Online food ordering service Grubhub has partnerships with hundreds of thousands of restaurants in 4,000 US cities, many of which do not have their delivery system. It connects consumers to their favorite food and beverage outlets. The main service area is the USA and the UK. The company buys up competitors in different states to get closer to new customers to cover large territories. This is why she has such an impressive portfolio of brands, the most famous Seamless, a platform originally aimed at office workers. But it is worth clarifying that Grubhub did not buy Seamless but merged with it. This merger ended in 2013. Since 2020, the food ordering service belongs to Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V.
Meaning and History
Just Eat Takeaway is represented by various brands in 23 countries around the world. Grubhub is her US subsidiary, which cost her more than $ 7 billion. After moving to a new owner, the online service retained its original name because marketers saw its name as a powerful advertising tool. After all, as you know, the Grubhub brand has existed since 2004 and has already become famous throughout the United States. This restaurant food delivery service became so famous that Uber Technologies Corporation almost bought it. But the enterprising leaders of Just Eat Takeaway were faster. Now Uber Eats remains one of the main rivals of Grubhub in the American market, along with other platforms: EatStreet, Postmates, DoorDash, and others.
A well-thought-out identity system helps the company to withstand the competition. At first glance, its logo is just an inscription without any special features. However, the word mark has certain “tags” that allow the identification of its owner. This is the traditional red and bold sans serif type. This is what the Grubhub identity cannot do without. In addition, the use of the brand name as a graphic sign has a positive effect on brand awareness.
The iconography of the online service has changed several times. The last update was done in 2016 by advertising studio Wolff Olins. It marked a watershed in the history of the food delivery service, as the specialists managed to increase the revenue and market value of Grubhub. The fact is that they not only changed the logo but also adapted the interface for it, added new functions, and proposed an innovative strategy for the development of the service. This holistic approach allowed it to reflect the brand’s ambition with simple visual tools.
2004 – 2011
In 2004, Matt Maloney and Mike Evans of Chicago created the Grubhub website and registered a food ordering company of the same name. The web developers decided it was a great business idea because restaurant diners get bored flipping through paper menus. While developing their online service, they did not forget about the identity system’s most important thing.
The web service icon was a red rectangle with a radial gradient, with a light shade in the center blending into the dark edges. In the middle was a circle, stylized as a three-dimensional ball with highlights, shadows, black borders, and a blurry white outline. He denoted the planet: either our Earth or some collective image that symbolized the Grubhub universe with catering establishments and numerous customers.
The improvised planet had a “satellite” – a dish with a cloche lid. Based on the trajectory, the serving dishes flew in a circle, encircling the ball. The artists depicted an annular orbit of the “satellite” and drew steam on top to make it clear that the food was freshly prepared.
The image was complemented by advertising inscriptions that were supposed to attract the attention of visitors. In the upper left corner was a white arch made of the words “GrubHub.com.” She seemed to be lying in a red circle. The designers placed the website address on the logo because the Grubhub brand is inseparable from the online service. Below, with a slight shift to the left, was the slogan “WHO DELIVERS?” orange. Thanks to him, it was clear what the company was doing. It was also used as an effective marketing tool – a kind of call to action.
2011 – 2016
In the early 2010s, the platform owners decided to remove unnecessary elements from the logo because Grubhub no longer needed advertising – customers already knew what services it offers. Thus, only one short inscription remained on the emblem, representing the name of the brand. It had an arched shape but was not very pronounced: one half (“grub”) began at the bottom and was directed upwards, and the second part (“Hub”) went from top to bottom. At the split point, there was a capital “H.” All other letters, including the first “g,” were lowercase. The word was easy to read thanks to its deep red color and clear geometric sans serif typeface. And numerous roundings made the brand symbol friendly.
There is nothing in the Grubhub branding except the inscription. But even this design is enough to attract customers’ attention because the word looks bright and resembles an advertising sign. It is a visual expression of the ambition of a web service, its competitiveness, and the desire for global market control.
2016 – 2021
The most famous rebranding of Grubhub took place in 2016. Advertising agency Wolff Olins handled it, so the food delivery service received a new logo and a completely redesigned concept.
The Grubhub logo consists of an inscription in the Barlow Semi Condensed font. The geometric grotesque was inspired by texts on trains, buses, and road signs. Its creator Jeremy Tribby drew inspiration from California street typography, so the letters are slightly rounded and low in contrast.
The specialists changed the style of the lettering, aligning the name of the online platform horizontally. All letters have been converted to uppercase and lighter. This version proved to be very durable: it survived even after the company changed hands and was taken over by Just Eat Takeaway.
The red color corresponds to the corporate palette of the service. It makes the Grubhub logo bright and visible against the backdrop of promotional materials. And red is also associated with hunger, appetite, so its use is great for a food delivery company.
2021 – present
In June 2021, the Grubhub brand finally became part of the Dutch company Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V., which sells food online. A month later, he updated the logo to match his new owner’s identity. So, on the left side, a symbol appeared in an orange house with a triangular roof and a pipe, as children usually draw it. It serves as the basis for knife and fork prints. The white cutlery silhouettes are shaped by negative space. This graphic was copied from JET, but the inscription “GRUBHUB” remains the same. It looks the same as on the previous logo; only red has given way to orange.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
After a recent redesign in 2021, the font has not changed. It’s still a bold sans-serif Barlow Semi Condensed designed by Jeremy Tribby and inspired by street signage. Grubhub’s new orange color matches the official JET palette. It matches white, just like the parent company emblem.