Papa Johns Logo

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Papa Johns 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 logo

Papa Johns logo history

You probably know that Papa John, after whom the company was called, is not a fictional character or a mascot, but the franchise founder and CEO John Schnatter. However, it’s not he who created the name. Back in the early 1980s, when he was a college student at Ball State University, he was looking for a possibility to open his own company.
As he spent a lot of time working in pizzerias, he knew a lot of things, including recipes, equipment, and the store layout. “All I needed was a name,” said Schnatter. He didn’t rely on himself, as, according to his own remark, he had “a big problem with English.” Luckily, he lived several doors down a marketing major in the dorm at Ball State, so he decided to approach him.

How much did the symbol cost?

symbol Papa Johns
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

Emblem Papa Johns
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.