Walmart is the biggest chain of retail stores in America. Even more than that, it owns various other store brands across the world – most notably, ASDA in Britain. It doesn’t take a genius to see just how much influence the brand has over the world. And well, the corporation is amongst the most lucrative in the world.
The first store was opened in 1962 by the man called Sam Walton. Basically, he took his own name and attached ‘Mart’ to it. Some designs, in fact, portrayed the name as ‘Wal-Mart’, indicating the man behind the brand. It’s the usual practice used by the American entrepreneurs – putting their own name on the brand.
The very first brand logo was just a simple azure text. The letters were spaced out and stretched upwards, but other than that, there weren’t any specific details, such as a company symbol or some specific design choice.
By 1964, a new text design was introduced. The characters were now much tighter spaced, although they themselves changed a lot. There were now large notches on the ends of the otherwise quite thin letters. In addition to that, the font was wavy and fluid, which is an interesting combination for such a blocky text design.
The last touch was the addition of dash between the letters ‘L’ and ‘M’. Although they didn’t add this initially, the company couldn’t get rid of this little element past this point.
For a few years in the 60s, the logo was this black writing split in two parts. The first, properly styled, said ‘Wal-Mart’ (all in uppercase), and the other was scaled down to fit the height of the first part. This element said ‘Discount City’ (also in uppercase).
They were right side-by-side, which meant the second part was barely visible. But the text overall was similar, and the writing was equally stretched vertically in both cases.
In 1967, Walmart tried putting their name into several separate squares – the design they used in some cases until 1991. Basically, it used the 1965 design, but without the second part of writing. In addition, the letters of the first part were put inside the white squares with thin outline.
Actually, they were rectangles, because the designers had to account for the distorted height of the characters.
It was only in 1968 that the designers change the proportions of the letters, which allowed them to instead sit inside the proper squares. Basically, the characters were cut in height, but the overall design stayed as it was.
For some time, Walmart used the 1964 logo (a circle-rectangle combination) with some altered text. The top now said ‘We sell for less’, instead of ‘Everything for less’, and there was an addition to the bottom part. It now said ‘Satisfaction guaranteed… by refund of exchange’.
In 1970, they just took the square design and lengthened the letters a bit, again. However, the colors were also reverted. The squares were now black, while the letters turned white. They played with this style for some time since then.
In 1975, for instance, they removed the squares in favor of just a uniform black rectangle. In addition, the font of the letters changed to a more stylistic approach. It wasn’t just a plain style, but the parts of the letters waved, twisted and there were many rectangular shapes on the ends of the letters.
For 1981, they basically took the letters from the previous version and repainted them darkish blue. The rectangular background vanished, but there were no other additions or changes.
There were several minor variations throughout the 60s and 70s, but the 1968 variant was used most of the time. Since 1981, it was simultaneously used with this one, however.
The layout is very similar to the 1964 attempt, although the font is now much plainer than before. They removed all the excessive notches, waves and other unnecessary details. In their place, the designers put just the straight lines and mostly right angles.
The color was also replaced with light brows, while before it was black or white.
By 1992, both previous incarnations have already been fully scrapped in favor of the new design.
Stylistically, the text was incredibly similar to the 1981 design, although the letters were turned deep blue now. And in addition, the dash was replaced with a five-tip star, which in the end acted as a middle-ground between dash and no dash.
By 2008, a new logo was introduced. Where most of the previous designs were fully uppercase, this design also features lowercase letters. The font is still rather plain, even though it’s now thinner and much lighter.
In the same time, the dash and all its substitutes were completely removed, and both parts of the word were glued together into ‘Walmart’, as we know it now. The designers also added a new symbol to the right of the main logo – 6 yellow lines placed in intervals in a circular shape. For most people, it looks like the Sun.
Although most people would agree that the now-iconic Walmart symbol looks resembles the Sun, it was actually thought of as a collection of sparks. They are meant to resemble ideas and creativity of the Walmart bosses and other employees. But don’t delude yourself, it’s just the bosses.