On Monday, IHOP debuted a brand-spanking-new minimalist logo that the chain, aka the International House Of Pancakes, says better reflects "the essence of the IHOP experience." It's true that the old logo was beginning to look a little dated, and compared to the new one, significantly unhappier. (You'll get what I mean in a second, I promise.) The new IHOP logo and corresponding rebranding is built around the concept of a smiley face — maybe IHOP took note of the rise of emoticons and felt inspired? — and, while maintaining the classic blue and red of the traditional IHOP logo, is massively scaled down.
Why a smiley face, you ask? Well, according to IHOP's official statement on the logo change, its mission statement for more than a decade (IHOP was launched in 1958) has been to start their customers' days with a smile. "Today, with the launch of a new logo that prominently features just that, the brand will bring those smiles to life," the statement continues. The new logo isn't all: IHOP is launching an initiative called "Summer of Smiles," which honors nonprofits and other service organizations that, in IHOP's words, "like IHOP restaurants, help bring smiles to their communities though their efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of others."
IHOP clearly knows what's up with the whole smiling thing, because on March 3 it served free pancakes for National Pancake Day. Also, IHOP asked that everybody who enjoyed the free pancakes considered donating to children's hospitals or other children's charities. You go, IHOP.
Here's the old logo. If you squint, it looks like a worried face emoji. IHOP's VP of Marketing, Kirk Thompson, told BuzzFeed that it looked way too much like a frowny face, and that was not what the company was going for. "[It's] not in concert with guests expectations."
And here's the new one!
Here it is on a pancake!
Here it is in multiple! (Yes, I know, you get it.)
Is it just me, or do you almost read it as "IHope"? (Is this because I constantly hope for pancakes? Perhaps.)
The only thing I like less about the new IHOP logo is that the red curve looks significantly less like bacon. But, again, that's probably just me thinking too hard about bacon.