What's the Deal with the K?

Oct 22nd 2018

One of the things you can't miss when you see a bottle of K-Sauce is that large, scribbled letter K, followed by a superscript number. We're asked from time to time: What's the deal with the K?

Well, there are two answers, depending on which part of the "K" you're referring to.

As you can read in  Our Story, K-Sauce was co-founded by Keenan Adams, and his parents Laurie and Steve. As you might surmise, the "K" stands for Keenan. That part was easy. 

But if you're asking about why that big letter "K" is scribbled, well, that answer takes a little more explaining.

The photo on this page shows an original bottle of K-1, as made in the Adams family kitchen back in the day (2005, to be precise), and distributed to friends and family as Christmas gifts. The bottle label was handwritten by Steve, and that "K" — well, he just cross-hatched it with his pen to make it stand out on the label a bit better. 

When the decision was made to take K-Sauce commercial, of course, labels had to be designed, and well, black-and-white, photocopied versions probably isn't what retail stores would welcome to their shelves. 

The designer of the K-Sauce branding did, however, like how that big "K" stood-out, and rather liked the simplicity and white space of Steve's hand-made labels. As a result, that cross-hatched "K" was scanned and converted to logo art, and served as the foundation of the labels (and indeed all the branding) from there. 

A handwritten typeface was selected to pay homage to the original, and the labels as you see them on bottles of K-Sauce today was the result of that design effort. And we have to admit — it really does look pretty nice sitting on a shelf, especially alongside the typical reds, oranges, yellow and pictures of fire you see on most hot sauce bottle labels.

So now you know... The K is for Keenan, and that K is the same one that's adorned every single bottle since 2005 — whether made in the Adams kitchen back in the day, or the commercial kitchen where it's produced today for sale to hot sauce lovers worldwide. 

Oh, one more thing: That K-1 bottle you see in the photo? It's sitting on the railing of an aircraft carrier deployed half a world away. K-Sauce gets around...