Rounding up customers: An insight to Pizza Ranch logo history
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Rounding up customers: An insight to Pizza Ranch logo history

Pizza Ranch Logo

If you’re located in the Midwestern United States, you might be familiar with the Pizza Ranch logo. While this emblem might have the same reach as some symbols from major companies like Dominos and Pizza Hut, it has helped the brand differentiate itself. 

Despite a few unfortunate controversies, Pizza Ranch has acquired a dedicated customer following. With 200 locations across regions like Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, and Nebraska, the brand has evolved drastically since its launch in 1981. 

Interestingly, however, unlike many other famous pizza company logos, the Pizza Ranch emblem has only undergone a handful of changes over the decades. Even today, certain symbol variations may appear old-fashioned compared to the logos of other market-leading brands. 

Today, we will be taking a closer look at Pizza Ranch logo history, exploring the evolution of the brand and its marketing strategy over the years. 

Who created Pizza Ranch? An introduction

Pizza Ranch is an American restaurant chain specializing in fast casual dining. Though the company primarily focuses on its pizza menu, it also offers a range of other products for consumers to enjoy, including a chicken buffet and salad bar.

The company was first launched in 1981 by Adrie Groeneweg and Lawrence Vander Esch. 

The brand’s first restaurant was introduced in Hull, Iowa, and the second quickly opened two years later in Orange City, Iowa. Though the organization rapidly expanded over the years, it did face a few issues, as well as some major news controversies. 

Vander Esch was removed from the business in 2001 following an arrest connected to an alleged assault case. 

Interestingly, the company defines itself as a highly Christian brand with a vision revolving around “glorifying God.” Pizza Ranch locations are also frequently visited by presidential candidates, particularly those from the Republican party. 

How many Pizza Ranch locations are there in the US?

Like many pizza companies, Pizza Ranch started relatively small, with a single location in Iowa. Initially, the company focused on expanding its presence within Iowa, where it still has a strong consumer base today. 

However, the brand is also present in a range of other locations. Today, Pizza Ranch has over 200 locations across the United States, as well as franchises in 13 states.

What is Pizza Ranch’s slogan?

Pizza Ranch doesn’t have much of a well-known slogan. The company has experimented with various potential options, such as “7 days without pizza makes one weak”. However, there’s no specific tagline connected with most of its marketing campaigns. 

Pizza Ranch logo history: The evolving identity

Much of the Pizza Ranch visual identity has remained largely consistent over the years. 

Throughout Pizza Ranch logo history, there have only been a handful of changes to the emblem design. Most reiterations of the branding have been focused on making the logo look more modern, eliminating extra details, and experimenting with color palettes. 

Pizza Ranch Logo

1981

The initial Pizza Ranch logo introduced in 1981 was a highly traditional and somewhat complex emblem. The design featured two of the core visual assets which have been present within the company’s branding for quite some time, a horse-drawn cart and a wordmark. 

The cart is extremely detailed in this image and is placed within a simple black oval outline. 

The “Pizza Ranch” wordmark, presented in white, textured font on a black banner, has a retro feel to it, with bold, blocky serifs. The words are surrounded by two curvy lines, which help to draw visual attention to the middle of the emblem. 

Pizza Ranch Logo

1997

In 1997, Pizza Ranch updated its logo slightly, switching from a black-and-white color palette to a deep shade of dark green. In this new logo, the company introduced the slogan, “The Home of the Pizza Lover’s Pizza.” 

The name “Pizza Ranch” was still present in a font similar to the previous design. However, it was made more compact and included the word “The.” 

The image of the horse-drawn cart remains in this visual, with very few stylistic changes, though the oval border around it is slightly more detailed. There’s also a rope graphic between the company’s name and the slogan, meant to act as an underline.

Pizza Ranch Logo

2007

In 2007, Pizza Ranch attempted to modernize its logo by adding additional colors and eliminating unnecessary details. The horse was removed from the cart, along with many of the textural elements and components. The design was also placed in an orange and yellow oval. 

The name “Pizza Ranch” once again lost its “The” and the accompanying slogan. The font was changed slightly too. Curvy elements were added to some of the letters, and the “I” lost its dot in favor of a more streamlined typeface. 

Pizza Ranch Logo

A banner-style graphic was added behind the wordmark, with a traditional appearance featuring colors of red, brown, black, and green. The wordmark was also updated to a golden yellow shade. 

At a later time, the Pizza Ranch team started removing the cart from their emblem, leaving only the wordmark remaining. To simplify the design even further, variations have been created that pare down the color palette, focusing only on white and red. 

Pizza Ranch Logo

The Pizza Ranch logo: Colors and fonts

As of now, there are two primary Pizza Ranch logos in use for the company’s marketing and signage, which include nothing but a wordmark with banner-style embellishments. One is depicted in full color, with a yellow wordmark, on a black, red, green, and brown background. 

Another feature of the design is a monochrome variation, usually depicted in red and white. 

In both instances, a horseshoe has been included in the lines underneath the wordmark to help connect the design to its “Ranch” origins. The simplified version of the logo is usually present on internal and external signage at modern locations, as well as on the company’s website. 

You can take a closer look at the Pizza Ranch logo with these resources:

While some versions of the Pizza Ranch logo still feature a multi-colored emblem, the company is attempting to switch away from this design to a simpler, 2-dimensional alternative. The Pizza Ranch logo colors used in the official emblems for media outlets today are red and white. 

However, the company also allows companies to choose a black-and-white version of the design for promotion. 

Other variations of the Pizza Ranch logo color palette have been introduced over the years, which place the “Pizza Ranch” sign in white on a range of different colored and textured backgrounds.

What font does the Pizza Ranch logo use?

The Pizza Ranch logo font is a relatively old-fashioned, retro-style font intended to make people think of the west and traditional ranches. The design features blocky serifs paired with stylistic elements, such as a curved “R”, to convey elegance. 

The “I” on the Pizza Ranch logo has had its dot removed and replaced with a swipe of white which extends across most of the characters. 

The emblem has no official downloadable font connected to it, as the typeface was created specifically for the Pizza Ranch brand. 

Although there haven’t been many design changes in Pizza Ranch logo history, we can see clear evidence of the company attempting to update and modernize its visual appearance. 

Over the years, the brand has simplified and enhanced its emblem, experimenting with different font styles and color choices while still trying to maintain a unique personality.

The emblem as it stands today is a contemporary variation of one of the logos introduced in the early 2000s, converted into a two-dimensional format. 

White and red colors help establish Pizza Ranch as a competitor in the Italian food landscape while also showing its values of purity, passion, and excellence.

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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