We know many of our favorite fast food restaurants by their logos- McDonald's Golden Arches are unmistakable across the world, and the image of KFC's founder Colonel Sanders in his white suit causes an immediate craving for fried chicken. The Wendy's Logo is another that we all know by heart, but it turns out we might not know it as well as we think we do.
The Origin of the Wendy's Logo
Wendy's logo has alway included a smiling red-headed girl wearing braids above the word "Wendy's." This image was inspired by founder Dave Thomas' daughter, Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas. Her siblings couldn't pronounce her name, so they called her "Wenda," which eventually became "Wendy."
Thomas felt that the nickname perfectly represented the wholesome, welcoming burger restaurant he aspired to open. On the opening day of the first Wendy's location in Columbus, Ohio, his family dressed up eight-year-old Wendy in a blue-and-white striped dress, with pipe cleaners in her braids to make them stick out.
Although Wendy has always been central to the logo, Thomas has gone through a few different variations in his attempt to perfect the restaurant chain's branding. In 2012, the fast food chain introduced a new logo for the first time in 29 years, and there's more to it than you see at first glance.
Wendy's New Logo
?The new Wendy's logo changed the lettering into a more modern, breezy typeface that almost appears to be handwritten. It also makes Wendy look a bit older and shows only the top of her blue and white dress.
The interesting element of this new logo is that it appears to have a subliminal message in Wendy's collar. When the new brand was rolled out across the country, StockLogos, Brand New, and various customers noticed that there was a word subtly written on her collar.
A Secret Message
It turns out that Wendy's ruffled collar says "mom" on it. You can especially see it on single- color versions, like the logos on Wendy's cups. In an interview with Business Insider, a Wendy's spokesperson said "We are aware of this and find it interesting that it appears our Wendy cameo has 'mom' on her ruffled collar. We can assure you it was unintentional."
However, some have speculated that the subliminal message was entirely intentional, meant to give customers the nostalgic feeling of mom's cooking when they see a Wendy's sign. The restaurant's claim to serve old fashioned hamburgers, along with its homey and inviting atmosphere, suggest that Wendy's hopes to provide a comfortable, welcoming space that feels like you're back at home, eating a home-cooked meal.
So, the next time you slurp down that frosty or take a bite of the signature square burger, take a long look at the Wendy's logo; you should spot the "mom" subtly spelled out to subliminally encourage customers to associate Wendy's with their mom's cooking.