The most noticeable aspect of Burger King’s new aesthetic is the green, red, and brown line scheme. When one looks at a Burger King burger wrapper or bag, there is a distinct and space-occupying presence of three color-coded lines: green on the top, red in the middle, and brown on the bottom. The color scheme is almost brilliant in its minimalistic approach. It is easy to see, even though the colors appear in three bars, that Burger King is using color to represent food. In this case, the green, red, and brown represent ingredients in a Burger King burger: the green represents the lettuce, the red represents the tomato (or ketchup), and the brown represents the burger. When view as a tri-colored unit, the observer is quickly able to discern its similarity to a cooked Burger King burger. One of the reasons Burger King used this minimal, tri-color approach is that its core audience and all potential consumers can interpret the underlying message. Color, and in this case its likeness to food, can be interpreted across national borders and across language barriers. Therefore, Burger King is able to print the majority of its bags and burger wrappers for a reduced cost while maintaining a unified brand message throughout the world.
Burger King’s move to make color the central aspect of its new design system also plays a role in consumption and attracting the consumer. Along with the green, red, and brown that appear on Burger King burger wrappers and bags, the company uses yellow, orange, and red on its French fry and drink containers. Yellow, orange, and red have long been associated with creating a hunger response in the viewer. Therefore, Burger King has implemented a design system that triggers hunger and is designed in a way that reminds the observer that a Burger King burger has the ability to satisfy that craving. It should also be noted that a curved yellow line with a red tip adorns Burger King’s French fry containers. This line first seems to resemble a multi-colored smile, but then reveals itself to be a French fry with ketchup. This is another ingenious minimalistic design because it associates happiness with food while simultaneously triggering a hunger response.
One of the biggest problems with Burger King’s new design system is that the bags are a boring brown, a brown in the style of recycled paper. While environmental responsibility is important (and it is a hot topic in the business world today), Burger King’s recycled bags, which serve as the canvas to the above mentioned tri-colored line scheme, remind the consumer of cheapness. This is bad for Burger King because it associates cheapness with food quality, which could serve to deter some consumers from eating at Burger King. On the other hand, Burger King might want this association because it might remind consumers that Burger King is an affordable (or cheap) option for satisfying hunger.
Finally, it should be mentioned that Burger King makes good use of keywords in its new design system. The new system uses keywords such as “best,” “fresh,” and “flame-grilled.” Moreover, one version of Burger King’s new bags features the phrase “Bags of flavor flavor flavor flavor” in all capital letters. In all of these examples, the keywords appear in large font and in the bold colors mentioned above. These words draw the audience’s attention and reinforce through text the messages communicated by Burger King’s new color scheme. Ultimately, Burger King’s new design system skillfully communicates the products Burger King can offer consumers, reduces manufacturing costs, and uses color to give the consumer an incentive to purchase Burger King products.