Following the invasion and the war in Ukraine, McDonald’s withdrew from Russian territory. Its 850 restaurants will be gradually taken over by a millionaire – already the owner of several licenses – who will now offer almost the same menus, under a new name and a new logo with Russian sauce.
McDonald’s, symbol of the opening of Russia
The arrival and then the withdrawal of McDonald’s in Russia are the mirror of international relations between two ideologies. A symbol par excellence of American capitalism, the house of the Big Mac first settled in the Soviet Union in 1990, just after the end of the Cold War and before the implosion of the USSR, shortly after the arrival of Coke. -Cola. To mark this new understanding between two formerly enemy empires, the Moscow McDonald’s will then be the largest in the world. The menus are produced from locally produced ingredients and keep the local economy going.
Many globalized Western multinationals then followed in the footsteps of the burger giant by also opening their doors in Russia: Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC, Zara… 32 years later, following the war against Ukraine, most of these brands close their doors and then leave the territory.
Ronald or Uncle Vanya?
In May 2022, after 3 months of temporary closure, McDonald’s decides to permanently close its 850 restaurants, thus drawing a line under almost 10% of its global turnover. A few days after the announcement of the temporary closure, Josh Gerben notices that a businessman has just registered a logo for a local fast food restaurant that does not yet exist, “Uncle Vanya”, contenting himself with turning the arch M 90° into a yellow B on a red background (letter V in the alphabet Cyrillic, for Vanya). The Russian government did not suppress, but supported such initiatives by publishing a decree allowing Russian residents or companies to use without consequences patents and trademarks of “countries hostile to Russia”.
A new logo for a new Russian McDonald’s
the new Russian McDonald’s, which ultimately has neither the right to use the name nor the colors, is called “Vkusno i tochka”; “Delicious, period”. As when they first opened in 1990, Muscovites lined up to taste these burgers, now “same, but different” so that customers “not notice any difference in ambiance or taste” like the wishes the new local director.
At first glance, one could perceive a silhouette of the letter M, a second reading could suggest that we are dealing with two fries and a drop of ketchup.
If the employees and the distribution chain continue to serve the same or almost the same burgers, it will be without the original colors or the Big Mac, whose recipe is registered, and which were finally protected. The new slogan of the Russian Mc Donald’s announces that “the name changes, but the love remains”. Goodbye yellow, red and large arch in m, hello white packaging. Ketchup (burger?), fries, fries, the logo looks like a Bauhaus logo, revamped from Josef Albers’ Archetype typeface.
Research for a “universal typography” by Albers, 1926
On the boxes of sauces, the McDonald’s logo is simply censored in black marker. Like what, we can not copy everything.
Note the clever use of “burger menu” on the mobile version of their website. The usual icon being hijacked to turn into 3 small fries, including one with a drop of ketchup!