Thanks to a radical change in visual identity, one of the most recognizable brands in the world will now look fresh and modern.
It would not be a big exaggeration to say that the famous "golden arches" of McDonald's are one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. And probably one of the most boring. And also difficult, judging from the point of view of the possibility of making any changes. But a talented designer can do what seems almost impossible.
Until a few years ago, McDonald's advertising consisted of literally a hodgepodge of various images - the logo, the recognizable red container for french fries, the clown Ronald McDonald, and so on. It's a problem that McDonald's decided to fix last year with a comprehensive overhaul of the company's global visual identity. The network is huge - it includes about 35,000 restaurants in 120 countries, of which 17,000 are located in the United States alone. It is extremely difficult to manage it, and such a hodgepodge of images only complicates everything. The world is changing very quickly, and a company that wants to be on top must always look modern.
The task of changing the identity was entrusted to the Mitchell team, led by marketing director Silvia Lagnado (Silvia Lagnado). They took as a basis a simple, seemingly at first glance, idea: "McDonald's is more than just hamburgers and french fries." But how to bring it to life, if many consumers have the exact opposite opinion?
Interestingly, the team drew inspiration from the old McDonald's "You deserve a break today" advertising campaign, which ran back in 1971 in Chicago. They also hired Turner Duckworth, an agency founded by designer Turner Duckworth, whose most famous work is the famous Amazon smile.
While working on a new image of the network, the team constantly asked questions like “Is this fun? This is a good thing?". And if something evoked pleasant emotions, then they left it, if not, then they got rid of it. The result was a fundamentally new visual identity based on the same golden arches. It turned out very simple, but at the same time dynamic and even funny. The seemingly static logo has found a new life, as it turned out, it has a very big potential. And if earlier the arches were just arches (except that once the letter “M” written with their help was turned upside down, turning into “W” - “woman”, for International Women's Day), now they have become supports for a bridge or a children's swing, otherwise and a bike path.
But the matter was not limited to arches. French fries also got it, the slices of which can take on a life of their own, turning either into subway train passengers, or into stripes on the Wi-Fi icon, or into dominoes. And the famous red bag for them can become, for example, a boat. In other words, when developing a new identity for an old company, the designers showed maximum creativity, completely revising the images that have long become familiar.
Historically, McDonald's has been a red brand with a touch of yellow. But after the “overhaul”, the golden yellow color of the arches now takes center stage, complemented by red accents. According to the designers, too much red in the brand seemed aggressive and flashy. In addition, this color has become almost a hallmark of all fast food restaurants. The presence of yellow in advertising and design will distinguish McDonald's from competitors.
As for typography, it was decided to abandon the "vicious" practice of using different fonts. Now the Speedee font will be used everywhere, inspired by the same arches. And when promoting the brand, various patterns and icons will be actively used - these are simplified almost to the point of primitiveness, but no less recognizable images of hamburgers, bags of potatoes, glasses of drinks, etc. They are planned to be used both in advertising campaigns and in the design of restaurants. Designers emphasize the fact that despite their simplicity, all the icons they create necessarily have symmetry violations. And it was not done so by chance, because food is never absolutely symmetrical and does not have regular shapes.
McDonald's visual identity update is an example of how you can update the image of any brand, even if initially it seems that there is no room for maneuver. And no matter how boring a trademark may seem, it can always be made bright and modern.