JKR's Baskin-Robbins Refresh Is Tastier Than A Scoop Of Jamoca In August

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/05/2021 | 3 Minute Read

International ice-cream purveyor Baskin-Robbins came about in 1945 and now has thousands of locations throughout the United States and over 40 other countries. Known for its “31 flavors” tagline, the number of varieties the brand has concocted over the years is a little closer to 1,300 than 31. But who's counting?

But, even with that kind of history, you eventually need to shake things up. Baskin-Robbins’ branding and visual identity play with elements commonly associated with ice cream-related brands, but it was time for the bright and childlike blue and pink wordmark to finally get refreshed. Of course, Debbie Millman of the podcast Design Matters and her 0/10 rating of the logo might have also given them an extra push.

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The brand wanted to update itself to reflect the joy of variety in life while maintaining a playful spirit. After all, we are talking about ice cream here.

In addition to the goose egg, Millman implored the ice cream brand to hire agency JKR to redesign the logo, citing the firm’s previous work on Dunkin', and when a branding guru tells you to jump, you should probably ask how high, where do we sign, and how much?

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Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

JKR proved to be a natural fit for the redesign based on the previously mentioned donut king. Both Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins have roots in the American Northeast and are beloved makers of sweet treats with loyal, longtime fans. But they also have a heritage that must get preserved while attracting and keeping new customers. And, yes, rolling out the red carpet for the lapsed ones as well.

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Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

The entire campaign focuses on “Living Flavorfully,” inspiring consumers to try something new while giving them a canvas for endless permutations and experimentation. The new logo is sharpened and refined, though it maintains the not-so-hidden “31.” Plus, the new flexible logo is more user-friendly to remix and serves as a base for customization, as JKR demonstrates with 31 flavors of the logo reflecting some of Baskin-Robbins’ most popular offerings.

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A custom typeface, developed with foundry Face37 replaces the kiddy-like Variex, adding maturity to the brand without sacrificing any playfulness. The new typeface is also reflective of Baskin-Robbins’ global presence, representing the brand’s character, whether it be in English or Arabic. Familiar iconography, such as the pink spoon, is also elevated in the refresh, plucking those sweet nostalgia strings to dazzling, playful effect.

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Some folks would have taken a public smackdown and either sulk or record a diss track, but not Baskin-Robbins. They took their licks, listened closely, and JKR delivered with a modern look that is fun, attractive, and global.

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