The IHOP logo depicts a well-fed and satisfied customer. A complete set of nutrition for the whole day is in the “box” of the emblem. Meals are light and prepared from fresh and healthy ingredients. “What would you like to try today?” the sign seems to be asking.

IHOP: Brand overview

Founded:July 7, 1958
Founder:Jerry Lapin, Al Lapin Jr. and Albert Kallis
Glendale, California, U.S.
IHOP used the “I” prefix in its name before it became fashionable. She started doing this in 1973 when her full name, International House of Pancakes, was shortened to four letters. And the first restaurant of the chain opened even earlier – in 1958. There they served traditional breakfasts in the form of omelets, toasts, waffles, pancakes. Gradually, the number of catering outlets increased, and lunches and dinners were added to the menu. Now the brand and all establishments are owned by the Dine Brands Global corporation.

Meaning and History

IHOP Logo History

In the history of the IHOP company, there have been several major redesigns related to the renewal of the structure. The most important of these occurred in 1973: the International House of Pancakes chain shortened its name to an abbreviation, and at the same time, expanded the list of dishes. But trademark logos changed much more often and were not always accompanied by global events.

As far as we know, the last symbol appeared in 2015, although restaurant owners announced another image change in 2018. They said they would flip the last p to make a b. As it turned out later, this was a clever marketing trick to promote the hamburger line. The brand has retained its old identity and continues to use the familiar logo. Many fans were delighted with this news because the “IHob” caption reminded them of the o.b. tampon emblem. And in its current version, the IHOP brand name is associated only with Citibank signs, which also have a red arc.

What is IHOP?

IHOP is an abbreviation for the full name of the International House of Pancakes. It denotes a restaurant chain specializing in breakfast but is not limited to them: the menu also includes lunch and dinner. The brand was founded in 1958 and is currently part of Dine Brands Global Inc.

1958 – 1982

International House of Pancakes Logo 1958-1982

When International House of Pancakes opened its first restaurant, its logo looked very welcoming. It was styled as a chalet-style sign. On the left was a white plaque with the name of the brand. The word “THE” was in bold flattened serif, for “International” it was thin italic, for “HOUSE” and “PANCAKES” it was bold serif, and the preposition “of” was written in oblique sans serif letters. The combination of different typefaces and registers made the inscription original. The text was placed in a red curly frame. To the left of the plaque, the artists depicted a brown fence on top – a decorative lantern on a pole. These road signs were popular in the United States in the 1970s.

1982 – 1992

International House of Pancakes Logo 1982-1992

In 1982, only one inscription plate remained from the complex multi-component logo. The article “THE” disappeared, but the word “RESTAURANT” was added at the end. The designers slightly changed the typography: for “of,” they chose a new italic sans serif, for “PANCAKES” – a thin serif typeface, and for the rest of the text – a stylized typeface with high contrast and forked edges. The red curly frame has turned into a rectangle with rounded corners.

1992 – 1994

International House of Pancakes Logo 1992-1994

After the redesign, the phrase “INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES” began to use a bold, bubble-like typeface. The word “RESTAURANT” was written grotesquely and moved down into a red arched figure. This changed all of the text to white and the base to a large blue rectangle.

1994 – 2015

IHOP Logo 1994-2015

The restaurant chain owners decided it was time to popularize the brand’s abbreviated name, IHOP. It has existed since 1973 but has never been featured on a logo before. As a result of a small reshuffle, the phrase “INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES” disappeared, giving way to an abbreviation. Moreover, the last letter, “P,” looked italic because its vertical stroke was below the line level. The blue base and red sign with the word “RESTAURANT” have not changed.

2015 – today

IHOP Logo 2015-present

The iconic IHOP symbol was used for over two decades until company executives noticed that it looked like a sad emoji. They solved this problem very simply by turning the red arch into a smile. At the same time, the round parts of the letters “O” and “p” began to depict the eyes, and the vertical stroke between them assumed the function of the nose.

The designers at Studio Tilt had to remove the word “RESTAURANT” not to spoil the charm of the smile. And at the same time, they removed the background rectangle so that now the restaurant chain logo looks like a light blue “IHOP” inscription with a red arc that “hugs” the last two letters. The new design was first tested in 28 establishments before being extended to all foodservice outlets. To grab the attention of potential customers, marketers have launched themed Summer of Smiles events.

Font and Colors

IHOP Emblem

Having got rid of the blue rectangular frame and turned the red arch upside down, IHOP decided to erase any negative associations. Her trademark is a fun emoji that conveys the joy of a delicious breakfast and a friendly atmosphere. This is an attempt to please a younger audience.

The restaurant chain has simplified its symbol by proving it is ready for the age of social media. The minimalistic lettering is adapted for digital use because there is not a single unnecessary detail in it. This is the result of the work of Studio Tilt specialists, who had to turn the logo into the face of the brand, make it understandable and human. On the other hand, independent experts criticized the emblem for its unnaturalness. A smile expresses happiness, but when performed by IHOP, anthropomorphization looks a little creepy – like a madly smiling clown with round eyes.

Using heavy, rounded typography, the designers made the letters look like breakfast pancakes. At the same time, “O” and “p” resemble eyes and nose, which was achieved by converting “p” to lower case while maintaining a large value.

IHOP Symbol

The familiar IHOP red and blue palette has not changed since 1992, except for the disappearance of white in 2015. This is the core of the brand’s identity, as many know the chain for its gabled blue roofs. A red smile balances out the lettering but does not dominate because it is thinner than the strokes of the letters.

IHOP color codes

Rich Electric BlueHex color:#0099d8
RGB:0 153 216
CMYK:100 29 0 15
Pantone:PMS 801 C
Red OrangeHex color:#ff3f32
RGB:63 194 204
CMYK:60 0 23 0
Pantone:PMS Bright Red C

Is the IHOP logo a smile?

Behind the modern IHOP logo, Tilt studio wanted it to resemble a smile. After all, the restaurant chain tried to get away from the previous design, which looked like a sad smiley. As a result, the letter o and the round part p look like eyes, the vertical stroke p is the nose, and the red arc below them imitates the mouth.

When did IHOP change their logo?

International House of Pancakes changed the logo in 2015 when its owners realized that the previous version looked a lot like a sad face. Such associations arose because of the red arch with the inscription ‘RESTAURANT.’

What does the logo symbolize IHOP Logo?

The IHOP logo symbolizes the satisfied smile of the visitor who enjoyed the taste of pancakes and banana pudding. Basically, the designers at Kansas City’s Studio Tilt drew the emoji by taking advantage of the close proximity of the ‘O’ and ‘P.’ They presented them with eyes and part of the nose, under which they depicted an inverted red arch. She means lips. The arc used to be a wide ribbon with ‘Restaurant’ written on it, but now it has become a narrow line.

Why did they change the IHOP logo?

The IHOP logo, redesigned in 2015, makes customers happy because it makes them smile. For the sake of this smile, the management of the fast food chain decided to modernize the emblem because before, it looked like a disappointed customer. The frown arose due to the lowered corners of the ‘lips.’ But after the designers turned and narrowed the arch, they got a full-fledged smile - wide, friendly, contented. Now the logo is the embodiment of joy.

What does the IHOP logo mean?

Joy and good mood from eaten pancakes - that’s what the IHOP logo means. Such a concept was visualized during the redesign undertaken in 2015. The emblem now stands for a smiley emoji, which was created by the proximity of the ‘OP.’ These letters became the eyes; the inverted arc became the mouth. And the abbreviation itself stands for ‘International House of Pancakes.’ That is, the extended name of the company formed the basis of the trademark name.

What is the slogan for IHOP?

Although there are no corporate slogans in the IHOP logos, they still exist separately and serve for advertising purposes. One of them formed the basis of a feature video, for which the company received a prestigious award in the field of marketing and advertising. Here is the motto: ‘Come hungry, leave happy.’ There is also a slightly different version based on a feeling of happiness: ‘Come hungry, leave regretful, but still a little high.’

What are the colors of IHOP?

The dominant color in the IHOP emblems is blue, and the secondary color is red. This palette appeared in 1992 and has not changed since then, except for adjusting the shades from dark to light. White is also used: first as a leading color (in the inscriptions) and then as a background color. That is, until 2015, all letters were painted with it, but after the specified date, they became blue, and the arc became red.