Uncovering The Fascinating History Behind The McDonalds Logo

McDonalds Logo

McDonald’s is one of the oldest restaurant chains in the world and has millions of customers throughout the world who visit a McDonald’s branch or order food from McDonald’s. However, almost everyone can recognize a McDonald’s outlet by looking at the McDonalds logo. It is one of the most famous logos, and the golden-arched ‘M’ is easily recognizable.

In this article, you will mainly learn about the essential and fascinating history of the McDonald’s logo. Furthermore, you will also learn various design elements of the McDonald’s logo as well, including the colors and the fonts of the logo. Hence, to learn in detail about the evolution of the McDonald’s logo, read on through to the end of the article.

The Evolution Of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the wealthiest companies and is probably the biggest fast-food chain in the world. The McDonalds sign is easily noticeable, and the logo is very interesting to look at. The McDonald’s logo actually changed multiple times over the years since its inception in the 1940s.

Since the 1960s, McDonald’s has tried to simplify its logo and worked towards making the business a bigger brand. Using the golden arches, including the red and golden colors, was a brilliant move for the business to enable people to recognize McDonald’s as a brand from then. From then on, the McDonalds logo font and the color changed visibly.

In its earlier days, like most businesses, McDonald’s also started small. It was only a small and single fast-food stand in Monrovia, California. Patrick McDonald opened a food stand in 1937 near the Monrovia Airport to sell hot dogs. Later, he also started selling hamburgers and orange juice.

Three years later, Richard and Maurice McDonald, who were Patrick’s sons, shifted the food stand to San Bernardino California. Now, they renamed the shop to “McDonald’s Bar-B-Que.” Thereby, they also changed the menu of the restaurant, as they dealt with most barbeque items from then on.

However, the brothers realized in eight years that most of the business’ profits depended on the sale of hamburgers. Hence, from now on, the items were reduced to only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, apple pie, fries, and milkshakes. Furthermore, the company now removed carhops and started a self-serving system.

Later, in 1952, the name of the company was shortened to just “McDonald’s.” In 1953, the McDonald brothers started transforming their business model into a franchisee system. Thereby, from then on, the company started to expand its location. Later on, the company will start using the golden arches with the McDonald’s name.

Shock Value Of The Logo Of Mcdonald’s  

The logo of McDonald’s has been designed with the scientific perception of the colors yellow and red. The golden arches of McDonald’s are the signature representation of the brand and the moment you see it, your stomach starts rumbling.

The incorporation of the golden arches on either side of the building of McDonald’s was a change that was for the better.

Both colors were used with respect to the scientific integration of influencing consumers. Red is one color that is stimulating and makes the consumers more hungry. The color red is connected with being active along with increasing heart rate.

This feeling makes people hungrier while the color yellow is visible and it makes people happy. It is often associated with happiness, so when consumers look at the logo, they feel happier and associate the food with their feelings.

People’s brains process colors differently as the shapes or the words of a brand connect with consumers emotionally. The brand has been able to connect with people because it encourages the customers to buy products with their Mcdonald’s sign.

Colors Philosophy  

It is the philosophy of colors that is used by McDonalds’ to influence customers and buy the products that they are selling. The logo has gone through changes over the years and the color green has been integrated into the logo.

It is another integration of the environment-safe approach of the brand. The design by McDonald’s has been criticized previously. However, the logo has always been quite attractive for the consumers.


An expert in 2001 claimed that the M which is used to represent the name of the brand actually represents a mother’s breasts. The nurturing perspective is symbolized by the sign when you look at it upside-down.

People are ready to take this to another level, especially when it is connected to a sexual perception of the symbol. A psychologist informed that it is the Freudian belief that humans follow certain signs if they are sexually attracted.
The potential customers of the brand felt a “maternal” element and accordingly, the fast-food chain kept high sales improving their products. Products such as double cheeseburger and Big Mac became popular every day in the original McDonald’s menu.

McDonald’s Logo: History And Evolution

From 1953 onwards, the McDonald’s logo started using golden arches. In 1961, Ray Croc bought the business from the McDonald family and incorporated the unique architecture in the logo of the company. He asked Fred Turner to come up with a new logo for the restaurant.

Turner asked Jim Schindler, who was the head of construction and engineering, to come up with the logo. Schindler sketched out the logo and included the golden arches within his design. Although he also used a slanted line that went through the big “M.” Later, in 1968, the slanted line was removed.

McDonald’s Logo history

From then on, till 2006, the McDonald’s logo would undergo several updates, but the golden arches were never removed, and only the McDonalds name tag and font changed every time. However, with time the company realized that they would use a combination of golden yellow and red in every logo. As per experts, most food companies use bright colors like red and yellow to attract customers to the food.

According to Mark Hughes of Independent.co.uk,

Fred Turner first sketched a new logo, a stylised “V”. Then Jim Schindler, McDonald’s head of engineering and design, sketched a logo that pictured the slanting roof of the restaurant piercing a line drawing of the golden arches in the form of an “M”. The “Golden Arches” were born. In 1968, the roof line image was dropped and the McDonald’s name added to derive the current logo.

Currently, McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brands, and its logo is extremely popular throughout the world. The company serves over 69 million customers on a daily basis and has a presence in over one hundred countries, with 40K outlets (as per 2021 data). As of May 2023, McDonald’s net worth is currently more than US $216 billion.

McDonalds Logo Design Elements

McDonalds Logo Design Elements

If you ever tried out the French fries available at McDonald’s, you would realize that the golden arches on the McDonald’s logo look as if a French fry is bent in the shape of an “M.” Many people fail to realize this message despite looking at the logo for many times.

Another great thing about the McDonald’s logo is its simplicity. They try to keep the logo simple, and it explains the story that the company does not need to explain through its logo what it offers. People already know what McDonald’s is, and if they don’t, they would easily recognize what McDonald’s offers as a brand. The logo is easily recognizable and is noticeable.

Furthermore, the logo, with time, has also become one of the major symbols of America and its culture and philosophy throughout the world. Many consider McDonald’s to promote unhealthy food, poor health choices, and waste. However, the company denied anything like that and is trying to fight against the attacks on the company.

The Golden Arches also faced criticism, as many consider they represent Capitalism and power and the negative aspects of American culture. However, it cannot be denied its appearance is easily recognizable, and it has appeared countless times on TV, movies, art, comics, and elsewhere.

This shows how important brand logos are for brand development. Developing companies want their brand logo to be popular with the people, not only does the design need to be simple and heartfelt, it also needs to be easy to promote. And there are a number of marketing activities that can be carried out to promote awareness. For example, customized derivative products can be offered to consumers or used for marketing and public events. Like customized logo pins, custom patches, custom lanyards, etc. At GS-JJ, these products can be customized to meet your business needs.

Summing Up

The McDonalds logo is one of the most famous brand logos in the world. The best thing about the logo is its simplicity and the presence of bright colors, which make it easily recognizable. From its inception in 1937, the logo was changed several times by the owners. However, the logo maintained its overall appearance, which was almost similar from 1968 onwards. What do you think of the design of the McDonald’s logo? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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