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176. Wal-Mart Identity Redesign.

walmart.jpgThe Memphis Business Journal is reporting that a new Wal-Mart prototype store is being proposed in the area. And although this is interesting by itself, hidden in the article is the mention of a new logo. I must admit, that I do not shop at Wal-Mart – and oftentimes refer to it as the Great Wal of China. Actually, you would be hard-pressed to find someone more against their way of doing business. However, a new logo for one of the largest (the largest?) retailers in the world is big news. The article describes the logo, “The new logo featured on the store will read "Walmart" written in white letters on an orange background, followed by a white starburst, according to new documents submitted to the OPD by Wal-Mart this week. Documents also show its corporate logo in blue letters followed by an orange starburst. Wal-Mart's new corporate logo will officially be unveiled next week...” Unfortunately, I have no idea who is responsible for the identity update. NOTE: The BrandNew folks think it might be New York-based Lippincott. (They were the team behind Delta Airline's recent and excellent branding work.)


Generally, I think Wal-Mart’s brand reputation will have more to do with their corporate behavior and less to do with their new identity. Specifically however, there are a number of changes. Gone is the hyphen/star in their mark. Gone is the red/white/blue color palette. And gone is the all caps type treatment. In place of all that is a safe, ‘we’ve seen it before’ revision into a mainly lowercase sans serif typeface with a happy little asterisk as a sidekick. Boring, safe, predictable and definitely not interesting in any meaningful way. It is the perfect summation of a hundred mediocre identity revisions we’ve seen over the last few years. And probably what you’d expect to buy, if you bought branding at a store like Wal-Mart. (Or Buy-n-Large.) It is somewhat friendlier and less monolithic, so it is not without merit just void of anything remarkable.

The asterisk has been used well in Wal-Mart's 'Spend Less. Live More.' television and collateral campaign over the last year or so, though only as a graphic completely separate from the brand mark. This broadcast work is being done by one of the best ad agencies in the country, Martin out of Richmond,VA and is extremely smart and well-produced. It will be interesting to see how the new mark is used across all mediums once introduced officially.

(Imagery courtesy of The Business Journals and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)

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Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for doing a post about Walmart! Where else could I buy my children's "Made In China" clothes, toys and accessories? The new logo makes me want to shop there even more!! The starburst is so friendly and inviting!
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSummer
oh, you're funny. ha.
July 3, 2008 | Registered Commenterjj
At first I thought that Martin Agency TV spot was rubbing it in how Wal-Fart has replaced all the "mom & pop" small-town stores across America the father and son were driving past.
July 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris
So cute. Walmart*, much harder to hate a company with a nice, soft, friendly logo like that. Argggggggggg!
July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterclint mcfarlin

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