KFC Logo


An alternative to hamburgers is the chicken of the KFC restaurant chain, whose logo reveals the essence of the acronym, demonstrating a commitment to its history. The smiling portrait of the founder, the frame in the shape of a cup, and the color palette evoke a sense of warmth and hospitality.

KFC: Brand overview

KFC is a fast-food restaurant known worldwide. Colonel Sanders founded the brand, and it has existed since 1930. The restaurant chain is part of the Yum! Brands is a company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

Meaning and History

KFC Logo History

The KFC logo has always consisted of two main elements: the brand color palette and a portrait of the founder. Over the years, it has changed five times. These were not radical changes but adjustments that can rightly be called the evolution of the trademark.

What is KFC?

KFC is a company that popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, offering an alternative to popular hamburgers. It was founded in 1930 when Harland David Sanders opened his first restaurant. The expanded name of the company is Kentucky Fried Chicken.

1952 – 1978

Kentucky Fried Chicken Logo 1952

The emblem of this period can be considered a debut since it laid the foundation for a whole series of recognizable corporate symbols. It consists of a graphic and textual part, executed in black and white.

The first represents a minimalist portrait of the brand’s founder and owner, Colonel Sanders. The drawing depicts only his head with a bow tie, forming the image of a funny little man since the bow resembles the hands and legs of a cartoon character.

The second fragment is the expanded name of the fast-food restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken. It translates as “Fried Chicken from Kentucky” and indicates the main ingredient in the menu. The font is typed in capital letters “K,” “F,” and “C.”

1978 – 1991

Kentucky Fried Chicken Logo 1978

In 1978, the logo underwent noticeable changes. Designers moved the graphic symbol to the left and placed it in front of the phrase, arranged in a three-tier column. The face was enlarged, and its expression became kinder and softer to make a pleasant impression on potential visitors. As a result, a usual redesign turned into a profitable marketing move. The typography was also modernized: the letter “K” was emphasized with an elongated stem extending beyond the “C.”

1991 – 1997

KFC Logo 1991

The owner changed the name during this period, officially leaving the abbreviated version. This was done for two reasons. The first – the fast-food point was already recognizable and did not require detailed decryption. The second is that it’s a small word that fits better into expensive advertising space. The main feature of the badge of those years was the brand color palette, which was always present on the logo. It’s a combination of red, black, and white colors.

In 1997, a new accent appeared in the visual appearance of KFC – a “photograph” of the restaurant chain owner. The colonel is depicted realistically, and his portrait is done in blue and white tones, close to the pastel palette. The square emblem has a solid red background.

1997 – 2006

KFC Logo 1997

The logo of this period is the result of the work of the company Landon Associates. At the end of the period, it is replaced by a round symbol with a kind smile on Colonel Sanders’ face in the form of a stylized pencil portrait. The formal jacket is replaced with an apron with three vertical stripes, and the abbreviation “KFC” is located to the left of the central image, slightly above the shoulder.

2006 – 2014

KFC Logo 2006

In 2006, the dark red circle with an elegant image of the colonel in an apron, not in a tuxedo, was still relevant. Nevertheless, an official replacement was being prepared in parallel.

2014 – 2018

KFC Logo 2014

The monochrome version of the KFC logo is a tribute to the original emblem from 1952. The difference between the previous and the current versions is that the modern variant contains a brief form of the name, located under the friendly smiling head with the characteristic bow tie.

2018 – today

KFC Logo

The latest redesign of the KFC branding occurred in 2018. Developers changed the logo’s shape to a trapezoidal one and improved the portrait. The white and red background now consists of three wide vertical stripes and the face is surrounded by a black contour. The graphic sign is placed on the central stripe – white. The abbreviation KFC is highlighted in italics. Thanks to the trapezoidal shape, the logo resembles glass – one of the main elements of the fast-food chain’s restaurants, evoking a sense of warmth and hospitality.

Font and Colors

KFC Emblem

Regardless of the year, design, and style, all logo variants feature the smiling face of Colonel Sanders, the founder of the fast-food restaurant chain. The friendly emotion sets diners in a favorable atmosphere. This also speaks of the great hospitality and delicious food prepared here. Another factor in this design is the signboard. The emblem is used not only as an original brand name but also as a decoration for the building facade where signature dishes are served, following the principles of the first owner.

The abbreviation has always been written in one style – italic, uppercase font with serifs. The color continues the positive emotions: the friendly smile of the owner is emphasized by non-aggressive red. Black strokes depict the head and bow tie of Colonel Sanders, clearly visible on a white background.

KFC color codes

Pigment RedHex color:#f40027
RGB:167 30 49
CMYK:5 100 71 22
Pantone:PMS Bright Red C
BlackHex color:#000000
RGB:0 0 0
CMYK:0 0 0 100
Pantone:PMS Process Black C


What does the KFC logo represent?

The KFC logo depicts the brand’s most famous representative – Harland David Sanders. This man founded the fast-food restaurant chain and patented the secret recipe for cooking chicken. Designers placed his portrait in a trapezoidal shape reminiscent of a cup.

Why did KFC choose its logo?

Kentucky Fried Chicken wants to pay tribute to its founder, so it has long used a logo with his face. The two red stripes on either side of the portrait reflect the design of the mansard roofs of the restaurants.

Is the KFC logo a body?

The bow tie depicted under Sanders’ head resembles a cartoonish body: the sides are like short arms, and the lower lines are like legs. But, as far as we know, KFC does not imply such a meaning in the logo or simply remains silent about it.

What does the new KFC logo represent?

Colonel Harland Sanders’ face is still depicted on the new KFC logo. Below is the brand’s abbreviated name, for which designers used bold black letters with serifs and curves. Both the word and the emblem are placed inside an inverted trapezoid. On either side of the portrait are two wide red stripes.

What does the KFC Logo symbolize?

The KFC logo symbolizes reliable service, high-quality food, a wide choice of stability, and a favorable atmosphere in fast-food restaurants. In addition, it is designed to increase appetite. All this is conveyed in red color, in straight and confident lines, in the clear geometry of elements, and in the smiling portrait of the brand’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders. The abbreviated inscription represents the full name of the fast-food restaurant chain – Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Why did KFC choose its logo?

KFC chose this logo for its simplicity and precision. The simplified design evokes sympathy, and the smiling face effectively attracts attention. The friendly smile sets customers for positive emotions, delicious food, and a pleasant atmosphere. In some versions of the logo, Colonel Harland Sanders’ portrait is located on a white background, which causes too much contrast, so the authors of the logo decided to add a bright red color to warm the face.

What does the new KFC logo represent?

The first radical change to the KFC logo occurred in 1991. It was conducted to shorten the long name and hide the word “Fried,” indicating unhealthy food. The modernization of the badge in 2018 was carried out by returning to the red emblem to make Colonel Harland Sanders’ portrait warmer and more attractive. At the same time, the main symbol of fast food – the bucket – was introduced. It is designed as a contour frame.

Why is an elderly man depicted on the KFC logo?

An elderly man is depicted on the KFC logo because the fast-food giant’s founder is Colonel Harland David Sanders. His portrait has been adorning the emblem since the beginning – since 1952. Initially, it served as an advertising sign and then moved to the entire visual style. This American businessman invented selling chicken dishes at a roadside cafe in Kentucky during the Great American Depression and then became the owner of a vast food empire.

Who is depicted on the KFC logo?

The person on the KFC logo is Colonel Harland David Sanders, the founder of the fast-food restaurant chain. He warmly smiles from the portrait, inspiring trust in visitors. The bow tie adds friendliness, looking like a torso (miniature arms and legs are visible), soft lines, rounded corners, and a sincere gaze. This little man has been present on the emblem as a personification of trust in the American fast-food giant, becoming its talisman.

What does the red color in KFC mean?

The KFC brand switched to red to strengthen its position in the restaurant business and reliably attract customers. This color in symbolism also denotes a passion for food; it brings dynamism and warmth to the monochromatic portrait. In addition, red emphasizes that the network serves fried chicken and stimulates the appetite of potential customers.