Love, Sydney

The fast-food giant has built its success on ideas that bubble up from anywhere. This Aussie McDonald's is emblematic of the global restaurant chain's new design direction. But how did it get to here? Take a look back at how the design of McDonald's has changed over the years.

Masters of Design

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1948 First McDonald's

The McDonald brothers reinvent their San Bernadino, California, carhop with a limited menu and an all-glass storefront that adds theater as customers watch the cooks.

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1955 First McDonald's Franchise

Ray Kroc opens a McD's in Des Plaines, Illinois, adding two attention-grabbing golden arches. "One of the original customers told me that he had to check it out to see what it was all about," says company archivist Mike Bullington.

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1962 Indoor Dining Introduced

A franchisee in Denver adds the first indoor dining room, a step beyond the "warm front" glass enclosures that Midwest and Northeast stores used around the ordering windows.

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1967 First International Store

As the company opens its first store in Richmond, British Columbia, it trades in its original burger-faced Speedee logo for one based on its already famous structure: two stylized arches.

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1968 First Mansard-Roof Style

A franchise in Matteson, Illinois, introduces the French, four-sided roof -- a signal that sit-down dining has gone mainstream. The design is replicated for two generations and imitated by McDonald's competitors.

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1971 First PlayPlace

A franchisee in Chula Vista, California, puts his own twist on the "You Deserve a Break Today" campaign, offering tired parents the first playground. It becomes a symbol for dining "democratization," Bullington says. "Just bring the whole family."

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1975 First Drive-Through

The first drive-through prototype? A franchisee in Sierra Vista, Arizona, skirts an Army regulation requiring fatigue-clad soldiers to stay in their cars by knocking out a wall in his kitchen to serve them.

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1999 The Resurgence Begins

Designer Philippe Avanzi consults on restaurant designs in Paris and later all of Europe, creating the first node of Denis Weil's newly localized design network.

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McDesigner

Denis Weil adds flair to McDonald's plate while being ever mindful of operations.

Masters of Design

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Designer Burgers: How McDonald's Has Evolved With Time

The fast-food giant has built its success on ideas that bubble up from anywhere. This Aussie McDonald's is emblematic of the global restaurant chain's new design direction. But how did it get to here? Take a look back at how the design of McDonald's has changed over the years.

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