There Is An Actual Reason McDonald's Logo Is Yellow And Red

McDonald's, one of the world's biggest fast food chains and real estate companies (McDonald's really makes its money by owning the land on which its many franchisees are located), has undoubtedly made a giant impact on the world since its founding around the 1950s (via the fast food chain's official website). Whether or not you're a loyal customer of the burger-and-fries joint, you've likely been exposed to the brand throughout your life in one way or another. It has become a pop culture phenomenon in many ways and appeals to millions of people across generations, backgrounds, and socioeconomic classes. For one, did you know the Golden Arches are now more easily recognizable than the crucifix (per Business Insider)?

Think about the McDonald's logo for a second. Which colors pop into your mind? Bold shades of red and yellow, of course! Perhaps you figured the brand chose these colors because they resemble ketchup and mustard, condiments that are commonly added to their famous burgers. Well, as it turns out, this is pure coincidence, and there's a whole lot more to the color palette than you may realize. And it has to do with psychology, the scientific study of the human mind and its functions.

Yellow and red are attention-grabbing, hunger-inducing colors

Savvy brands have embraced the power of color to drive customers to make purchases, and McDonald's has mastered this philosophy. If you've ever noticed, McDonald's restaurants are not only physically eye-catching, but they may also trigger certain feelings in passersby. Red and yellow were tactfully chosen as the McDonald's brand colors because, according to Reader's Digest, these hues generate feelings of hunger or thirst (Hello, Coca-Cola!). This is how restaurants trick your mind.

According to color psychology (which, yes, is a real field of study), the color red is mentally stimulating and is often associated with energy and excitement, which is probably why many fast food signs are red. It has also been shown to increase heart rate, which can boost your appetite, per Reader's Digest. The color yellow, on the other hand, is linked with cheer and happiness and is also the most visible color to the human eye in daylight. This is why the McDonald's logo stands out among others. Side by side, red and yellow are a powerhouse for brands in the food and beverage space.

The concept of color psychology has become a hot topic in marketing, art, and other areas of design. Over the years, researchers have made several important discoveries and observations about the psychology of color and its effect on our moods, emotions, and behaviors, according to Verywell Mind.