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Baskin-Robbins introduces new take on its ’31’-‘BR’ logo design — with mixed results

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins has introduced a new logo design that attempts to combine the concept of a hidden number with a nod to its past — and not all that successfully.

The chain’s previous logo rolled out in 2006, a decidedly different take that notably merged the “31,” as in “31 flavors” the chain is known for, with the initialism “BR” via custom drawn letters and blue and pink. The company’s full name was drawn out below in a child-like font.

The logo was fun, quirky and frequently made “top 10” listicles of logos with hidden meanings.

Now, however, the chain is switching to a brown and pink look that borrows typography cues from one of its classic designs, following a trend of fast found restaurants including Burger King and Pizza Hut reverting back to their old logos (or at least close variations of them) after a trend near the turn of the 21st century that saw many redesigns that, like Baskin-Robins, added more color and pizzaz to the looks.

The new design borrows from the folksy-circus-western look that company used in from the 1940s to 1960s, featuring a straightforward interpretation of the “31” in a circle using a distinct font. Multiple variations of the this look were used over the years.

That classic font has been reimagined in the new design, though with updated strokes that emphasize stronger vertical as opposed to horizontals. The “R” noticeably gets a distinct tail and the company’s full name is spelled out below in sans serif with a pink bullet serving as the hyphen.

Upon closer inspection, this lettering features some nods the curves and strokes found in the “BR” icon above, including a distinct “K” and “R.”

One thing the logo did retain is the “hidden” “31” — though it feels a bit forced and awkward in this design — the right side of the “B” sort of forms a “3” (or does it?) and the left side of the “R” definitely forms a “1” but, in turn, makes the “R” harder to make out.

The new brand standards keep blue around, though typically in a lighter, more baby blue shade that’s blended with the pink and brown plus white and used more as a background element.

Blue and pink were first used in a 1960s-era logo redo that added a distinctive “31” in a partial circle with old-style “3” with dramatic descender combined with a condensed serif that shared many of the elements of the numeral.

Meanwhile, the new logo is expected to start appearing in stores and on uniforms, packaging and other assets in the years to come. It’s likely to take quite some time to fully roll out, especially with exterior signage since this is often pricey to replace. 

The chain is owned by Inspire Brands, which was formed when Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings merged in 2018. Since then, it’s picked up Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy Johns and Dunkin’ since then, as well as other brands.