Simple as it is, the IHOP logo is the result of a long way from just a pretty picture to a minimalistic, yet meaningful emblem.

Meaning and history

The visual identity of the American restaurant chain has made a long way from detailed multicolor logos to the minimalist and friendly badge we all can see today. There have been five versions of the emblem created for the famous brand throughout the years, and the current one is something completely different from those, introduced in the very beginning.

1958 – 1982

The chain was established in 1958 under the name “The International House of Pancakes” and styled like that for almost forty years, so the first era of the IHOP visual identity was all based on the original name.

The logo, introduced in 1958 was composed of a complicated brown structure, resembling the wooden entrance with a street-light on top. The banner, placed under the light, had an ornate orange framing and an elegant serif lettering, where traditional lines and cursive inscriptions were combined.

1982 – 1992

In 1982 the badge was simplified, and the wooden entrance with the street-light was replaced by a thin red frame with rounded angles. The inscription, placed inside the frame was executed in all capitals of the old-style serif font with curved lines and had the “Of Pancakes” part in a smaller size.

1992 – 2003

The logo got its modern look in 1992. The banner was colored blue, while the white lettering was all executed in one style and size. All capitals of the inscription featured a bold rounded sans-serif typeface, which evokes a friendly and welcoming feeling. On the bottom part of the banner, there was a red arched ribbon with the “Restaurant” in delicate capitals. Though the chain was renamed to IHOP in 1994, this logo stayed with the company for more than ten years and was used as a secondary emblem.

1994 – 2015

The new logo was introduced with the new name in 1994. It was fully based on the previous version, just the color palette was switched to a lighter one and the long restaurant’s name was replaced by a massive white “IHOP” in a bold rounded sans-serif with a dark blue shadow. There were two versions, created during this time period — with the red ribbon arched to the top, and to the bottom, resembling a smile.

2015 – Today

The version with the red “smile” was adopted as the main and redesigned in 2015. The IHOP logo we all can see to pay is composed of a flat light blue lettering with a thin red smile-line under the letters “O” and “P”. It looks fresh, crispy, and kind, and makes the brand stand out in the list of its competitors.


The second logo, adopted in 1982, featured the same brown and orange color scheme and almost the same typeface. It was much simpler, as the “stage set” thing was gone, but it also looked more like a real logo.

In 1994 and 1995 two emblems were created, which were used simultaneously. The acronym “IHOP” emphasized the official change in the company’s name.

The 2015 emblem

The current brand identity was designed by Kansas City, MO-based Studio Tilt. The curve under the wordmark resembles a smile, while the letters “o” and “p” are the eyes.


The type featured on the IHOP logo is a simple and clear one with rounded corners.


The blue, white, and red color scheme has been used since 1994, yet the 2015 version features a slightly different shade of blue than its predecessor.