McDonalds Golden Arches logo

(Est. May 15, 1940) McDonald’s Corporation is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States.

They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald’s had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in June 2018.

Meaning and history

mcdonalds logo evolution
Although the company’s official founding year is considered 1955, its roots go back 15 years. The beginning of a great empire ruled by hamburgers, fries and Coke dates back to the mid-20th century. The restaurant opened in 1940 near one of the service stations. In their assortment there were only three positions. Thus began the era of the minimal menu, relying on self-service and affordable food.

Over time, the project became a franchise, exchanging a business idea. This was facilitated by Ray Croc, who first bought a franchise (in 1954), and then fully acquired the rights to a foodservice facility (in 1961). That is why the start of McDonalds is considered in April 1955.

With the arrival of the new owner, the system became more active and entered a phase of rapid development, as Croc knew a lot about marketing. It was from its presentation that the company logo was transformed, which subsequently became recognizable throughout the world. Furthermore, the owner did not abandon the original image; on the contrary, he applied it to his advantage. But before it became a recognizable emblem, it underwent several transformations.

Today it is impossible to highlight a specific emblem that the company adheres to. All logos have the right to exist and are used in a particular situation, on McDonald’s products.

1940 – 1948

mcdonalds logo 1940 - 1948
The debut mark looks classic – a rectangle with various inscriptions made in different fonts. At the top of the sign is the word “McDonald`s”, in the middle – “Famous”, at the bottom – “Barbecue”. The palette is monochrome and unappealing.

1948 – 1953

mcdonalds logo 1948 - 1953
At the time, the restaurant was going through tough times and needed a change. The owners decided to redesign the logo and changed the contrast principle. If before they were black letters on a white background, now it is the other way around. In addition, the phrase “Buyer by bag” and the image of a chef with a white cap placed in a circle were added.

1953 – 1968

mcdonalds logo 1953 - 1968
On the eve of fast food restaurant Ray Croc’s appearance in the race, the logo underwent another major transformation. The word “McDonald’s” appeared on it, written in bright red. The fountain is irregular, sloping. The image of the chef in a circle remained in the logo, and the inscription ‘From coast to coast’ was added.

1961 – 1968

mcdonalds logo 1961 - 1968
This is a legendary moment – that’s when the Golden Arches became the hallmark of the restaurant’s food chain. They bragged in a restaurant located in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The central legs are crossed (they go one after the other), and they are crossed by a sloping line of the same color.

1968 – Present

mcdonalds logo 1968 - present
During this period, the lower inscription (the name “McDonald’s”) moved upward and changed color from red to black. In addition, they changed the location of the central element by connecting the legs of the arches so that the object visually resembled the letter “M”.

1975 – Present

mcdonalds logo 1975 - present
In 1983, the developers introduced a red background to the logo and made the letters white.

1993 – 2010

mcdonalds logo 1993 - 2010
Ten years later, a restaurant chain obtained an emblem that looks as close to modern as possible, without inscriptions or other signs. In it there are only double golden yellow and black arches. Because of this, the arch appears to protrude above the surface where it was applied. This alteration is associated with the general recognition of the brand.

2003 – 2006

mcdonalds logo 2003 - 2006
Two versions belong to that period, from which the black outline on the right was removed, adding volume to the arches. In one version, the logo is on a red square background, in the other – in white.

2006 – Present

mcdonalds logo 2006 - present
Since then, gold bows have been used in a minimalist design and sparkling gold palette.

2018 – present

mcdonalds logo 2018 - present
Added another version of the logo used on the product. A golden bow is applied on a square with a red background. In 2020, due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the company introduced a logo where the arches are divided between them. With this, the company decided to show its attitude to this situation and urged buyers of its products to keep a distance between people to avoid infection with the virus.

McDonalds logo

Symbol font and color

mcdonalds logo color
Almost from the beginning, the letter “M” was present in the restaurant’s logo. At first it was doubled as a reminder of the two founding brothers by the McDonald’s name. At the end of the 60s of the last century, the icon was corrected, giving it a different shape of arches connected in the shape of an “M” with a thickening at the end.

The brand’s color scheme consists of a combination of yellow, red and green. Red, according to the founders, attracts attention and whets the appetite. Yellow represents joy, good humor, good humor and friendship. Green (appeared in 2007) symbolizes a commitment to sustainable development and stability.