Anna Kuznetsova
Anna Kuznetsova 24 October 2019
Categories Research

McDonald's: the History and Evolution of a Famous Logo

McDonald's logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. What does the logo of this brand mean, how did it evolve and what is the secret to the success of McDonald’s fast food network?

Selling points of this brand daily serve more than 60 million people. According to data published in “Food & Wine” magazine, a profit of $ 9 billion from franchised stores alone made McDonald’s the richest fast food network in the world. A new restaurant of the company opens every 14.5 hours, increasing the income of its creators by 2, or even 3. And these are not all the facts we can tell about McDonald's, the legendary corporation, which was the largest fast food of modern times until 2010. Do you know what has become one of the main components of such a stunning success? The secret of popularity about McDonald’s lies in a successful logo with a very interesting story!

How did It All Begin?

The history of this logo began in 1940, when the brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald's, who had opened a small restaurant, decided to expand their business. The new building had to be not only roomy, but also aesthetically attractive. The famous American architect Stanley Clark Meston worked on the new project. He, on the basis of the drawing of one of McDonald's brothers, created the world-famous golden arches that were present in the architecture of each new building and looked like a stylized image of McDonald's restaurants.

How did the first McDonald's Logo Look?

A source - https://www.amusing

The very first emblem of the network was the usual sign with the inscription “McDonald's Famous Barbecue”. It lasted until 1953, but as soon as the company stopped selling barbecue and switched to other styles of food, the name of the restaurant turned into only one word, but they added the image of Speedy, a funny cook with a round face like a hamburger, to a logo. Both the name and the whole look of a chef indicated a super-fast service, one of the main features of all the restaurants in this network. The bright pattern, painted on a blue and white canvas, perfectly harmonized with the red McDonald's inscription, and the pleased look of Speedy gave the visitors a feeling of irresistible happiness.

However, in 1961, Ray Crock, the famous restaurateur, became the owner of the company. He decided to make a rebranding. So a smart cook disappeared from the emblem, giving his place to a completely different concept. The creation of the new logo was conducted by Jim Schindler, head of construction and engineering at McDonald's. He was the one who laid two golden arches on top of each other, drew a line through them, wrote the brand name under it and combined both elements in a white circle with a dark blue edging.

Changes and Evolution of the McDonald's Logo


The owner of the company was never truly satisfied with the McDonalds logo, so over the next decades it had to go through a few cardinal changes. First, he combined the arches in one letter “M” and erased the line passing through them. Thus, the company name has already been included in the logo, so the need for a separate brand name has disappeared by itself. However, the evolution of the McDonald's trademark did not end there.

Soon the logo was shaded, the lower part of the arches was made noticeably thicker, and the middle point of “M” was slightly shortened so that it did not lie in the same place as the outer edges. The design was completely flat and was applied to a white background. In 1975, McDonald's created a new logo that saved its shape, but changed its color palette - it had a red background with a white name of the restaurant. At the end of the last century, a dense black shadow was added to the letter “M”, but soon a concise yellow inscription appeared in its place, and it still exists.

Curiously, not all restaurant arches have a golden shade. Some cities managed to change strict rules and add their vision of the famous logo. So, in Sedona (Arizona) the turquoise “M” is used, contrasting with the picturesque nature and original mountain landscapes and in Monterey (California) you can see completely black arches, which, according to the city administration, look much more interesting than traditional yellow ones.

The corporate font, which the brand name was written in, has also gone through a lot of changes. Initially, in the 40s and 50s, the company used several script and typewritten italics, but over time it was limited to the classic version of Helvetica. Since then, the name of the restaurant, present on all McDonald's emblems, is written only in this way.

The last transformation of the brand logo took place in 2003, when the arches were given a cylindrical shape, and a small shadow was again attached to the letter “M”. Meantime, the slogan “I’m lovin’ it” appeared in the McDonalds logo, written in lowercase. The choice was made deliberately, because uppercase characters gave the dictum a carefree and completely informal tone.

Today the restaurant logo is presented in two corporate colors - red and yellow. The first is associated with the food industry, the second - recalls those distant times when Stanley Meston painted the first Golden arch. It is believed that this particular color duo, combined with stylish design and delicious food, helped McDonald's win the love and recognition of a multimillion audience. As for the current variation of the McDonald's trademark, it appeared relatively recently - in 2006. Its main distinguishing features are a concise design and a modest color scheme, reminding the logos of earlier times.

As a conclusion, we want to note that the sense that many of us put in the fast food logo is fundamentally wrong. Most people believe that the restaurant logo resembles 2 slices of french fries, curved in the letter “M”. However, the company management claims that this is not true at all, and any resemblance to your favorite treat is just a coincidence. Is this true or just another advertising move? We, ordinary visitors of this restaurant network, can only guess. The only thing that we can be absolutely sure about, is that the golden arches of McDonalds can be seen in various parts of the world, and no matter what unpleasant surprises the press presented to this brand, for many it was, is and will be one of the favorite places for leisure.

We hope that the story of this huge and undeniably successful corporation will inspire you to create your own logo. Perhaps the story of an elite beauty salon, competitive business school or a fitness club will begin, after you read this article and the logo will glorify its creators, if not for the whole world, but at least for the whole city. And most importantly, you don’t even have to hire professional designers, just go to one of the online services, for example Logaster website. Indicate the field of your business and enter the name of the product you are manufacturing or selling. The system itself will develop a huge number of logos, from which you can choose the most suitable. As you can see, everything is very simple! Good luck with your beginnings!

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