Walmart was originally founded as a small chain of retailers in 1945, but its low prices quickly attracted customers. The company is now the largest supermarket company in the world, and they are known for selling furniture, clothes, tools, food, electronics, and almost everything else. Over the years, the Walmart logo has changed several times, to better represent their image. To find out the reasons behind Walmart’s current logo design, keep reading this article. We will share details about the interesting past of the Walmart logo.
Logo Design Elements
Walmart’s current logo features both a wordmark and an image. On the right side of the logo are six yellow dashes arranged in a circle. The narrower ends of the dashes point inwards, and the thicker end goes outwards. This creates an image similar to a flower, sun, or star, and Walmart calls it “the spark.” On the left side is the brand name, “Walmart,” in blue letters.
The font is similar to the classic Myriad Pro font. This is a sans-serif font that primarily uses even thicknesses, but the lines narrow slightly along the curves of the As, Ms, Rs, and Ts. The graphic designers responsible for the logo also made some changes to customize the font. Most of the tips of the letters end in a blunt, straight line, but the lower tips of the W and the A gently curve out into a point.
Changes and Evolution
When the company was first founded, the original logo said “Wal-Mart,” and it did not have any accompanying image. This sort of logo was used from about 1964 to 1992, with only a few minor changes. Starting in the early 1990s, Walmart changed to a logo that used a star instead of a standard hyphen, to create a more exciting logo. This logo remained consistently in use until the spark logo was unveiled.
Until 1981, Walmart did not have any specific color associated with their logo. They just used a basic black on white design. This changed when the company switched to a trendy brown color that made them look responsible and reliable. By the 1990s, brown looked bland and out of date, so the logo was changed to its classic blue color. Navy blue was a key color in Walmart branding for years, but this changed in 2008 when the blue of the logo was lightened slightly.
Walmart’s first font had all-capital letters with exaggerated, arrowed serifs, and this was called “The Frontier Font.” The logo became simplified when it adopted the classic bold, sans-serif font in the 1980s. The same font showed up in both the brown and blue logos. It was eventually updated to a lower case font when the spark logo was created.
Walmart’s decision to change their logo so drastically in 2008 was part of a company-wide push to look friendlier and less corporate. The company was getting a bad reputation due to its unethical business practices, so they needed a logo that looked youthful, cheerful, and approachable.
Using lowercase lettering results in a more casual and less intimidating sign, while retaining the capitalized W and sedate blue color scheme helps ensure that the logo still looks reliable. The organic flower or sunburst shape that replaced the geometric star further increases the Walmart logo’s casual appearance.
- The color for Walmart’s new logo is actually the color used in the old logo for Sam’s Club, which is a bulk retail store run by Walmart.
- Changing the logo on all stores is a massive and expensive undertaking. Almost a decade after the spark logo was created, rural Walmart storefronts still have the star logo.
- Most people know that Walmart’s name is a shortened form of founder Sam Walton’s name, but many are surprised to learn that Walmart was originally called Wal-Mart Discount City.
The versatile design of the Walmart logo makes it suitable for appearing on everything from giant billboards to small product labels. Its casual and friendly appearance may help customers forget that Walmart is a huge corporation, yet the logo still looks responsible and trustworthy enough to attract long-time shoppers. Walmart’s upgraded logo has done an excellent job of carrying out the company’s marketing goals.
Recommended Read: Baskin Robbins Logo Design History and Evolution