McDonalds Logo

McDonalds Logo
One of the world’s largest restaurant chains, McDonald’s serves more than 60 million visitors every day. It has over 35,000 restaurants in over 110 countries.

Meaning and history

McDonalds logo history

The first restaurant opened its doors in 1940. Unlike now, one of the main menu options was barbecue. Eight years later barbecue was removed from the menu, because Richard and Maurice McDonald, the co-founders of the restaurant, realized that in this way they may provide faster service. With the same purpose, they introduced a new ‘Speedee Service System’. To emphasize the improvement, they created a winking chef character named Tubby chef Speedee, which became the company’s earliest logo.
The iconic golden arches appeared in the McDonalds logo in 1961. There was also a slanting line, which was supposed to represent the restaurant’s roof. As an inspiration for this design, Jim Schindler used the architectural arches that could be seen in the restaurants of the chain. The arches, in their turn, were designed by the sign-maker George Dexter, who used a sketch made by Richard McDonald. The arches appeared at the restaurants in 1952, but it wasn’t until 9 years later that the idea to make a logo design on this basis was brought to life.
mcdonald's logo
There’s also a hidden meaning behind the arch emblem: it evokes the nourishing breasts of a mother. Some sources mention that in the 1960s the restaurant chain was going to adopt a new logo, but the design consultant Louis Cheskin persuaded the company’s top managers that the arches would help to attract visitors, acting on the subconscious level.

Further variations of the symbol

symbol McDonalds
Throughout the following 40 years the company modified its logo several times. One of the most interesting versions was the one where a McDonald character had an “arched” body. It could be seen on the company’s cars, as well as in its TV commercials.

The 2003 emblem

In 2003 Heye & Partner GmbH developed the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ advertising campaign, which is considered the most successful one in the chain’s history. The visual center of the 2003 logo is the letter “M” formed by two arches. The full version includes the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ inscription below the arches.


Font McDonalds Logo
The current McDonalds logo features a customized sans-serif font. You won’t see a single capitalized letter, even “I” is given in the lower case.


Color McDonalds Logo
The emblem exists in the two color schemes: black and yellow/red. The yellow/red one is used whenever a colorful representation is possible, while the black one is used in black-and-white visual contexts.