Drawing the Golden Arches

September 23, 2012

Three years ago when it was Parent Career Day, my daughter asked if I could talk about "what I do" to her kindergarten class. What I do, or graphic design, has been a bit of challenge to explain to many people.

"You design clothing?"
"No. I work with fonts and create logos, signage, posters, etc."
"Oh, you work in a sign shop and make the signs that go above buildings or on cars?"
"No,” I usually reply, "I design the them".

So to explain what I do to a group of 5-year olds, I showed them logos I've designed and then showed the children Internationally recognized logos they could relate to, like ToysRUs, Disney, and Lego.

After my short slide show, I asked the children to go to their table where I had placed dollar store packs of crayons and a white sheet of paper for each of them. I asked them if they could all draw, the Mac Daddy of all logos: the McDonald's Logo. Out of a class of 14, almost all of them took their little packs of Spiderman and princess crayons, and began drawing the Golden Arches right away. There were only 2 who didn't start drawing; one who just didn't seem to know how to put his ideas onto paper (but eventually got it) and the other who didn't understand the French version of "McDonald's". Once I pronounced it in English, he was all set to draw.

I thought the children's drawings were quite wonderful for their age. Most of them used the yellow and red and what really intrigued me was that some of the children also drew the whole signage structure that supports the MacDonald's sign. Most of their "Ms" were rounded and not one child attempted to draw the word "McDonald's" below or next to the arches. To them, the McDonald's logo is the Golden Arches. As the children were finishing their awesome drawings, another teacher strolled in to see what they were doing. One of them said with a big smile: "The lady is showing us how to draw logos; she's designed many before, like this McDonald's one."

I wish.

 The MacDonald's logo was designed by Jim Schindler in 1962.

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