Starting this month, McDonald’s will begin to phase in a new packaging design to their bags, cups, and boxes that features minimalist typography.
The packaging change is a major deviation from its graphic-heavy packaging previously introduced in 2013, which had an emphasis on storytelling. Last year, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook decided to whip the troubled burger company into shape – and the packaging seemed like the best place to start. This time, they have taken a less-is-more approach with the intention of creating a modern and progressive brand image.
McDonald’s doesn’t have an in-house design team, so it invited 15 designers from eight agencies located in the European Union, the Americas, Asia, and Australia to an office in London to work on the packaging. After creating the idea of typographic packaging, they worked with Chicago-based firm Boxer Brand Design to refine the idea, stripping down the packaging design of their bags, cups and boxes. They then highlight the brand’s core assets, which features the wordmark, golden arches, and menu items like the Big Mac. These are decorated prominently in bright colours, making them instantly recognizable from afar.
“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,” says Matt Biespiel, Senior Director of Global Brand Development at McDonald’s.
There are also plans to scale the designs across other media such as menu boards, ordering kiosks and their mobile app. But with fast food companies under fire for food quality and wages, can new packaging stand up to these larger challenges faced by the industry?
What are your thoughts on this new minimalist typographic packaging?
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.