Wal-Mart to Walmart

July 1st, 2008  |  Tags: , , ,  |  2 Comments

Well, if you needed any further evidence for my claim about Myriad, I’m happy to oblige; Wal-Mart’s new branding eschews the hyphenation and is obviously based on a certain ubiquitous typeface:

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Armin Vit is, I think, essentially right about the effect of removing the hyphen and all-caps:

[W]ith no reasoning or no explanation of what the new star burst stands for, or why the decision to change to a single word, all we have to go by is the logo that replaces the 16-year-old sans serif that was as thick and heavy as the beige boxes it adorned for so long…. The change to title case helps humanize Walmart with a name that reads more like John, Albert, Sarah or Wilbur….

It will be interesting to see how, or if, this new branding affects public perception of Walmart over time. I don’t have the sense that Walmart is a particularly image-conscious company — all of their current branding seems clumsily transparent and rhetorically amateurish to me. Will a new logo steer Walmart’s brand away from its current association with philistines who don’t mind melamine pet food?

In any case, removing the hyphen from “Wal-Mart” is far less jarring than it was when “Kmart” did the same thing. Honestly, “Kmart” seems like the name of a talking duck from a fake Icelandic children’s book: “Kmart was sad, because he had no more cookies and couldn’t play with his brothers and sisters. Suddenly, a friendly dog arrived!” “Walmart” at least looks like a string of letters that could be pronounced “wôl-märt” and might naturally occur so ordered in American English.

(via DF)