Hamilton-Brown InsightsProject: McDonald's packaging re-design and Burger King rebrand.

Written by:
Ben Gallagher – Creative Lead

It seem’s that there is some form of “battle of the burgers” happening in the design world. McDonald’s has had a bit of a refreshing visual shake-up and recently, another American fast food brand, Burger King, went through a somewhat meaty identity update too. (Puns).

While the McDonald’s update seems to be targeted at the packaging specifically and Burger King have had a complete brand overhaul, both changes are visually stunning and elevate the brands standing without a doubt.

Imagery source:

Pearlfisher: McDonald’s packaging redesign (Copyright © Pearlfisher/McDonald’s, 2021) Burger King and JKR NY: Burger King rebrand (Copyright © Burger King, 2021)

via itsnicethat.com
pearlfisher.com
jkrglobal.com
mcdonalds.co.uk
burgerking.co.uk

From a visual communications position, the beauty in both outputs is the seamless way that they get their message across. BK use typography and charming illustrations to evoke a feeling in the consumer whilst the McDonalds update uses a very simplistic illustration style that lets the consumer know exactly ‘what’s in the box’.

However, I can’t help but think that the identity updates like this in the fast food world raise two points. The first is this – both of these brands are corporations (albeit with more visual appeal than the average corporation historically) and ‘corporate’ is a word that generally evokes a sense of dreary blues and greys, so the shift from both companies towards noticeably more contemporary visuals ie: colourful illustration, and bold type, etc. goes a long way in proving that great, considered design can change the way ‘corporate’ is presented to the world. Which is naturally, brilliant. Design for good. Marvellous.

The second is this, whilst the works are excellent examples of how design can appeal to a mass market and change the way a brand is seen by its customers, for me at least, that generates a moral dilemma; given the health implications on society that fast food brands have been shown to have, juxtaposed with my love and appreciation of great design, does the accessibility of the creative make the subject matter more obscure?

Because the work is designed to be appealing and ‘fun’ will that then lead to less scrutiny of nutritional content? Maybe. Due to it being visually engaging, which again, demonstrates the beauty of great design. In this case I wonder if that engagement could become a long term issue.

Don’t get me wrong, the latter point doesn’t put me off a Big Mac (other burgers are available) and as a designer I’m deeply impressed by Pearlfisher and JKR’s outputs; they absolutely succeed in their intentions. I suppose the point is, everything in moderation.

Imagery source:

Pearlfisher: McDonald’s packaging redesign (Copyright © Pearlfisher/McDonald’s, 2021) Burger King and JKR NY: Burger King rebrand (Copyright © Burger King, 2021)

via itsnicethat.com
pearlfisher.com
jkrglobal.com
mcdonalds.co.uk
burgerking.co.uk

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