The Fascinating History of the Domino's Logo Design
The Domino's Pizza logo is a familiar sight for many of us. We see it on shop windows, pizza boxes and delivery vehicles worldwide. But have you ever wondered what the story is behind this iconic logo? How did it come to be? And how has it changed over the years?
Join us on a journey through time and explore the fascinating history of Domino's logo design. From its humble beginnings as a simple dot to the modern and recognisable symbol we know today, we will discover the significance of each design change and how it reflects the growth and success of the company over the years.
Get ready to dive into the world of pizza branding and discover the secrets behind one of the most recognisable logos in the world.
The Phenomenon That is Domino's
Being a globally recognised brand is no easy feat, especially in the highly competitive food industry. Companies have tried to replicate the success of McDonald's, a food chain known and loved in every corner of the world, but only some have achieved such widespread recognition. Domino's Pizza, however, has become a famous brand with many satisfied and returning customers. Here are some essential facts to give you a better understanding of this successful pizza chain.
- Domino's was founded in 1960 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, by two brothers, Tom Monaghan and James Monaghan. After only eight months, James transferred his half of the business to Tom, making him the sole owner. Since then, the company has grown and expanded rapidly, becoming the largest pizza company in the world by global retail sales in 2018.
- Domino's also expanded internationally by acquiring master franchisees in the UK and Ireland in 1993. Today, the UK and Ireland are Domino's third largest markets after the US and India. The company's global presence continues to grow, with over 18,800 locations in 85 countries worldwide.
- Domino's commitment to innovation and technology is crucial to its success. In recent years, the company has made significant investments in digital platforms and delivery services that make it easier and more convenient for customers to order their favourite pizzas. This has helped the brand stay ahead of the competition and remain the first choice for pizza lovers worldwide.
What Do Dominos Have to Do With Pizza?
You probably know the Domino's Pizza logo if you love pizza. But have you ever wondered what the story behind the name is? What do dominoes have to do with pizza? The truth is: not much. The name “Domino's” was strategically chosen, and it all started with a small pizzeria in Michigan.
Before Tom Monaghan and his brother took over the restaurant in 1960, it was owned by Dominick DiVarti. The restaurant was called “DomiNick's”, which made sense at the time since Dominick was the owner. However, when Tom bought two more pizzerias in 1965, he wanted to create a brand he could use in all three locations.
The problem was that Dominick would not allow Tom to use the name “DomiNick's” for the new restaurants. This put Tom in a quandary, as he needed a name that could be used for all three locations and still be recognisable to his existing customers.
The solution came from an unlikely source: a pizza delivery boy. One of Tom's co-workers suggested the name “Domino's” for the new restaurants, and Tom was thrilled. The name sounded similar to “DomiNick's”, which helped maintain some continuity with Tom's existing customers. It was also catchy and easy to remember, which would be necessary as Tom worked to expand the brand and build awareness.
With the new name in place, Tom designed a logo that would be as memorable and recognisable as the name. The first Domino's logo consisted of a simple dot representing a single domino. Over time, the logo evolved to include new elements, such as the iconic red and blue stripes and the domino graphic we know today.
In summary, the name “Domino's” may not seem obvious for a pizza restaurant, but it was a strategic and intelligent decision that helped establish the brand and increase awareness. By creating a name similar to the restaurant's previous title, memorable and easy to remember, Tom Monaghan created a brand that would become one of the most recognised in the pizza industry.
Dominick's Pizza: 1960-1965
The company's original banner, DomiNick's, was a simple but distinctive design with a monochrome colour scheme. “DomiNick's” was written in cursive letters above the word “Pizza”, which they wrote in bold capital letters in a modern sans serif font. Using contrasting styles and fonts helped create a balanced and eye-catching composition.
The banner was placed against a clean white background, highlighting the black lettering and giving the design a classic and timeless look. The words were surrounded by a thick black angular frame that added a touch of boldness and strength to the design. The frame also helped to draw attention to the text and make it stand out, making it easier for customers to recognise the brand from a distance.
Overall, DomiNick's original banner design succeeded in combining classic elegance with modern minimalism to create a memorable and effective logo that quickly became associated with high-quality pizza. The simplicity of the design made it easy to reproduce various marketing materials and merchandise, allowing the brand to maintain consistency across all products and communications.
The Original Domino's Logo: 1965-1969
The original emblem of the fast food chain had a simple but sophisticated design that represented the company's growth in its early years. The symbol comprised a single domino with three dots, one on top and two on the bottom. This arrangement of dots symbolised the number of pizzerias that belonged to the chain at the time: In the early years, one restaurant was bought, and after some time, they added two more.
To give the emblem a visual impact, the domino was painted a bright and bold shade of red, symbolising the heat and excitement of a freshly baked pizza. The domino was accented with several thin white stripes that added depth and dimension to the design and gave the knuckle a more realistic look.
The company's full name was displayed on the emblem, with each word placed opposite one of the parts of the domino. The top lettering was written in a bold red sans serif font, while the bottom lettering was in a classic black serif font. This arrangement created a visual balance between the two parts of the name, with the red font drawing attention to the whole word and the black font grounding the design.
Overall, the fast food chain's original emblem was a clever and practical design that reflected the company's growth and represented its commitment to quality and excellence. Using bright colours, bold fonts, and clever symbolism helped create a memorable and timeless logo that quickly became associated with delicious pizza and outstanding service.
In 2003, Tom explained the three dots idea to CNN,
“I decided we'd put three dots on the Domino because we had three stores, and every time we added one, we'd add a dot. You can see I wasn't thinking of a national chain back then.”
In just 12 years, Domino's Pizza opened over 200 new branches, so adding a new dot to the logo was impossible every time a new restaurant opened. Instead, the company focused on other aspects of its branding, such as the distinctive red and blue colour scheme and using Domino's graphics.
The font used in Domino's logo is similar to Futura Condensed ExtraBold, known for its good legibility and elegant look. The font's simplicity perfectly reflects the brand's sober style and makes it easy for customers to recognise the brand at a glance.
The logo's colour scheme is another vital element, carefully chosen to create a strong visual impact. The combination of red and blue provides an eye-catching contrast that attracts the attention of passers-by and makes the logo instantly recognisable.
The logo's colour scheme is also a nod to the colours of the American flag. Adding a new dot to the domino to represent each new restaurant is similar to how the American flag stars represent each state of the union. This connection to American patriotism creates a sense of customer familiarity and loyalty.
Red, the logo's primary colour, is a bold and energetic colour that stands out in any combination. It evokes a sense of urgency and excitement, perfect for a fast food brand like Domino's. Blue, on the other hand, is a more subdued colour that conveys strength and reliability. Combining these two colours creates a sense of balance that evokes the perfect emotions in customers.
The striking colours used in the logo were also appropriate for the 1960s when bold and bright colours were in fashion. The combination of a domino representing three original shops, a domino bearing the name of the company and a square symbolising a pizza box creates a well-rounded, meaningful and functional design that has stood the test of time.
How the Domino's Logo Design Evolved
Over the years, Domino's logo has changed several times. While it is generally not advisable for companies to change their logos frequently, it is necessary for companies like Domino's that have been around for a long time. As trends evolve and the company's success fluctuates, there is a need to innovate and adapt. They made the first change to the original logo in 1977.
Domino's logo was fundamentally changed in 1977, including a significant logo rotation so that the company name was now vertical. The colours were updated, lighter, and darker, while they dropped the rounded corners and gave the logo a square shape. The company name is capitalised in the new design to make it stand out more.
In addition to these changes, they added white squares to round off the “1” and “3” in the domino. They probably meant these new details to draw more attention to the logo. Compared to other Domino's logos, this one stands out the most, almost experimental in its approach.
Despite these changes, the logo has yet to meet the company's expectations, so another redesign was made in 1996.
They decided to return to the original design of the first logo and make some subtle changes. The rounded corners and white background were reintroduced, and they no longer wrote the company name in capital letters. They retained the iconic blue and red colour scheme but changed the hue to be more calming and pleasing to the eyes. This was a departure from the previous logo, which had bright, attention-grabbing colours to attract passers-by. The new darker colours gave the logo a more sophisticated and stylish look.
The most significant change was the orientation of the logo. It was rotated again, giving it a modern and unique look that reflected the spirit of the times. The font was also updated from the previous, more traditional font, giving it a more quirky and playful style. While this new design was exciting and fun, the company's continued growth led to another change in the logo.
As Domino's expanded its menu to include products such as sandwiches and pasta, it became clear that the name “Domino's Pizza” no longer fully represented the company. In 2012, the decision was made to change the name to “Domino's”. This new name better suited the company's broader range of products.
After the name change, they redesigned the logo for the fourth time. The new design retained the familiar red and blue scheme but simplified the logo even further. They kept the domino shape, which was now unadorned and more streamlined. The overall impression was simple and elegant, with a clear emphasis on the company name. This new design reflected the company's focus on efficiency and innovation as it continued to expand and evolve.
They significantly redesigned the logo to show that Domino's offers pizza and has established itself as a recognised food chain with various products. To achieve this goal, the design team eliminated the lower blue part of the logo, which only contained the symbolic Domino with three dots. The colours of the previous design were retained, although the Domino is now split between blue and red, as the lower blue part is missing.
The name Domino now appears next to the logo. The result of the redesign is a highly recognisable logo featuring a discreet image of a blue and red Domino with three dots, instantly communicating the brand to the audience. The new design reflects the growth and vision of the company and appeals to a broader range of customers looking for different food options beyond pizza.
What Domino's Logo History Has Thought Us?
The success of Domino's Pizza as a food chain cannot be overstated, but the success of its logo is equally impressive. Domino's logo has been redesigned several times, each time carefully thought out and executed to reflect the growth and development of the company.
Graphic designers can learn a lot from the thoughtful approach Domino's has taken to logo design. From the beginning, the logo was designed with care and attention to detail and included elements such as the three dots representing the three original Domino's Pizza locations. As the company grew and expanded, the logo was adapted to reflect these changes while retaining the core design elements that made it instantly recognisable.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from the evolution of Domino's logo is the need for a logo design to be adaptable. The progress of a business and time will inevitably lead to changes in branding, and a logo that cannot keep up with these changes will quickly become outdated. The redesign of Domino's logo shows the importance of staying relevant and moving with the times while maintaining a consistent brand identity.
Another important lesson to be learned from Domino's logo is the value of simplicity. The combination of red and blue and the simple design of Domino's itself are instantly recognisable worldwide. This shows that a logo can be simple enough to communicate a brand's identity effectively.
In summary, Domino's Pizza's thoughtful approach to logo design holds valuable lessons for businesses and graphic designers. A logo can become a powerful tool for communicating a brand's identity and values by remaining adaptable, retaining key design elements and embracing simplicity.