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Top 11 Mascot Logos in Food Branding

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Logo Design

Mascot Logos

What do you notice when you come across KFC, McDonald’s, and Kellogg’s Mascot logos? Those colorful visuals appear everywhere, from packaging to billboards to online advertisements. 

These illustrative characters have gone beyond driving the customer’s attention. They’ve become comforting buddies with which people feel connected. 

Here, we are going to talk about some of the most iconic mascot logos in the world, especially in food branding. If you need food mascot designs for your brand, you can source ideas and inspiration from these examples.

Top Food Brand Mascots 

01. Colonel Sanders

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s mascot is visible everywhere in cities and small places. It is amongst the most popular food mascot designs. This mascot is the face of the company’s founder, Colonel Harland David Sanders. It was during the Great Depression that he started selling fried chicken by the roadside. His portrait is the logo and brand identity of KFC today.

KFC mascot logo design 

In 1952, the first KFC logo appeared in the ‘’Kentucky Fried Chicken’’ lettering and the Colonel logo. The logo was then redesigned in 1978 by Lippincott & Margulies. Then, in 1991, another Schechter & Luth design agency created the ‘’KFC’’ acronym logo with the face of the Colonel given a blue ink color from the previous brown. 

In 1997, the fast food brand logo got a new image makeover when it appeared in the Colonel mascot with a more thinly lined image. It looked less cartoonish and more realistic. In 2007, an apron with bolder colors replaced the previous white stuff in the logo. 

02. Ronald McDonald

The Ronald McDonald logo was among the most recognized brand mascots after Santa Claus. But the mascot has been more in real form as a human. Sometimes, the mascot is in cartoon character design. It has been an integral part of branding for the fast food products that the company makes. 

McDonald mascots logo

Ronald McDonald is a clown character. The McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain used it as their brand mascot, who lived in the fictional world of McDonaldland. Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids were the other friends living with him.

Known also as the “Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger-Happy Clown,” This character appeared in an advertisement on national TV for the first time in 1965. The occasion was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Then, in the same year, it was spotted during the 1965 NFL Championship Game. 

Its popularity made it one of the most iconic mascot logos in the world.

03. Mr. Peanut

Planters Peanut Company launched its advertising mascot logo, known as the mascot of Planters. The company’s owner, Hormel, is said to be depicted as an anthropomorphic peanut in its shell. He is a cartoon character design shown wearing an old gentleman’s formal clothing, a top hat, a monocle, spats, a cane, and white gloves. 

Planters Peanut Company mascot logo

In 1916, a schoolboy, Antonio Gentile, participated in a design contest and submitted his drawings. His drawing was chosen, and then a commercial artist, Wallach, added the elements of a monocle, top hat, and cane to the image we see today in the logo. 

The mascot design has remained unchanged since then. The company took back its decision to add a bow tie, cufflinks, or pocket-watch to the logo design after the public voted against the changes in 2006. 

04. Trix Rabbit

Another famous mascot logo in food branding is the Trix rabbit logo. The mascot is amongst the most popular and amusing food advertising characters. It was shown in the advertisements for the sugary fruity cereal as looking to try the cereal. But kids taunt him, saying, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”

Trix rabbit logo

The Trix mascot was first launched in 1956 by General Mills, the American breakfast cereal brand for the North American market. The company considered turning its previous rabbit puppet into a Trix mascot. So, an illustrator and copywriter, Joe Harris, came up with the idea of the animated “Silly Rabbit.” He is also credited for writing the famous Trix tagline, “Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids!” The animated mascot was launched as a new character in the TV commercial for the company’s cereal in 1959.

05. Cap’n Crunch

The Cap’n Crunch mascot logo shows a naval captain from the late 18th century. He is an elderly person with a big white mustache and eyebrows, and he wears a naval uniform. A big oversized bicorne hat with a “C” and a blue coat with gold bars are the chief features of the mascot.  

The Cap'n Crunch mascot logo

A division of PepsiCo, the Quaker Oats Company has made Cap’n Crunch, a product line of corn and oat cereals, since 2001. The company created the cartoon mascot design, Cap’n Crunch, to brand the product line.  

You can notice that the mascot looks heavy, conveying its dominating personality as the captain. Every feature is intentionally made to look big and catchy.  

06. Chester the Cheetah

Cheetos is a brand that sells crunchy corn puff snacks. The brand has Chester Cheetah, a fictional character, as its mascot logo. An art director, Brad Morgan, created Chester Cheetah in 1986 as the brand’s mascot. The mascot logo design has appeared in full computer-generated 3D, doing all mischiefs and purring “Dangerously Cheesy” in a British accent.  

Chester the Cheetah mascot logo design

Later on, Richard Williams, the Canadian-British animator and voice actor, did the 24-frame animation of Chester with a smooth voice. The Chester soon became a commercial success and the brand’s official mascot.

The big shoes and a giant mouth give the mascot a unique look, with the rest of the body being thin. This contrast makes the character interesting to look at.

07. Miss Chiquita

Chiquita Brands International sells and distributes bananas with other produce. The brand has a mascot logo depicting a lady with a fruit basket on her head. She is depicted as a dancing lady, who is also called as ‘’First Lady of Fruit.’’ 

Miss Chiquita mascot logo

Initially, the mascot logo was a banana with clothing and a fruit hat drawn by the cartoonist Dik Browne. In 1987, mascot designer artist Oscar Grillo gave the logo a new look when it appeared as a woman. 

The use of white in the brand name gives it a distinctive look. It also helps the mascot character stand out. 

08. The Kool-Aid Man

Kool-Aid is a flavored drink mix brand from General Mills. Its mascot logo is known as the Kool-Aid Man, also known as the Pitcher Man, and was created by art director Marvin Potts in 1954. He got the idea of the character by watching a drawing by his son on a foggy window. The character also has appeared in the New York Museum of Modern Art. 

The Kool-Aid Man mascot logo

The mascot is a fun-loving gigantic anthropomorphic pitcher having ‘’ The Original Flavor’’ Cherry Kool. It was in 1974 that the Kool-Aid Man got its arms and legs when it was introduced as a gigantic 6-foot-tall pitcher. Soon, the character became a part of the pop culture. 

The Time magazine included the Kool-Aid Man in the “Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots”, saying: “Our biggest gripe with Kool-Aid Man: Why did he have to cause such a mess every time he entered the scene?”

09. Tony the Tiger

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes brand has its identity as Tony the Tiger mascot logo, which Leo Burnett Co. created. This mascot was first registered as a trademark in 1952 when it was used as a cartoon character. It is featured on Kellogg’s Foster Flakes on every box and packaging design

Tony the Tiger mascot logo

A reason for the popularity of this mascot is that it is a simple feline pitchman for this most valuable food brand. It has orange and black stripes with a red bandana around the neck. The tiger is anthropomorphized to look like a person that entertains and attracts kids.

The mascot has its evolutionary journey. In the 1950s, it was a simple cartoonish tiger; in the 1970s, it became muscular. During the 1980s, the mascot was shown as wearing sports gear. Then, to modernize it further, the brand gave the logo a 3D animated look in the 2000s.

10. The Quaker Man

Quaker mascot logo is amongst the oldest and most iconic food brand logos. The mascot for breakfast cereal has remained popular for over 130+ years after its inception. It features a man affectionately known as Larry. 

The Quaker Man logo

The Quaker Oats Company, an American food conglomerate based in Chicago, Illinois, claims the man is just a gentleman wearing traditional Quaker attire. The Quark garb was chosen for the mascot since the Quaker faith was known for its integrity, honesty, strength, and purity. 

Jim Nash created Larry’s black and white headshot in 1946. The mascot got its colors in 1957 when Finnish-American artist Haddon Sundblom painted it to give it a new appearance. In the 1970s, legendary graphic designer Saul Bass stylized the mascot in a new blue and white look. 

11. Snap, Crackle, and Pop

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies come under a brand name known as Snap, Crackle, and Pop. These three characters or mascots represent the sounds the aerated rice makes. They were designed by Vernon Grant in the 1930s and appeared in various ads and posters.

Snap, Crackle, and Pop logo

Initially, these characters were drawn as elderly gnomes with large eyes, noses, ears, and hats. In 1949, the characters got a younger look with features minimized. They now had more miniature hats. So far, many commercial artists have redrawn these mascots. 

These are the top mascot logos that you should consider as inspiration. While designing your logo, come up with some creative ideas. Ensure that the logo is a unique design. 

If you are not a master in designing a logo, you can access Designhill’s mascot logo maker. This AI-based software lets you choose the right elements for the mascot design. You can then quickly draw multiple logo ideas using the tool.

Wrapping Up 

Mascots can convey their brand message at a glance as people can relate to mascots easily. These mascot logos are excellent inspirational examples of how brands use character design art from popular culture to drive people’s attention. Food brands, such as the ones from the list, especially breakfast food makers, have been using mascots to please their young customers and build a strong brand identity. 

Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1



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