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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Logolysis of McDonald's

McDonald's Logo analysis:

Likewise all businesses, it started on a small scale with a single location in Southern California. In 1937, McDonald’s was first a restaurant that sold hotdogs, orange juice, coffee and tea. Then, it was moved to San Bernardino and it was converted to a BBQ restaurant. Soon after, an investigation of sales showed that hamburgers accounted for 80% of items sold. That is how the switch was made – from a BBQ to a fast food chain. For more on McDonald’s history click here. Let’s focus on the logo :

In the begining there was the chef character named “Speedee”  ( #1 and #2. )  Then, in 1953, the arches were introduced. One of the founders, Dick McDonald sketched a pair of stylized yellow arches on both sides of the new outlet in Phoenix, Arizona. On #5 is one of the McDonald’s history museum locations. When the arches are viewed from an angle they resemble the letter M. From this reminiscence came the concept of the new logo, introduced in 1962, and designed by Jim Schindler.

The vintage cup on #3 is a McDonald’s waxed paper cup from the 1960s for milkshakes. It is part of “The All American” advertising campaign ran by McDonald’s at the time.

The logo expert Andy Payne, creative director of Interbrand, said: The interesting thing about this logo is that it was born of architecture. The arches were a design to be used in a building and that has created the unique nature of the “M”. It does rely on colour, in that you might not recognise it as McDonald’s if it was not yellow and red.” Later on, in 1968, the name ‘McDonald’s’ was adjoined with the McDonald’s logo.

There are numerous variations of the arches as you can easily see. What is the difference you might ask? Well, to me it was fascinating to try to decipher the different advertising messages that a variation in the shape, colour tint and colour choice, orientation and size, could propose.  For example, in #12 and #14, the edges are sharper, which speaks of a more solid, business-like and  corporate character. On the contrary, #10 apparently targets a funnier, happier, and more casual audience. This ‘M’ is used mainly when advertising to children. The wider arches, the brighter yellow, and the imitation of a drawing are all elements that contribute to the attempted young-spirited vision. Another use of wider arches is when the logo is utilized as a street/road sign – the thicker arches are seen easier from the passing cars.  

My take on McDonald's Logo:“The simpler the font of the logo, the more radiant it becomes for the spectator.”

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