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McDonald’s Iconic Logo – The Story of Its Evolution

by Charles Darwin Tweet - in Logo Design - 2 min read

I m lovin it

Last updated on December 27th, 2017

McDonald’s is a top global brand and constantly ranks alongside some of the world’s most popular fast food chains today with several franchises operating successfully, in almost every country. The McDonald’s iconic logo has become interestingly synonymous with the America’s love for burgers, fries and ice creams. The story of McDonald’s current logo design is as interesting as their offerings. Quite naturally, the exciting story of its evolution requires a little elaboration.

In this blog, we take a dig at some of the early versions of McDonald’s iconic logo design and its gradual evolution till date.

The Winking Tubby Chef
McDonald’s was opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardina, California in the year 1940. During that time, barbecue and burgers were the only specialties of McDonald’s. Within a short span of eight years, they mastered the art of serving delectable fast food delicacies in no time. And to make their ‘Speeder Service System’ popular, they came up with a winking tubby chef Speeder logo.
iconic logo
The Iconic ‘Golden Arches’
In 1952, McDonald brothers hired a sign-maker, George Dexter to incorporate to design two giant golden (yellow) arches on both sides of the building. When viewed from an angle, these yellow arches resembled the letter ‘M’. However, these ‘golden Arches’ were finally added to the corporate logo of McDonald’s when Ray Kroc acquired the company in 1961.

Jim Schindler, the constructions and engineering head of McDonald’s, added a slanting line running through the arches in the logo in a bid to symbolize the roof of the store. This is how McDonald’s got its iconic ‘Golden Arch’ logo.
iconic logo
Alterations in the ‘Golden Arches’
By the ’70s, the ‘Golden Arches’ became instantly recognizable and helped company establish as one of the most sought after brands. From then till 2010, the design underwent several iterations and redesigns.

Restaurant logo

Between 1975 and 2006, the popular food logo design was framed by a solid red rectangle and between 1992 and 2009 the ‘Golden Arches’ were given a brighter hue. A unique shadowed version of these ‘Golden Arches’ also made rounds between 1993 and 2010.

iconic logo
The ‘I’m lovin’ it’ logo
The official McDonald’s Corporation logo, the ‘Golden Arches’ tagline I’m lovin‘ it, came into existence when McDonald’s advertising campaign created by Heye & Partner GmbH in the year 2003 made history in Germany, UK, Australia and USA. It was the super success of this advertisement campaign that made McDonald’s corporation embrace the ‘Golden Arches’ coupled by the tag line as its official corporate logo. Since then, the company’s official logo has become one of the most iconic marks in logo history.

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With such a powerful logo design, McDonald’s is sure to tickle pink the fancy of epicureans and gluttons for many more decades to come!

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