vintage McDonald's sign by lalajean_g.

Our celebration at DuetsBlog earlier this month on passing the 10,000 unique visitor milestone in four-short months online got us thinking about Big Mac and about the iconic McDonald’s Golden Arches signage, touting and counting how many McDonald’s hamburgers have been sold or served at any given point in time. We began to wonder, ahem, should we start searching on Ebay, at garage sales, or elsewhere for some vintage McDonald’s signage that might be adapted for our admittedly more modest purposes?

For example, the above image reportedly shows a vintage McDonald’s sign from Green Bay, Wisconsin, when McDonald’s apparently was at the “over 100 million” mark. The problem, of course, with this kind of fixed sign is that it doesn’t lend itself to easy updates as one prepares for exponential growth. So, as we understand the history, McDonald’s later moved to signage that more easily could be updated by changing number panels similar to those still used in some places to price fuel at gas stations: Like “McDonald’s Over 99 Billion Served.”

Resisting comparison, of course, we nevertheless wondered how quickly McDonald’s was able to sell or serve its first 10,000 hamburgers. Unable to find an easy answer, and again, while resisting comparison, we comforted ourselves with the likelihood that even McDonald’s early pace may have outperformed us, but only after learning from the above vintage sign that McDonald’s has had the advantage of a “Speedee Service System.” Moreover, we further rationalized that we don’t have licensees and franchisees toiling away and cranking out work product for us. And speaking of work product, what we produce can hardly be considered a commodity or anything susceptible to an assembly-line process, so there.

Nowadays the McDonald’s signs seem a bit lazy and simply say: “Billions and Billions Served“. I suspect they got tired of counting, or more likely, they got tired of the repetitive and all-to-frequent sign changes.

Now, having learned from McDonald’s historical signage mistakes in aiming way too low, again and again, and given the interest that marketing and branding professionals have shown toward the use of mathematical exponents in logos (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), we are strongly considering creating some original exponential signage adopting a “Powers of 10” notation system, with 10 as the fixed base number and a gradually growing numerical exponent or integer, so at present, our slogan would read: “More Than 104 Served” or “More Than 10 to the 4th Power Served.” That way, we won’t have to change or otherwise update any signage until we grow to “More Than 10Served” or “More Than 10 to the 5th Power,” once we reach: More Than 100,000 Unique Visitors. We wonder why McDonald’s hasn’t thought of this yet for itself?

Finally, yes, we briefly have entertained the strong possibility that there are only a handful of actual readers supporting this blog with thousands of computers and IP Addresses assigned to each person, we’re simply in denial.