© Pearlfisher/McDonald’s, 2021

The trend for packaging right now is illustrations, even if they are not always greatly appreciated in brand communication. Restaurant chain McDonald’s is debuting a new look that shows how a redesign using illustrations can succeed. Brand agency Pearlfisher was behind the packaging concept’s new design and created a new visual framework for the entire product line of the McDonald’s brand. From the cool blue waves of the Filet-O-Fish® clamshell to the golden melting cheese on the Quarter Pounder® with Cheese, the packaging makes for an expressive visual system. Its focus is on vector-style illustrations of iconic products from the McDonald’s menu. Some of the graphics interpret the meal, others are inspired by the food’s ingredients such as the yolk of an Egg McMuffin, the shape of the fries or a cross section of the stacked bun, meat and cheese of a Big Mac.

The renewed design aims to “bring a sense of joy and ease to the brand” by putting “bold graphics” in the foreground of the fast-food chain’s future packaging. Each wrapper, clamshell and pack is intended to be identifiable through a joyful and simple illustration, no matter where in the world orders are assembled and enjoyed. Matt Sia, creative director at Pearlfisher, says that the illustrations, which stick close to the brand’s recognisable colour palette, aim “to be functionally unique, easy to identify, aesthetically minimal and, most importantly, emotionally joyful.”

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