Taco Bell logo

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Taco Bell is an American chain of fast food restaurants based out of Irvine, California and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc.

What does the Taco Bell logo mean?

The Taco Bell logo has three different colors. But, each color has a meaning! Their main color in the logo is purple. The purple is like a luxury color. Taco Bell wants to give you the luxury of delicious.

Meaning and history

taco bell logo evolution

Taco Bell is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Irvine, California, in the United States and founded in 1962.

A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., serve a variety of Tex-Mex style foods (although some Americans very mistakenly believe it to be Mexican food) including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and other specialty foods.

Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year in 6,407 restaurants, of which more than 80 percent are owned and operated by franchisees and independent licensees.

According to a statement on the Taco Bell site, they have announced a new logo in Las Vegas, and it has been designed by Lippincott together with an internal Taco Bell design team.
Taco Bell Story.

Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California 3 in 1946, when he was 23 years old. In 1950, he opened another Bell burger and hot dog stand in the west side neighborhood of San Bernardino.

According to Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, Bell saw long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which attracted a clientele dedicated to his hard tortilla tacos.

Bell began eating there regularly, trying to reverse engineer the recipe, and eventually gained the owners’ trust in such a way that they allowed him to see how tacos and other foods were prepared. 45 In late 1951 or early 1952, he took what he had learned and opened a new booth, this time selling tacos under the name of Taco-Tía.

During the following years Bell owned and operated several restaurants in Southern California including four called El Taco. Bell sold El Taco to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962. On the night of November 19, 2015, the original Taco Bell building in Downey was relocated to Taco Bell’s corporate headquarters in Irvine, CA.

In 1962, he sold Taco-Tía. Kermit Becky, a former Los Angeles police officer, purchased Glen Bell’s first Taco Bell franchise in 1964, 3 and located it in Torrance.

The company grew rapidly, and in 1967, the 100th restaurant opened at 400 South Brookhurst in Anaheim. In 1968, its first franchise location east of the Mississippi River opened in Springfield, Ohio. In 1970, Taco Bell went public with 325 restaurants. In 1978 PepsiCo bought Taco Bell from Glen Bell.

1962 – 1972

taco bell logo 1962
The logo shown above, used between 1969-1972, uses an interesting block letter design that many people likely wouldn’t associate with Taco Bell at first glance. It was quickly deemed outdated after being the logo for only a few years.

1972 – 1985

taco bell logo 1972

1985 – 1994

taco bell logo 1985
This logo was used between 1985-1994 and shows how they adopted a more modern design along with incorporating the bell that is commonly associated with their brand today.

1992 – 1994

taco bell logo 1992

1994 – 2016

taco bell logo 1994
The following logo shown above displays how they began to move towards a cleaner look as well as incorporating the color purple that is still seen in their logo today. This cleaner look was used between 1994-2016.

2016 – Present

Taco Bell logo
Taco Bell Horizontal Logo

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Taco Bell logo
2018 – Present Taco Bell Logo.

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What color is Taco Bell?

taco bell logo color scheme
The Taco Bell colors found in the logo are purple, light purple and black. Font sans-serif type looks clean and minimalist.

Analysis of the Taco Bell logo

In this case it happens similar to what we saw in the Subway logo, we have been with the Taco Bell logo in mind for so many years, that it is too strange a change, but that does not mean that it was fine.

The previous logo was perhaps difficult to place in some applications due to its lack of negative space, full of vibrant color with its purple, pink and yellow palette, one thinks of Taco Bell as the whole experience they sell, with tortillas, the famous sauces with funny phrases, the monstrous creations in their food, the different pictures that one sees in the restaurant.

The new logo maintains the same characteristic bell of the restaurant but simplifies it, the same happens with the typography.

References:

  1. Yum! Brands, Annual Report 2018 »(PDF) – yum.com.
  2. Company information – Taco Bell.
  3. The California Taco Trail: How Mexican Food Conquered America – NPR.
  4. How the Taco Gained in Translation – The New York Times.
  5. Taco Bell Evolution of your brand – Taco Bell.

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