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Psychologist Explains Reason Behind McDonald’s Famous Red And Yellow Logo

A UK-based psychologist explained that the two colors are meant to trigger hunger and happiness. 

The red-and-yellow logo of popular fast food chain McDonald’s is meant to trigger hunger, according to a UK-based psychologist.

Karen Haller, an expert in behavioral color and design psychology, said the iconic Golden Arches design was created to elicit specific psychological effects on customers. 

A store of the American fast food company McDonald’s is seen in Washington, United States on April 03, 2023. McDonaldâs reportedly temporarily shuts its U.S. corporate offices ahead of layoffs. CELAL GUNES/VIRALPRESS

“Looking at the positive psychology qualities of red and yellow in relation to the fast food industry, red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, it attracts attention. Yellow triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness,” Haller said. “When you combine red and yellow it’s about speed, quickness. In, eat and out again.”

The red and yellow palette noticeably dominates any McDonald’s branch – from the mascot Ronald McDonald usually inviting customers outside, to the color of the store counters, and even the french fry containers. 

The color scheme is also used by other famous fast food brans like KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut. “The language of color is communicated quicker to the brain than words or shapes as they work directly on our feelings and emotions,” said Haller, who runs a behavioral design firm.

McDonald’s was founded in 1940 in San Bernardino, California, and has since spawned into the world’s most recognizable fast-food outlet. In recent years, the brand has incorporated green and black to create a healthier image. 

Karen says the company wanted some of its restaurants to appear more inviting than a quick stopover. 

“Green elicits the feelings of nature, natural and environmentally friendly. It’s no longer about rushing in for a quick bite to eat,” Haller said. 

McDonald’s was originally founded by the Maurice and Richard McDonald. The brothers hiring Ray Kroc as their franchise agent until he bought out them out in 1961 for $2.7 million.

The movie “The Founder” (2016) starring Michael Keaton and Nick Offerman that told the story of the beginnings of McDonald’s.

Today, McDonald’s built a brand that ensures a brand for families that includes Happy Meals for kids and popular burgers that included the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder With Cheese.

A child holds McDonald’s Happy Meal box in Krakow, Poland on June 23, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction”, McDonald’s was referenced the Quarter Pounder With Cheese in France that was branded as Royale With Cheese. France only uses the metric system as the Quarter Pounder brand is referenced from the English measurement.

McDonald’s currently has over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries that includes the United States.

The fast food brand continues to dominate today that includes their other competitors, such as Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

A documentary was done by Morgan Spurlock called “Super Size Me” (2004) where he ate McDonald’s three times a day that resulted in dropping the Super Size meals that were once popular. Super Size meals consisted of extra-large drinks and french fries along with the burger options. McDonald’s phased out the option citing more choices for healthier meals.

Produced in association with ViralPress.

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Virginia Van Zandt

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