Target’s Logo History, Affection of Bulls-eye Love

Target was initially established as a small retail store in Roseville, Minneapolis. Today, it is one of the biggest retail chain stores in the world, with thousands of outlets in the US and other countries.

At the time it was launched, Target had to struggle to make a unique place in an environment dominated by the likes of Walmart and other smaller retail chains.

So in order to become distinguishable in such an environment, it was imperative for the company to stand out, through its service, merchandise and its branding. Of course, the logo was a critical part of the company’s branding strategy.

After a lot of discussion and brainstorming of ideas regarding the name and logo of the store, Target’s team finally settled over the name “Target”, eventually coming up with the first logo of the retail store.

There is no doubt that Target has grown significantly as a retail brand with numerous branches spread in different parts of the world. The retail brand reflects bulls-eye love; the history of Target’s logo shows that the logo image revolves around an image of bulls-eye. The logo went under several modifications and the new version comprises only two red and white circles.

The first logo for Target featured a red-coloured target with three circles with white gaps between them. The typeface was in a bold italic text in black.

The shade of red in the logo was changed and replaced with a more vibrant shade of red. The typeface was shifted to the right side of the bulls-eye symbol to make the logo more effective.

Earlier, Target used to deal with apparels and groceries. Gradually, it turned into a retail giant featuring the most popular local and international brands in groceries and fashion accessories. Over the years, Target has managed to maintain its popularity among the masses as a reliable retail store.

Among several other factors, one of the major reasons for such popularity of the store is its unique logo and powerful branding strategies. In all these years, the brand’s marketing has thrived on bulls-eye love; the history of Target’s logo strongly reflects this theme through its graphical designing. In research, it was revealed that more than 80% of people in the United States are familiar with the legendary red and white bulls-eye logo of the store.

Such popularity is extremely beneficial for a brand’s visibility and success. A clear account of the iconic logo’s history is given below:

The first logo of Target was designed in 1962. It featured the red and white rings that depicted the image of an actual target on a dartboard. The name “Target” in the logo appeared in a very thick black font.

Apart from giving a distinctive identity and recognition to the brand, Target’s logo helped to attract customers through its contrasting white and red colour combination.

While this was an iconic first logo, it is possible to identify a few important flaws in it. For instance, the superimposition of the name Target over the bulls-eye interfered with the readability of the name. This could have been a disadvantage for the new company especially if the target audience could not even read the name of the company clearly. For any new company’s logo to stand out clearly in all types of communication, it is necessary for it to be clearly readable without much effort.

First Iconic Logo of Target

The Second Iconic Logo of Target

As Target expanded its business, the logo underwent modifications to reflect the growth and evolving strategies of the company. In 1968, the company modified its logo by moving the brand name outside the bulls-eye and changing its colour to white.

The size of the bulls-eye was also made smaller. While this made the brand name more clearly visible and readable, the white font colour continued to pose difficulty in readability against a white background. In response to this problem, the company soon completely removed the brand name as Target had become fairly well-established in the industry. The bulls-eye was resized to pretty much the size of the original logo.

Another logo of Target was launched in 1980. At that time, the company had successfully completed its 20 years of service and wanted to launch a brand new logo with different shades as well.

Another logo of Target was launched in 2006. This logo still had the iconic red and white bulls-eye symbol but had a different look altogether. In this version, the makers decided to change the dimensions of the logo. In the logo, you will notice that the size of the bulls-eye symbol is larger than the text of the logo.

By 2006, Target had become quite famous and popular as a brand. Target’s marketing team decided to reduce the size of the text as they felt that the vibrant red and white target symbol was powerful enough to market the entire brand as customers are more familiar with the symbol than the text in the logo.

Third Version of Target Logo

When Target Missed the Target

Target’s logo was heavily modified in 1989. This time, the company decided to remove the iconic bulls-eye. It transformed into a pure wordmark logo.

The new logo didn’t get a positive response from the customers and the team decided to replace it soon and the word mark logo lasted for a very short period of time.

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Red, white and black colours have been used for all Target logos. Black has been used for the font whereas red and white are used for the bulls-eye symbol. The earlier versions of the logo, however, featured lighter shades. Target’s logo is symmetrical and very vibrant. Over the years, Target’s logo has gone through several transformations with the text written in different bold fonts of red and black. The text has been placed below as well as right next to the bulls-eye logo.

Marketing Survey by Target

Earlier in 2014, Target’s marketing decided to conduct a small survey in New York City to find which logo of the brand was the most popular among the masses. After all, the company had experimented with several logo iterations over the years that it would be interesting to see how today’s consumers responded to the previous logo designs.

Almost 20% of people liked the first logo of the brand due to its vintage look. Around 5% voted for the second version of the logo that was created in 1975 whereas only less than 3% person of people preferred Target’s wordmark logo launched in 1989.

Target’s current logo received the maximum votes and seemed to be the most popular among them.

Final Words

Target’s minimalistic and vibrant logo design is very easy to recognize. It is used on everything including promotional campaigns, in-store layout, outside architecture and even on the shopping carts. This ease of identification and simplicity of design makes it possible for Target to replicate and incorporate its logo on any kind of marketing collateral and promotional campaign.

That is the reason travelers and customers can easily spot a nearby store outlet by identifying it with its iconic logo and can be assured of the company’s consistent service and merchandise quality.

Article contributor: PNC Logos

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