It's no surprise that Papa John's is considering a fresh look. The company recently launched two ad campaigns seemingly designed to win back customers and employees disappointed in the behavior of John Schnatter, its founder.
Since then, Papa John's has been distancing itself from Schnatter, who was once featured in the company's ads and whose face used to adorn its pizza boxes.
Tulin Erdem, a professor of marketing at NYU's Stern business school, thinks that the new, trademarked logo is "more streamlined, more contemporary."
Right now, the Papa John's logo, which features more traditional type in a domed frame, is "very traditional" and "maybe outdated," she said.
Papa John's filed a trademark for the logo, featuring two rectangles framing "Papa" and "Johns" in boxy font, with and without the company's "Better ingredients. Better pizza" tagline. Some versions are in red and green, and some in black and white.
They've "moved from a serif type to a sans serif typeface, which is perceived as being more modern,"noted Luke Wilson, clinical associate professor of marketing at NYU Stern.
Erik Gordon, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, sees the dropped apostrophe as a subtle dig at the company's controversial founder, John Schnatter.
"I don't think any consumer will notice it, but he sure will," he said.
Schnatter declined to comment for this story through a representative.