We believe this new logo captures the essence of the IHOP experience, which consistently delivers our guests not only craveable food, but also great memories shared with family and friends.”
The company, owned as a subsidiary of DineEquity (DIN), has been around since 1958, and last changed its logo more than 20 years ago. The new change reflects the pancake-and-waffle-makers desire to bring “smiles to life,” according to its Monday announcement.
The chain, which has about 1,650 restaurants, began rolling out its new identity across its properties and branded materials at the beginning of the week. It also plans to launch a “summer of smiles” campaign—though it’s not the first restaurant chain to do something similar—over the coming months, featuring events such as a free pancake lunch for members of the Kiwanis club at an international convention for the service organization on June 25th.
The design firm 360/Studio Tilt created the pancake house’s new look.