Papa Johns Logo

Papa John's logo
The logo of the US restaurant franchise company Papa John’s Pizza has remained unchanged since 1984, when it was introduced. Interestingly enough, the founder admitted he still owes the designer.

Meaning and history

Papa Johns Logo history
The visual identity concept of the famous fast-food chain was settled in the very beginning of the brand’s history, since the introduction of the banner on its very first location in 1984. Since then the arched inscription only changes its color palette once and had a short experiment with the geometry, which didn’t last long.


Papa John's Logo 1984
The original Papa John’s logo was composed of a red and white banner with the red part arched above the black wordmark placed in a white background. The lettering was executed in a bold sans-serif typeface where its capitals featured different sizes, repeating the arched structure of the badge. The “Pizza” inscription was set in red letters above the “Papa John’s”.

1984 – 1994

Papa John's Logo 1984
In 1984 the inscription turn red and is being placed on a white geometric background in a distinct green outline. The upper part of the badge was arched, so the letters of the main wordmark were in different sizes, just like in the previous logo.

1994 – 2018

Papa John's Logo 1994
The Papa John’s logo was redesigned again only in 1995, keeping the shapes and color palette of the previous version, but refining the contours and adding some modernity and chic to the lines. The bold red lettering was now executed in a solid serif typeface and had a thin green shadow, while the “Pizza” part of the nameplate got placed on a green ribbon set on the top part of the emblem.

2018 – 2019

Papa John's Logo 2018
In 2018 the company decided to experiment with its visual identity and introduced something new — a diagonally oriented white logotype, placed on a rectangular red and green banner, with the red part located slightly higher than the green one. Though the color palette remained untouched, the new contours and angles made the whole badge look unusual for the brand. This version only stayed with the company for a few months and still can be seen on some advertising, though is not used as the primary logo anymore.

2019 – 2021

Papa John's Logo 2019
The logo version from 1995 was redesigned in 2019. Its serif typeface was replaced by a simple and a more modern serif one, and the green shadows of the letters were removed. The contours were cleaned and strengthened, as well as the green color, which became deeper and brighter, evoking a sense of success and professionalism.

2021 – Today

Papa John's logo
By 2021, they decided to keep just the red name of the brand. They made the letters shorter, got rid of the apostrophe, reworked some minor parts and opted for a paler shade of red. The green stuff around was gone.

How much did the symbol cost?

He liked the name and the logo a lot and promised the author that he could get a free pizza a week, for life, provided his company took off. Now that more than three decades have passed since then, Schnatter owes the guy about $16,000 in pizza. He says, he can’t give them back as he doesn’t even know the name of the designer, and the guy has never come forward so far.

Emblem and slogan controversy

The famous slogan “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” sported on the Papa Johns logo has been the reason why the company was sued in 1988 by Pizza Hut, which, in its turn, promised “best pizza under one roof” in its advertising. Pizza Hut’s sue was unsuccessful. As Papa John’s stated, the slogan wasn’t supposed to be a scientific fact, just an opinion, very much like Pizza Hut’s own slogan.


There’s every chance that the typeface featured on the Papa John’s logo is Aachen Bold font. Taking into consideration how the emblem was created and who was the designer, the use of a ready-made font seems pretty natural.