McDonald’s packaging has a playful new look. Working with design firm Pearlfisher, the fast food giant has debuted a global overhaul of its burger wraps and fry boxes, which now feature whimsical designs more in line with the company’s feel-good brand identity refresh from 2019.
The new packaging is adorned with minimalist graphics suggesting the food within: sesame seed buns on the Big Mac box; drippy cheese on the Quarter Pounder Deluxe container; blue waves wrapping the Filet-o-Fish clamshell; a yellow circle on the Egg McMuffin wrap, recalling both a yolk and a rising sun; fries imprinted on the back of the French Fry box (which feels a bit like a tease to those wanting just a few more bites when all have been consumed).
“Our task was finding out what was really special about each menu item to design a system that would make it easy for others to do the same,” said Pearlfisher Creative Director Matt Sia in a statement. “There’s beauty in the simplicity of McDonald’s’ iconic menu items. We aimed to find the most special, recognizable and iconic expression of each—celebrating them in a way that makes people smile.”
The design is meant to be useful as well, with easily identifiable graphics that help McDonald’s crew members during meal assembly, across all markets.
“Bringing personality to life through simple illustration allows for the packaging to be functionally unique, easy to identify, aesthetically minimal and, most importantly, emotionally joyful,” Sia added. “Everything in this system has a purpose and helps activate McDonald’s’ brand positioning to make delicious, feel-good moments easy for everyone.”
McDonald’s hadn’t rethought its packaging since Jan. 2016, when its refresh centered on bringing a “modern, progressive” sensibility to the brand with bold, bright typography and the golden arches.
Pearlfisher began working with McDonald’s on this latest redesign at the end of that same year.
The new packaging will be rolling out globally over the next two years. According to Pearlfisher, since fall of 2020, the redesign has already been in use in select markets, including Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.