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McDonald’s is an American chain of fast food restaurants which is widely regarded as the largest in the world. It was founded as a single restaurant by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940. Later, they turned it into a franchise. McDonald’s is counted among the most valuable brands in the entire world.

McDonald’s serves around 60 million people on a daily basis through its thousands of outlets scattered in more than 100 countries. It offers an assortment of products including hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, wraps and shakes. However, one of the main reasons for its global fan following – apart from its mouthwatering recipes – is its attractive logo. In fact, McDonald’s logo design is cited as one of the main reasons for its immense global success.

McDonald’s trademark emblem – the Golden Arches – has a great back ground story that serves as an inspiration for anyone seeking to become a graphic designer.


The history of McDonald’s logo is as old as the business itself. The speedy growth of the franchise since its humble establishment saw an equally rapid evolution of the brand’s logo until it became of the best business logos in the world.

While we delve into the history of the McDonald’s logo – its creation and subsequent development over the years – we will also discuss how the brand itself evolved over the past few decades, and how it has left a profound impact on peoples’ lives.


McDonald’s story began with a small drive-in restaurant known as the “The Airdrome.” It was opened by Patrick McDonald. Only three years later, in 1940, Patrick’s two sons Maurice and Richard renamed the establishment “McDonald’s”.

With the growth of the business, the two brothers decided it was time they needed a new building to house their restaurant. They wanted the new building to be service-efficient as well as visually attractive. Stanley Clark Meston was hired to design the architecture of the building. Taking cue from the rough sketch of the two arches drawn by one of the brothers, Meston and his assistant Charles Fish created a sophisticated design that oozed energy.

This was the birth of the Golden Arches – McDonald’s famous logo.

McDonald’s Fascinating Logo

The Golden Arches are the most popular logo anywhere in the world. They represent a cornerstone of McDonald’s astounding worldwide success

They are instantly recognizable anywhere in North America, South America, Middle East, Indo-Pak Subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.

It is an undeniable fact that McDonald’s brand name and logo design have played an integral part in the chain’s astounding success over the years. The famous logo has seen many changes over the course of the past several decades but the Golden Arches remained part of the design since they were first created in 1968. They constitute McDonald’s global brand identity.

The Shape of the Logo

The Golden Arches logo – first and foremost – depict the arches that were incorporated in the architecture of the very first modern restaurant envisaged by the McDonald brothers.

When Ray Kroc – a businessman – purchased the chain from its original owners, he saw it fit to incorporate the arches in the brand’s logo in such a manner that they looked like the English letter ‘M’. Kroc’s Logo became the identity of the business for the next five decades.

The Logo features two primary colors: Red and Golden. The red color represents the food industry whereas the golden color depicts the original arches. It is the synergy between these two colors gives the logo its ethereal energy allowing it to captivate millions. Above all, however, it is the inherent simplicity of the design that catches everyone’s imagination.

The Initial Logo – Stress on Speed


The McDonald brother thought – perhaps rightly – that quick service is the key to success in the food industry. They were convinced that when a person is truly hungry, he / she cannot wait for even a second.

Keeping this in mind, the McDonald brothers invented the Speedee Service. This resulted in cutting out all barbeque items from their menu because they took too much time.

The Speedee Service logo showed a winking chef hinting towards the rapid service of the restaurant.

The First Golden Arches Logo


The Golden Arches were originally the idea of Richard McDonald who thought they will attract passersby towards his facility. He shared the idea with Stanley Clark Meston who designed the very first arches.

Ray Kroc improvised on the original idea and with the help of two associates, created another logo that showed two overlapping arches with a line passing through them. It became a text logo design.

The ‘M’ Logo


Ray Kroc was never really satisfied with his logos. He continuously made changes in order to make them look more appealing. The next thing he did was to join the two arches so that they looked like the ‘M’. The line cutting through the arches was removed. The name of the company – McDonald’s – was incorporated into the logo rendering it a text logo design.

The “I’m lovin’ it’


There were several revisions in the logo during the next three and a half decades but the most impactful was the one that took place in 2003: I’m lovin’ it

It became the most successful marketing slogan in the history of the franchise. Some changes in the original logo were incorporated rendering the arches cylindrical in shape. The arches became cylindrical and a shadow was attached to the M.

The Future of the Logo

The McDonald’s logo has a rich history that is truly inspirational. It is regarded as a sign of integrity, excellence and business acumen.

The fast-food industry is changing at a rapid pace. There are new chains that are offering excellent food at competitive prices. This has created a challenge as well as an opportunity for McDonald’s.

The chain possesses perhaps the most popular business logo in modern history. It retains its attractiveness in any kind of background. It is a truly amazing creation that tickles your senses and becomes part of your memory.

McDonald’s logo represents the integrity of the business. There is every chance that it will continue to do so in the future.


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