The design of McDonald's restaurants is in fact a hangover from a relatively short-lived architectural fad in America called "googie." In the 1950s, with sci-fi now a thing and rumors swirling that we might have a crack at visiting the Moon, an optimistic American public became obsessed with making everything look like the world from The Jetsons. Suddenly, corporate America went all plastic and neon, with buildings covered in glass and tacky domes and big arches.
Los Angeles Conservancy
Jet packs: failed prediction.
People still eating greasy, frozen maybe-meat because it's "cheap and easy"? SPOT THE f**k ON.
But in the 1960s, the fashion began to wear off as buildings began to look like shoeboxes again, and McDonald's decided to tone down their design. That's when they hired Louis Cheskin. He was a big-deal marketing consultant, the guy who made margarine popular by dyeing it yellow like butter and made Marlboro cigarettes popular by selling them as manly. What we're saying is this was a guy who made Don Draper look like a stoned kid handing out strip club fliers.
Cheskin argued strongly in favor of McDonald's keeping the Golden Arches, because even though they were becoming corny and retro, the important thing was that they look like a big set of yellow tits.
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The real Happy Meal.