McDonald's is known for its bold, playful and often illustration-led packaging design. But what if it was even more, well, bold, playful and ilustration-led? A stunning graphic design project imagines a more sustainable future for the Happy Meal, and we wish it was real.
Regina Lim's 'Magical Forest' project is a beautifully cohesive series of designs that incorporates storytelling, illustration and even AR and origami to create a much more playful set of packaging. (Check out our best Illustrator tutorials if you're inspired to create your own packaging design.)
"This Happy Meal aims to be more sustainable compared to the original Happy Meal by removing all plastic packaging and plastic toys," Lim explains the project's Behance page (opens in new tab). "Educational elements like infographics and AR elements are printed on the undersides of the packaging, making it educational and interactive. The Happy Meal toys and display animals can be used to interact with the packaging - leaving no part of this packaging to go to waste and eliminating single-use packaging that turns into trash after consumption."
Not only does the concept maximise the materials by printing a backdrop for the delightful tree 'toys' on the packaging itself, but it also looks stunning. We're loving the traditional hand drawn style and muted pastel palette, which wouldn't look out of place in a Studio Ghibli film – and is a welcome change from the bright reds and yellows of McDonald's' traditional packaging.
absolutely falling out of my chair over this student rebrand of mcdonalds happy meals!!!!! pic.twitter.com/kTskUNYOCQNovember 8, 2021
And it seems Lim's work is making waves online, with Twitter users heaping praise on her designs. "McDonald's doesn’t even deserve this level of craftsmanship and artistic care. So insanely nice!" one user tweets, while another adds, "McDonald's give this student a scholarship or a job immediately."
While McDonald's has recently revamped its packaging, the official designs arguably aren't a patch on Lim's stunning Magical Forest concept. If you're inspired to embark on your own project, check out the best laptops for graphic design.