Last Updated on May 17, 2022
Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation operating a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. The corporation was founded on July 2, 1962, by Sam Walton. It’s currently headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, United States.
Walmart previously operated under several names. They include Wal-Mart Discount City (from 1962 to 1969), Wal-Mart, Inc. (from 1969 – 1970), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (from 1970 – 2018).
Walmart is one of the world’s fastest-growing retail brands. As of January 2022, the company was operating over 10,500 stores and clubs spread across 24 countries.
Now, the Walmart logo has played a crucial role in enhancing the retailer’s visual identity. This post looks at the meaning of the logo and how it has changed since Walmart’s inception.
Appearance of the Walmart Logo
The Walmart logo comprises three distinct elements – a solid blue square, a flower design, and the company’s wordmark.
The corners of the solid blue square on the Walmart logo generally appear straight. But depending on the angle at which you view the square, its corners may also seem rounded.
A stylized yellow flower is drawn to the left of the blue square. In some designs, the floral pattern appears on top of the square. The flower sports a schematic and minimalistic design.
It’s formed by combining six narrow yellow petals set at a considerable distance from each other. The six lines are creatively drawn such that their outer ends are broader and their inner ends are narrower.
According to Walmart, this iconic pattern isn’t a real flower. It’s not even a sun, star, or asterisk as some people wrongly believe. The yellow lines actually resemble sparks.
The last element on the Walmart logo is the company’s wordmark written in crisp, bold white. The wordmark is commonly set underneath the blue square. It’s written in small letters, with only the company’s initial capitalized.
The current Walmart logo utilizes three colors – deep blue, yellow or rich orange, and bold white.
Deep blue is the color for the square, whereas yellow or rich orange is used for the six sparks. White is the logo the company’s lettering appears in. Like most brands, Walmart’s logo may assume different colors depending on the surface it’s printed on.
The “Walmart” lettering on the company’s official logo is executed in a traditional sans-serif typeface. The typeface doesn’t seem to have been inspired by any preexisting fonts. So, it was likely designed exclusively for the Walmart brand. However, the font looks very similar to Myriad Pro Bold.
Myriad Pro Bold is a bold variant of Myriad, a humanist sans-serif typeface created by Robert Slimback in conjunction with Carol Twombly.
Myriad was created for Adobe Systems. It was initially released in 1992. The font is popularly used on digital displays. It was Apple’s main corporate font between April 2002 and January 2017, having replaced Apple Garamond.
Symbolism of the Walmart Logo
The yellow sparks appearing on the Walmart logo symbolize assortment and variety. Walmart implemented this design to portray itself as a retail company dealing in a wide array of products.
The sparks also signify a “lightbulb moment” for customers, as they’re likely to find the specific products or services they’re looking for at Walmart stores. Again, this has a lot to do with Walmart’s portrayal as a retailer dealing in all manner of goods.
Numerically speaking, the sparks stand for the core values that Walmart believes in. They include customer, integrity, respect, associates, service, and excellence.
When viewed in conjunction with the solid blue square, the entire Walmart logo looks casual and friendly. It portrays them as an approachable brand with a keen interest to satisfy its clients’ needs. Walmart came up with this cheerful design as a way of targeting classy, rich customers.
The “Walmart” lettering on the company’s logo serves one fundamental purpose – enhancing the brand’s visual identity.
But how did the retailer get its name? Walmart is basically a combination of ‘Wal’ from Walton and ‘mart’ as an abbreviation of market.
So, the name is a tribute to Walmart founder Sam Walton, while also communicating the brand’s ultimate objective – dominating the global retail marketplace.
Symbolism of the Colors
Blue is the color of peace and serenity. Walmart likely chose this color to signify the calmness experienced by its customers while shopping at its outlets.
The yellow or rich orange color used for the sparks resonates with happiness and energy. The color combines with blue to create a striking color palette that makes the logo memorable.
Lastly, the use of white for the company’s wordmark was likely to complement the aesthetic appeal of the blue-yellow combination.
Walmart Logo History
The original Walmart icon was introduced in 1962. It was a simple design that only featured the company’s name, which was ‘WAL-MART’. The logo appeared in blue and was executed in a sans-serif typeface. Walmart used this logo until 1965.
1965 – 1967
Walmart undertook the first redesign of its logo in 1965. The roundel disappeared, leaving only the retailer’s name in a heavy sans-serif typeface. Another notable change was the execution of the words “Discount City” to the right of the wordmark.
1967 – 1968
During this period, Walmart’s logo appeared inside rectangles. The rectangles were drawn with a thin black border. The typeface and wordmark were largely unchanged.
1968 – 1969
Walmart’s logo underwent yet another upgrade in 1968. The designers modified the proportions of the icon’s glyphs, making the letters shorter and more square-shaped.
1969 – 1970
Walmart reintroduced the roundel emblem. The company also made changes to the text in the upper and lower fields. However, the board in the middle remained unchanged.
1970 – 1975
The Walmart logo once again appeared with each of its glyphs set inside a rectangle. This period also marked changes in the logo’s colors, whereby the graphic image became white and the background black.
1975 – 1977
The only noticeable changes during this period were the implementation of a different serif and decorative dots in the middle of the letters.
1981 – 1992
Walmart decided to overhaul its company logo in 1981. The new logo utilized a regular sans-serif typeface. The space between the letters “L” and “M” became smaller. Also, the company changed its logo colors to brown.
1992 – 2008
1992 marked the introduction of the dark blue color, which would become one of Walmart’s official logo colors. Another major change was replacing the hyphen between “Wal” and “Mart” with a star.
2008 – Present
The current Walmart logo was designed in 2008 by New York-based design studio Lippincott. This is the year Walmart introduced the six yellow sparks. ‘Wal-Mart’ eventually changed to ‘Walmart.’ Besides, the company lowercased all the letters on its logo except for the letter “W.”
The Walmart logo has undergone a raft of changes since the company’s inception. But the icon has retained two fundamental attributes – simplicity and elegance.