Olive Garden is a chain of informal restaurants from the United States, focusing on American-Italian cuisine. She serves steaks, salads, pasta, and breadsticks, with which she associates the main menu. In addition, the company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, headquartered in Orange County, Florida, and operates 900 foodservice outlets worldwide. Its branded establishments are located in the United States and Italy and Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Kuwait, Ecuador, Slovakia, the Philippines, and other parts of the world. The institution was formed at the end of 1982 on the initiative of entrepreneur Bill Darden.
Meaning and History
Olive Garden was originally a division of General Mills. Its first location appeared in the city of Orlando in 1982. By 1989, it was already a chain with 145 catering establishments. This made it the fastest-growing of all the sub-brands, which is why it was eventually spun off as a brand in its own right. The company’s popularity increased every month, and gradually its sales volume reached the indicators of a competing structure – Red Lobster. Thus, it has become a leader among US full-service restaurant chains. Italian cuisine has always remained her basic specialty.
After several years of decline that came at the beginning of the millennium (the 2000s), the Olive Garden has risen again and recovered. She opened new locations, teamed up with another division, arranged promotions with great deals, actively advertised herself, and, as a result, regained her former popularity. They began to visit her more often, get to know more, and even mentioned them in the music track (performer Taylor Swift).
As for the identity, the restaurateurs used the old sign, approved at the beginning of the emergence of food outlets. For a redesign, they change its style while maintaining the familiar structure. In general, the brand has four logos.
1982 – 1989
The work of the company started with a text logo. It was semi-coherent handwritten lettering, with only the first letters in words “Olive” and “Garden” at a minimum distance. The rest had tight but smooth transitions. The article “the” was in the top line, the main name of the restaurant chain was on the bottom line. The symbols were thick, careless, as if written in a fit of emotion – however, as befits a purely Italian manner.
1989 – 1998
The next logo remained similar to the individual flourish but was recolored from green to black. At the bottom, the developers this time added a clarification – “Italian Restaurant” to show visitors the status of a catering establishment. The designers divided the phrase into two parts, placing one under the inscription “Olive” and the second – under “Garden.” The letters in the new text were small but in capitals, typed in block serif type.
1998 – 2014
In 1998, the company changed its name slightly, removing the article “the.” Of course, this was reflected in the emblem, but not dramatically, since it still had two lines left, which were occupied by the phrase “Olive Garden,” divided into two parts. The style of the inscription has also been preserved – an imitation of careless handwriting with a small italic. At the same time, the authors corrected the capital “O” and lowercase “v,” painted the name in olive color, removed the serifs from “Italian Restaurant,” and drew a grape brush. It was supposed to symbolize Italy (a wine-producing country). The cluster was in the upper right corner and was decorated with a vine with miniature carved leaves.
2014 – today
The current version of the logo has been completely changed – both in style and the number of elements. The emblem now contains two branches of an olive tree with fruits intertwined to the right of the word “Olive.” Below is the second part of the company name – “Garden.” And below it is the phrase “Italian Kitchen,” clarifying the restaurant chain’s menu. Designers lightened the green color rounded and straightened the font.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The history of modifications of the Olive Garden logo is, in fact, a refinement of the visual range presented in it. In the course of evolution, the elements improved changed towards the Italian theme: at first, it was emphasized by the “emotional” handwriting, then by a grape brush, and at the end by an olive branch. Everything was done to accurately convey the network’s name, as it was criticized for the artificial atmosphere of the Italian spirit. The basis for the updated identification mark was the graphic work of the Lippincott studio, which created logos for several well-known brands: Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, Dell, Walmart, Delta Air Lines, Sprint, and others.
The emblem currently uses the Eldwin typeface from The Northern Block. The inscription was made in an individual font in early versions – soft italic, imitating handwriting.
The original palette reflects the color indicated in the brand name – olive. At different times it was either dark or light. The logos also feature black, purple, and white.