There we are then. Goodbye Sans-Serif-of-doom-with-star-in-middle and yellow-smiley-face; it's a new day at Wal-mart ... sorry, Walmart ... as the retail Colossus refreshes its look
Refrresh is a good word for it. The look of the old look can be best summed up by what a writer in The Wall Street Journal said:
Part of Wal-Mart's continuing effort to update its once-dowdy image, the new logo for signs and building facades includes white letters on a burnt-orange background followed by a white starburst, according to an artist's rendering that the company filed recently with planning officials in Memphis, Tenn.
"Dowdy" is just the right word for it too. Walmart has many images in the minds of many USAans of as many political and economic stripes, but one thing "Wally-world"'s corporate identity could ever be accused of is being overly stylish. At best, generic; a heavy, nondescript sans-serif that bears down upon the viewer just as the clean, big-box style of building seems to bear down upon you as you walk up to one.
Go ahead. Go on in. What choice do you have ... you've come this far, yes?
But a bit of teal and a bright yellow starburst (sunburst? Asterisk flying apart?) soften the feeling quite a bit, actually:
Image hotlinked from Wikipedia.
Man, am I phoning it in today.
There actually is style to this. The mixed case and the merging of the historically separated word-parts is more befitting a friendly neighborhood retailer than a corporate behemoth. WAL-MART is a titan, astride the USAan landscape, kicking commercial ass and taking commercial names. "Walmart" is a friendly acquaintance. The "heartless asterisk" is a bright cheery thing, but comes close to being asterisky-enough that you want to start looking for the footnote.
The real creditable bit of style comes in the type. Note how, at the lower corners of the "W" and the "a"s, there is an identical curve. This is a touch that, like the Dude's rug, ties the whole room together and unifies the type in the design. This is subtle cleverness.
All the same, Walmart's new logo reboot will probably result in a lot of scratched heads and a lot of shrugs. Walmart being the loaded topic that is is in the USA today, many will see the rebranding as a cynical attempt at messagesmithing. Walmart's legion of loyal customers will probably like it. It's not world shattering, though. But it is, visually speaking, a whole lot more pleasant than their old look, so we'll give credit where due: it's an appropriate and timely update.
Other notable notes:
- Faith in Honest Doubt with a trenchant take
- Underconsideration's Brand New Blog
- WallStreetFighter asks "What to think of it?"
- And WalMartWatch, a critical site, has an "unofficial" logo design contest. Lover? Hater? The prize is essentially bragging rights, web display, and a t-shirt, but the contest closes on the 9th.
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