Love or hate them, McDonald’s golden arches are arguably the world’s most recognisable logo. And the thought of them being no more is weirdly, well, unsettling. But surely the fast food giant wouldn’t mess with its famous ‘M’ design, would it?

The arrival of a very cryptic, out-of-the-blue post on McDonald’s UK’s Instagram account yesterday suggests maybe it would. In a very short animation on Instagram(opens in new tab), a new spaced out logo bounces back in to the original design we are all so familiar with. But surely this isn’t a permanent change? If so, we’re not sure it would make our pick of the best logos(opens in new tab) of all time.

The whole thing has sent McDonald’s fans into a frenzy, with many trying to decipher the cryptic code. And there’s a bunch of wild guesses doing the rounds, mostly about various items people want to see back on the menu (remember the Chicken Legend?).

The most sensible suggestion so far is the link to Happy Meals, with the new design an exact replica of the current Happy Meal box handles. “If this isn’t the launch of an adult happy meal, I’ll be soooo disappointed,” one Instagram user said.

We racked our brains for any clues from the animation’s accompanying soundtrack, which we finally identified as Oh Yeah by Yello! from the 1986 cult classic Ferris Buller’s Day Off!, but alas, we’ve got nothing.

If this was just the animation, we’d be less likely to think the logo was actually changing. But the fact that McDonald’s has updated its Instagram profile picture to the new design suggests whatever this is, it’s clearly a pretty big deal. We’d be very surprised if this new spaced out M was a permanent logo move for McDonald’s, mainly because if it was planning on replacing the existing golden arches, we’d like to think it’d be a bit more bold with the design. Whatever’s going on, McDonald’s clearly know the value of its logo, and that any alteration is going to attract a lot of attention.

About the Author: pascau

I am an award winning professional graphic designer with over two decades of experience in print and online media. I work for clients around the globe from my dedicated creative environment located in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec.