This article is the first in a series discussing specific company logos, their designs and histories. The definition of the word logo is, “a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition.” (1) The best logos, used consistently, provide a strong corporate identity of the businesses they represent. Eventually, a company’s logo becomes a complex symbol that represents associated meanings and values apart from the actual company and its product. A logo can induce emotional reactions, memories and even moral judgements.
The McDonald’s Golden Arches logo is one of the most recognizable in the world and has been for decades. A study in 1985 asked three and four-year-olds to identify logos. The McDonald’s logo was the most recognized with 17 out of 20 preschoolers able to identify the golden arches as McDonald’s (2). Because of the global reach of the company, the McDonald’s logo has come to signify more than just a hamburger restaurant. Today it symbolizes capitalism and American culture.