New packaging is just the first step in President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook’s push for a more “contemporary restaurant experience” at McDonalds.
In 2013, McDonalds did their most recent global packaging redesign. A graphic narrative was the theme for the past couple years, with packages displaying busy illustrations, catchphrases, emblems, and QR codes. The new design moves towards a more modern look by focusing on the main icon of the McDonalds brand, the Golden Arches.
Senior Director of Global Brand Development at McDonald’s, Matt Biespiel says that the long standing burger chain wants to remind their customers of the comforts their brand provides. “The packaging is intended to create noticeable change for our customers and I’m hoping it makes them feel better about their choice of going to McDonald’s. Unlike other [branding] categories, you receive packaging after you’ve already made the purchase. The thought for me is, this is about reinforcing the purchase decision—having people feel good about walking down the street holding our bag.”
With this new packaging, McDonalds is counting on people to keep ignoring the negative side effects fast food has on a healthy lifestyle, and turn a McDonalds habit into the new “in” thing. In January of 2015 McDonalds invited designers from eight different agencies throughout the world to participate in one week of design. In this short time span they were asked to create new packaging for the McDonalds brand. The chosen design was then refined and expanded throughout the brands packaging by Boxer Brand design, a Chicago based firm.
Involving consumers within the process of the new package revamp, McDonalds became aware that the customers wanted McDonalds to be more bold, but still stay true to their brand. The end result was is a type-based concept using the company’s golden arch wordmark and a classically bold typeface.
Oversized arches that seem to bleed from one side of a bag to the other are just a few of the ways the new package design screams hip and progressive. Bags, cups, boxes, and all other packaging materials are boldly announcing the brand with bulky text, and pops of playful color. The colors chosen for the new redesign are brightly contrasted against the company’s brown paper bags, which are soon to be made out of 100-percent recycled materials.
“The entire portfolio of new graphics are a celebration of what makes McDonald’s ‘McDonald’s’ for customers,” Biespiel says. “I’m hoping that our customers will see this as being true to who we are, being bold, and, to an extent, being fashionable. The bag and the cup act as mini billboards as people walk out of our restaurants, walk on the subways, walk down the streets, so we very intentionally designed these with a fashion mentality.”
A far cry from its previous design, what was once a busy jumble of information and illustrations is now a modern and more simplistic McDonalds package, and is dynamic enough to grow alongside the rest of the company’s brand.