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The History Of The Dunkin Donuts Logo

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The famous global donut and coffeehouse company that has quickly become known as one of the most legendary in the nation was founded in 1950. This same year they released their first logo, the one that would build the foundation for the logo developing into the strong icon that we know it as today. Dunkin’ Donuts is a foodservice chain that’s known for both their donuts and their coffee. The company was founded by William Rosenberg in the city of Quincy, Massachusetts and since then has grown massively from where it started. 

The company started by serving donuts for as little as five cents and served premium coffee for as little as ten cents. At the time founder William Rosenberg has a goal to, “make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores,”.  We think it’s fair to say that this philosophy is still held to this day with the company. 


Although the company’s success is largely due to its founder and the genius ideas that have created it, we can say without a doubt that the iconic logo that represents the business plays a key part in having created the famous coffeehouse company. Let’s take a look at where this logo started and what changes it went through to get where it is today! 

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1950 – 1960: The First Logo 

The first logo was launched in 1950 and stuck with the company for a decade. The original logo couldn’t be more different than the one that we associate with the company to this day. The brown shade and handwritten font that was used for the font were drastically different than the bubbly and colorful logo that we’re all used to today. The first logo brought a new personality to the brand and gave it a unique look that we don’t associate it with today. 

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1960 – 1976: Pink Was Introduced 

The familiar pink candy color that’s now associated with the chain and has become well known for coffee lovers everywhere first made its appearance in 1960. The brand opted for a full redesign a decade after the first logo and this time they brightened the logo. Instead of the dark wordmark, they opted for something more cheerful. They included a mug with the wordmark above it, making a donut. 

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1976 – 2002: A New Color Was Introduced 

pink and white logo ruled the brand until the 2000s when a new color was introduced to the iconic logo. The cup and donut which had become a part of the logo were replaced with lettering. “Dunkin Donuts” was shown in chunky and bright lettering that created the signature logo we associate with the brand today. The new color included in the logo was a powdery orange while the word at the bottom was in candy pink.

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2002 – 2007: A Plastic Cup Was Added 

The next redesign opted to keep the latest logo and just add a plastic cup to the previous version. This visual wasn’t only to make the logo more visually appealing and give it a new look, it was meant to send a clear message to those that saw the logo; you can buy both coffee and donuts at this chain. The plastic cup featured clouds of steam above a drink inside and a pink rectangle background. This logo incorporated both the coffee and donut side of the company while keeping the logo visually appealing. 

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2007 – 2019: Small Changes 

In 2007 the company decided that it was time to make some adjustments to the logo that, although small, would improve it. This change was just about improving the logo and adjusting some elements that needed a change. The designers opted to focus mainly on updating the plastic cup that had recently been added. They changed the colors in the background of the cup and cleaned up the cup itself. The color of the drink shown inside the cup was also changed to brown from the orange that it had previously been. “DD” was now shown on the cup, as well as the outline of the cup changing color. The logo looked cleaner and simpler after these changes. 

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2019 – Present: The Logo Today 

After another decade with the logo, the company decided that it was time for a new logo in January 2019. This new logo decided to simplify the logo and leave a more powerful wordmark. They decided to remove one word from the logo, leaving only “Dunkin” as the wordmark. They opted to make the single word larger and changed the color of the apostrophe. The apostrophe was changed to the iconic pink color while the letters were kept the same orange color that we’ve all grown to associate with the logo. By dropping “Donuts” from the logo, the company left the interpretation of their chain vaguer. 

Elements Of The Emblem 

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When you’re thinking about iconic logos and the iconic elements that make them stand out and become a part of our world, it’s important to look closely at the details. The Dunkin’ Donuts logo has gone through changes and the elements have been tweaked until they got the perfect logo that’s suited for their brand. When we look at their emblem we can break down the elements to see what’s used to create the iconic logo that we’re so familiar with today. Let’s take a look at these elements that stand out and create the iconic logo.

The Colors 

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The first most distinctive and certain elements of the logo that stand out is the color palette that’s used for the visual identity. The chain for coffee and donuts opted to use two bright and cheerful colors as the main and strongest colors of their logo. Candy pink and powdery orange are the official colors, but white and brown are also colors included in the logo. The two main colors make the logo bubbly, happy and give it a certain level of brightness. The colors certainly play a key part in creating a logo that not only displays a brand but gives it a personality. 

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The Font 

And then there’s the font; an element which we can be certain plays a critical part in any logo. When you’re creating logos, especially wordmarks, you must have a font that not only do you love but that suits your brand. Font plays a big part in not only the brand’s personality but it helps in establishing a certain visual identity with a brand. When Dunkin’ Donuts was choosing a font they knew that it had to be nothing short of amazing and that’s exactly what they chose. To illustrate the product’s taste, the coffeehouse decided to go with a ‘chubby’ lettering font. 

The History Of Dunkin’ Donuts 

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Although a good logo certainly adds to a company and stands for its visual identity, the company itself is what earns its famous title. Dunkin’ Donuts has a history that has gotten it to this point and is almost as wild as the history of the logo. As the logo has, the company has come a long way from where it started when it was first founded. The coffeehouse has come miles since the first idea to grow to the company that we know it as today. Let’s take a look at the history behind the coffeehouse chain and where it started in comparison to where it is today. 

The Start Of Dunkin’ Donuts 

In 1948 William Rosenberg opened his first restaurant in Quincy Massachusetts which was called Open Kettle. Rosenberg worked at Quincy Shipyards during World War II and that’s when he saw the need for more availability for lunch for the workers at the shipyards. The year after Rosenberg started Open Kettle the name was changed to Kettle Donuts. After that, in 1950, the name was officially changed to Dunkin’ Donuts. This name stuck with the company and is the one that we still associate with the iconic company today. 

The inspiration for Dunkin Donuts came from Rosenberg’s experience working as a food seller at factories and construction sites. This was when he realized that most workers preferred donuts and coffee, which was what he decided he would sell at this restaurant. From the second that Dunkin’ Donuts opened its doors, it meant immediate success from the public and it was a mere five years before the restaurant was already interested in franchising. 

Within the next few years, the restaurant worked hard and by 1963 Dunkin’ Donuts had 100 locations.  There were restaurants in Massachusetts where customers could even watch as bakers made their donuts. The first franchise restaurant sold 52 varieties of donuts, making it so that the company could have a different special each week of the year. The franchise’s 100th restaurant was officially opened by 1963 and by 1979 it had grown to over 1,000 locations. 

Skip to today and the franchise now has more than 12,000 locations operating worldwide. They have 3,200 international restaurants located in 46 countries and since then are known for sometimes co-branding with Baskin Robbins. In 2006 Dunkin’ Donuts began their iconic “America Runs on Dunkin’” marketing campaign that all customers are familiar with. We’ve heard this saying so often that it’s become an iconic part of the company. 

Since then Dunkin’ Donuts has continued moving forward strong and has accelerated its growth. They’re hoping to expand more in the years to come and grow even further than they’ve gotten so far. The franchise has spoken numerous times about their ambitions for the future and how far they still want to go before they’ve reached their goals. We think that it’s easy to see just how powerful this brand is and how far they’ve come from where they first started. 

Facts About Dunkin’ Donuts

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Although we’ve looked at both this famous brand’s logo and the strong history that’s behind them, we don’t know everything. The brand has interesting facts that not many people know, even those who consider themselves experts when it comes to Dunkin’ Donuts and what they offer. In case you too don’t know these interesting facts and about the brand, we’re here to share them with you. Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting facts about Dunkin’ Donuts! 

The First Restaurant Is Still Open 

Remember how we talked about the opening of the first restaurant and where it first began? That first restaurant is still standing today in Quincy and has been restored to its glory. This restaurant has been standing since the 1950s and customers can still visit it to this day! 

Every Country Has Its Own Donut

Dunkin’ Donuts is international and they’ve decided to make their mark in every country that they have locations in. The franchise crafts special donuts that reflect the local cuisine wherever their locations operate. These donuts are creative and unique, ranging as far as getting mochi donuts in some Asian countries! 

They Sell Billions Cups Of Coffee 

Dunkin’ Donuts sells roughly 60 cups of coffee every second and a billion cups of coffee every year. When they say that America runs on Dunkin’ it is true! The franchise is what people turn to for their coffee needs at all times of the day. 

Summing Up The History Of Dunkin’ Donuts 

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Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the most popular, well-known, and iconic coffeehouse chains of all time. They’ve remained one of the top restaurant chains not only in the US but around the world. They’ve established themselves strongly from the start and they’ve grown rapidly, never slowing down after their amazing start. The company has had trials as any other, but they’ve always come out the other side and they’ve turned into a worldwide franchise. 

There are many areas of the company that has gotten it to this point, but without a doubt, we can certainly say that the iconic visual identity has been a critical point of growing it. Without the iconic logo, we know that the brand wouldn’t be as recognizable as it is today or would it have such a strong presence. With every marketing campaign, every cup of coffee that’s sold, and every restaurant we see this powerful and famous logo associated with the brand. Next time that you stop in for Dunkin’ for your morning coffee and donut, don’t forget to appreciate its iconic logo and the strong history behind it. 

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