The History and Story Behind the Grubhub Logo


Grubhub is an online and mobile prepared food ordering and delivery service that is based in America. An important part of the company’s success is its branding, including its logo. A logo is often the first impression a person gets of a company. Once someone has seen the company’s logo a few times, they can instantly connect the company and the logo. The most successful companies usually have logos that are instantly recognizable and related to the brand. Like many company logos, the Grubhub logo has evolved over the years. Here is an overview of the company, along with the history and story behind the Grubhub logo.

An Overview of Grubhub

Grubhub is a Chicago-based company founded in 2004 by Matt Maloney, Mike Evans, and Roman Gaskill. They aimed to create an alternative to paper menus. According to Wikipedia, Evan and Maloney won the Edward L. Kaplan Venture Challenge run by the University of Chicago Booth School in 2006 for their business plan for the company.

A year later, they raised $1.1 million in Series A funding, and the Series B funding raised a further $2 million. A further two series of funding raised a total of $31 million for Grubhub. The money allowed the company to expand across the United States, and they have more than 115,000 associated restaurants across 3,200 cities and covering all 50 states. In 2019, the company declared that it had 19.9 million users. The funding raised has also helped them to acquire other companies. Some of the companies they acquired that are now subsidiaries of Grubhub include MenuPages, AllMenus, Seamless, Tapingo, Dotmenu, DiningIn, LAbite, and Restaurants on the Run.

They also acquired Eat24 in 2017 but shut down the brand in 2018. Grubhub acquired some assets of the franchisee-owned OrderUp markets in 2017, and then fully acquired the company the following year. In 2018, Grubhub expanded its interest beyond the food industry when they acquired LevelUp, which is a diner engagement and payment solutions company that is based in Boston. It was reported that this acquisition cost Grubhub $390 million, which was paid in cash. Just Eat Takeaway, a European food delivery service, announced in June 2020 that they are taking over Grubhub by acquiring $7.3 billion in stock. However, Grubhub will continue to operate using its own name. The co-founder Matthew Maloney remains the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

The Original Grubhub Logo

The first logo used by Grubhub was launched when the company was founded in 2004. They continued to use their first logo until the company was rebranded in 2016. There were no images in the original Grubhub logo, simply text saying the company’s name. Originally, the lettering was in lowercase letters, except for the letter ‘H.’ The lettering was arranged in a slight arch. The simple design reflects the aim of the company to simplify the food ordering process. Red was the color chosen for the first logo, which is set against a white background to create a striking contrast. The color red represents power, strength, and energy. It is also a color that is often associated with food.

The Alternative Icon Brand

Grubhub has also used an alternative icon brand since the company was founded in 2004. The alternative icon logo appears in many aspects of the business, although it is not as prominent as the main logo design. It is even simpler than the main logo, as it consists of just the capital letters ‘GH.’ The letter ‘G’ is in black, while the letter ‘H’ is in white outlined in black. They are set on a diagonal angle, with the ‘G’ higher on the left and the ‘H’ lower on the right. This uncomplicated image makes it easy to recognize the brand at first sight of the logo. 1000 Logos describes it as a modern, stylish, powerful, and memorable logo.

Rebranding in 2016

In 2016, Grubhub announced that they were rebranding the company, which involved them updating their visual identity and creating a new logo. Their new logo was designed by Wolff Olins, which is one of the most famous American design bureaus. When the agency undertook the redesign, their aim was to create a stylish and modern visual identity that people would remember. The new logo was based on the original design, as they wanted people to instantly recognize the image rather than having something completely different that would take people time to recognize. Therefore, the basic concept of the design remained the same.

Just like the original logo, there is only lettering and no logo. However, the designers made some changes to the general design. The first notable difference is the color. Although both logos are red, the red in the new logo is a lighter shade. Second, the lettering changed. Before, the logo consisted predominantly of lower case letters. However, the newer design is in capitals, and the font chosen was a strong, sans-serif typeface. Choosing this typeface gave the logo a sleeker design. Another difference is the layout of the lettering. Whereas the lettering in the original is slightly arched, the new design features letters of equal size and height set along a straight line. An element of the design that remained the same was the white background, as this gave the best contrast to the lettering in the logo.

The Impact of the Logo

Although the logo has changed since the company was founded, they retained many of the same elements in the two designs. In both cases, the logos did not use images. It means that the new image is instantly recognizable as being the logo of Grubhub. The choice of colors and design creates the impression that Grubhub is a modern and vibrant company. It also gives the impression of a sleek and professional operation, which is the image Grubub tries to promote to its customers.

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