McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, has 34,480 restaurants in 119 countries throughout the world. The McDonald’s logo is one of the most recognizable and iconic logos used in branding today. Since McDonald’s Corporation was founded in 1955, the company’s logo has been changed many times. In 1960, the “golden arches” (the yellow “M”) was introduced as their new symbol. This logo references the architecture of McDonald’s during this era designed by Stanley Meston, “which was a roof lined higher in front than in back, flanked by a pair of illuminated golden arches. The ‘M’ formed by the arches would define the company’s logo throughout the ensuing decades” (“McDonald’s”).
The logo contains an upper case yellow “M” in a sans serif font that stands for McDonald’s. This “M” is usually in a red background with the word “McDonald’s” or the phrase “i’m lovin’ it” written in white beneath it. In some cases, the “M” is placed by itself with no other words. The yellow color resembles the famous McDonald’s fries. The strong contrast created between the red and the yellow represent the company’s bold nature while also making the logo more visible from a distance. The prevalence of this logo in everyday life makes it recognizable as the McDonald’s logo even without using any words. I think what makes this logo most effective is its ability to convey information with use of very minimal graphics. The simplicity logo makes it very effective and versatile for many different things such as signs, billboards, menus, paper bags, websites, apps, etc.
This logo represents more than just fast food. It represents the American culture that is spreading throughout the world. Today, it has become a cultural icon synonymous with capitalism and the globalization of America. McDonald’s represents many of the principles the rest of the world associates with America: consistency, homogenization and inexpensive food served fast. As an American, if you go to a different country, even if you do not speak the language, you are still able to recognize the McDonald’s logo and have a sense of familiarity. The language barrier is broken by using logos rather than words as a form of communication. This is a really important aspect in advertising and branding on a global level.
“McDonald’s.” Www.logos.wikia.com, Logopedia.