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Fast food chains rebranding as minimalist, nods to handcrafted movement

Design has been going more and more minimalist in recent years, and burger chains hopping on the bandwagon means it’s mainstream. How will your brand respond?

minimalist movement

Burger chains leading the pack, following trends

Two of the world’s longest standing fast food chains – Burger King and McDonald’s – are rebranding their packaging with more modern, minimalistic designs. Burger King is rolling out new burger wrappers, coffee cups, French fry boxes, and take-out bags in 13,000 restaurants worldwide, while McDonald’s is still working on distributing its new packaging nationally.

Although Burger King hired international design firm Turner Duckworth Design to give their packaging a makeover, their new look gives a nod to the handcrafted movement with its handmade, one-of-a-kind feel. The rough-edged lines, simple color scheme, and minor imperfections in the font give the bags the appearance of being hand printed. This aesthetic fits well with Burger King’s “have it your way” philosophy, with each burger being individually flame-grilled and made to order.

Besides these aesthetic considerations, Burger King’s new packaging also helps the staff to serve the food more efficiently. The burger wrappers feature an image of a spatula that helps the server to place the burger correctly for easy folding. Rather than having separate wrappers for different types of burgers, BK’s new wrapper can be folded to read either “hamburger” or “cheeseburger,” cutting down on printing costs and increasing efficiency in the kitchen.

McDonald’s also departing from traditionally cluttered design

Meanwhile, McDonald’s has taken a bold step away from the design of its former bags, which featured several colors and a busy jumble of text in a variety of fonts. Their new bags display a simple of image of a hamburger on one side, with no text, and their slogan “I’m loving it,” on the reverse. The classic image of the golden arches makes only a minor appearance as a small icon in the corner of one side of the bag. A representative for McDonald’s told the Wall Street Journal that the chain is rebranding with “a fresh modern and simple look in mind, to highlight the playful icons that reflect some of our iconic menu items.”

How is your company taking advantage of the minimalist movement? How is your brand communicating a human touch, a caring and handcrafted product or service?


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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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