This New Walmart Logo Looks AWFULLY Familiar

Is Walmart channeling Kurt Vonnegut? When Walmart unveiled its new logo last week, there was only one thing we thought of when we saw that logo.

Anyone who’s read “Breakfast of Champions” remembers that Vonnegut peppered his writing with illustrations, one of which was a drawing of his own asshole:

Sure enough, we’re not the only ones to have noticed. Terrific marketing job, Walmart!

Vonnegut.com

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  1. sahhhm says:

    Well, they are following the footsteps of a genius.

  2. The Unicorn says:

    this brightened my day so much, I can’t even tell you.

    but surely Walmart is even more highbrow than a mere Vonnegut reference — it’s probably inspired by the paintings of Joan Miro’, who used asterisk symbology in the exact same way. :)

  3. emona says:

    Seems appropriate enough.
    “This is a drawing of an asshole”
    (Slaughterhouse Five, I think… maybe it was Breakfast of Champions.)

  4. snoop-blog says:

    I guess the reason walmarts is yellow is to represent the corn that couldn’t be digested.

  5. Angryrider says:

    Americans. You can either fight against the dominance of Wal-Mart. Or bend over and cough…

  6. ElizabethD says:

    OK, thanks to Consumerist from now on I will have an uncomfortable “literary moment” every time I get near a Wal*Mart. 8-P

  7. tmed says:

    Yeah, I just can’t believe that the folks running walmart read.

    The picture probably doesn’t come through on audiobook early as well.

  8. FatLynn says:

    @emona: BofC.

  9. darkryd says:

    C’mon, guys. I hate Walmart as much as the next guy, but even this is a stretch.

    Like Vonnegut was the only person to ever use an asterisk to mean something else?

  10. fredmertz says:

    it’s a sunburst

  11. catskyfire says:

    I’m just glad they’re giving up on the giant ‘Always’, which reminded me of the feminine hygiene product line…

  12. blue_duck says:

    @darkryd: It has every same ink mark though. I think that is the point.

  13. Murph1908 says:

    Ok, they both look like asterisks.

    So Kurt has the asterisk trade marked?

    Different color, different number of points, differing connectivity in the points.

    Had I seen Kurt’s picture and Walmart’s logo a day apart, I would never even have made the connection.

  14. blue_duck says:

    @darkryd: It has the exact same ink markings. I think that’s more of the point than anything.

  15. jbrecken says:

    I like that they moved the star out of the middle of the word. I hated having to call it Wal*Mart. (I’m too OCD to be inaccurate.)

  16. hellinmyeyes says:

    I just wonder if everyone’s giving Wal*Mart a little too much credit. I buy fredmertz’s sunburst better anyway. I really doubt first that they’d have the brains to attempt it and more so that anyone could read anything positive about the company as a result. An interesting (possibly unintended) allusion, though!

  17. Manok says:

    @Murph1908:
    the walmart asshole is gaped. Much like goatse.

  18. MeOhMy says:

    As much as I appreciate a hearty Vonnegut reference, I am just not seeing it. I might even go so far as to say that if you spontaneously made the connection between that logo and the drawing from Breakfast Of Champions, you might not have properly resolved the anal stage of your psychosexual development! Be careful…soon enough you’ll start having dirty dreams about your own mother! Ain’t Freud Fun?!

    I guess I’m just glad you didn’t make a goatse comparo…although I guess I just did!

  19. monkeybot says:

    I thought “Umbrella Corporation” when I saw the new logo.

  20. Marshfield says:

    As Garth said in Waynes’ world “we fear change”. I think changing their near-iconic logo is a harbinger of other change, and likely means they are planning on raising prices.

  21. AdvocatesDevil says:

    I’m just not sure WHY they’re changing their logo, considering it’s one of the best-known “products” in the WORLD. I guess they’re trying to be “more like Target”, but just changing the sign out front really won’t do that. They’d have remodel all of their stores and change the culture inside those stores. Does anyone have a link to an article explaining this change?

  22. ChuckECheese says:

    You’re all wrong. It’s a daisy. A pretty daisy loving the sunshine of Wal-Mart’s great selection and low prices.

    /daisy

  23. Antediluvian says:

    I immediately thought of the Holiday Inn logo (one of the newer ones, not the cool older one).

  24. Anyone check out the scale? (1/100)

    That’s a big asshole! I guess it really does fit Wal-Mart!

  25. Asvetic says:

    I don’t believe Kurt Vonnegut’s asshole has received some much attention before.

  26. hc5duke says:

    @blue_duck: I’m pretty sure the 2nd Walmart logo with a black asterisk isn’t real.
    @darkryd: I agree, The 1st logo is just a generic sunburst/asterisk and looks nothing like the Vonnegut one.

  27. @Angryrider:

    Americans. You can either fight against the dominance of Wal-Mart. Or bend over and cough…

    …turn our heads and cough? Or bend over…? Maybe?

    Neither one applies to me…I fight against them. They can take our small businesses, but they cannot take…our FREEDOM!!!!

  28. asketchymess says:

    This post just gave me a flashback to high school in the Chicago suburbs circa 1987. I worked part time at a Mobil station with a very fey 200lb Korean-American dude who, in reference to an attractive customer would say, “Gurrl, I’d let him pull into my ‘Red O’ any day!”

  29. JulesWinnfield says:

    @cedarpointfan: I think that means it’s the first of 100 signed prints . . . of his asshole.

  30. Sure, there’s no influence in reality, but the visual imagery now whenever I see the (otherwise lame) logo is great.

    I imagine that Wal-Mart will care about as much as AT&T cares when people call their newish logo the “Death Star logo”. (We shall prevail!)

  31. RollOverForMore says:

    Looks like the Red Hot Chili’s logo.

  32. jackal676 says:

    The bottom logo was made to illustrate the similarity; it’s not the real logo. Goodbye Blue Monday was the secondary title of Breakfast of Champions.

  33. Shadowman615 says:

    @Murph1908: Do you mean they look like assterisks?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  34. iMike says:

    Vonnegut signed a first edition of Jailbird for me once and incorporated an asterisk into his signature. I’ve always wondered whether he was calling me an asshole or himself one.

  35. GregGates says:

    I think that this article fails.

  36. kerry says:

    A friend of mine noted the asshole similarity last week, and I immediately thought of our dear, departed Kurt. That said, it also looks like this “Third-Eye” plate design I would have bought a long time ago if it wasn’t so expensive:
    [www.poshchicago.com]

  37. youbastid says:

    @tmed: Right, because the folks running one of the largest and most successful corporations in the world (love ‘em or hate ‘em), they’ve gotta be dumb!

  38. JohnnySLC says:

    I’m with @Murph1908, you guys are retards. Hey guess what? This means that every keyboard ever made has Kurt Vonnegut’s asshole on it.

    Good job.

  39. Damn, with Wal-Mart practically printing its own money you’d think they’d come up with a better logo than….this. Very ugly.

  40. joemono says:

    S T R E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E T C H much?

  41. joemono says:

    Also, apparently [www.asterisk.org] and the Red Hot Chili Peppers both stole from Vonnegut as well?

  42. joemono says:
  43. joemono says:

    Oh look, another: [www.asterisksoftware.com]

    I guess all of these companies also did a “terrific marketing job.”

  44. evslin says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: Money can’t buy you good taste, unfortunately.

  45. chenry says:

    walmart is assholes, surprise!

  46. andynomore says:

    This will go down in the anals of brilliant advertising.

  47. BStu says:

    Really, consumerist? Really.

    And for the record, they starburst asterix is clearly meant to echo the star that’s used as a hyphen in their current logo.

  48. stupidjerk says:

    vonnegut was an inventor and a writer? who knew…

    comparing walmart* to vonnegut’s asshold could have been done with so much more humor and less wild accusation

  49. friedgold says:

    soooooo vonnegut invented the asterisk?
    that logo is fugly btw

  50. perruptor says:

    Agilent had a similar logo. I’m told it was called the “Splat of Inspiration.”

    [www.3g.co.uk]

  51. ChootinDaChit says:

    Come on guys, it’s clearly a symbolic image of the sun. Just ask any five year-old, or take a look at any given cave pictograph or petroglyph.

    ZOMG, I just realized my keyboard has an image of Kurt Vonnegut’s @$$hole right above the 8 key! IBM was so channeling his brilliance when they designed their keyboard! Puh-lease.

  52. allstarecho says:

    Wal Mart*

    *We suck, good customer service void in most stores, most everything is made in our own chinese factories.

  53. Shadowman615 says:

    @JohnnySLC: Umm, do you guys not get that this post was a joke? They don’t *really* think that Walmart intended that meaning…

  54. AlphaTeam says:

    The symbol supposably “copied” is also the Chinese character for rice, so don’t go calling people A-holes when their sunbursts looks like the Chinese symbol for rice.

  55. Alex Chasick says:

    From the new Comments Code:

    Above all, don’t be a jerk and don’t be boring. Ask yourself, is my comment boring, repetitive, or not substantively contributing to an engaging discussion? If you can answer yes, don’t hit submit.

  56. Japheaux says:

    It really doesn’t matter if Wal-Mart uses a percent sign with its name, because at the end of the day I am just a two-faced whore who will just bitch about Wal-Mart, but still shop there to save a few bucks (except for groceries). I know a lot of sheeple like me who say we hate Wal-Mart, but continually shop there–and if adding a ‘ass’terisk to their sign gets me in the door hoping for soemthing new (like may, just maybe some customer service), then go fo it. Maybe Wal-Mart execs and Kurt V. can compare their butts when they meet in hell.

  57. Counterpoint says:

    Wow, between this and the “Golden Shit”, this blog seems to be catering to frat boys more than intelligent consumers…

  58. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Maybe Wal*Mart is subconsciously pandering to tightwad consumers who want to stretch their dollar.

  59. LordofthePing says:

    At least it’s not same homage to goatse.

  60. Trying to improve the only thing at Walmart that didn’t need improvement apparently failed.

  61. @andynomore: Best post

  62. SinA says:

    Surprisingly, Wal(_|_)mart was already taken.

  63. redkamel says:

    its also an asterik so I woulndt say its anything copied
    it could have been 8==>

  64. aixwiz says:

    Actually, I think the little “sunburst” is actually representative of some of the following:

    The disappearance of American jobs
    The money vanishing from your wallet
    The hopes of a better life for their employees vanishing
    etc.

  65. thelushie says:

    I t hink it is hideous. Never mind the literary connontations.

  66. EtherealStrife says:

    It’s a well endowed cingular

  67. Maulleigh says:

    I love Mr. Vonnegut Jr. I wrote him and he wrote me back. Supposedly, he was a real sweetheart.

    I used to draw the asshole all the time in highschool after I finished Breakfast of Champions.

    Wal*Mart isn’t even worthy of being in the same blog post as Mr. Vonnegut, Jr.

  68. cinlouwho says:

    Now if it was brown…we could call it the “Brown Eye” of Walmart…

  69. parrotuya says:

    Walmart stole the smiley face too, remember?

  70. FilthyHarry says:

    New slogan: Walmart * Pucker Up

  71. ShariC says:

    This is a tremendous stretch. Both look like asterisks. Can’t the Consumerists do better than this?

  72. thewriteguy says:

    Meh. Very lame attempt at making a joke against a corporation. So now the keyboard character above the “8″ is a Vonnegut asshole, too?

  73. Citron says:

    The Walmart where I forayed as a cake decorator had a severe identity problem. They couldn’t decide whether they were Wal-Mart or Wal*Mart or WALMART or Walmart in their in-store created signage.

    I guess by making it really obvious that it’s an asterisk, using upper and lower case letters, and then moving it to the outside the word, they’ve managed to not only maintain the integrity of the word “Walmart” but also put to rest the whole “OH GOD! Is that a hyphen or an asterisk I should be using!?” issue.

    But then again, who really cares except people making jury rigged signage?

    As for Vonnegut: I don’t see it, but I’m amused. And The Sirens of Titan was an amazing novel. I cried.

  74. pattymc says:

    Yes, this comparison is a mighty stretch. Google ‘sun symbol’ and it is readily evident that this has been used for thousands and thousands of years across many cultures and civilizations to represent our beloved star .

    Whether it is meaningful to identify Walmart with the life giving sun is another matter entirely.

  75. joebobfunguy says:

    Totally different. Are we really going to find every obscure sorta resemblance out there? For people that hate Wal-Mart, we sure do spend a lot of time contemplating there name changes.

  76. jconli1 says:

    sweet Lord, how far Consumerist’s reader base has fallen.

    This site used to be full of funny, irreverent posts like this, that were meant to make “intelligent consumers” laugh (and they did). Part of having a cause is being able to laugh at the absurdity of it now and then. Remember laughter?

    Then something happened… (20/20?)

    I realize this, too, falls outside of the comments code, but I needed a reminder of why I haven’t read this site in nearly two years, and this was the perfect example. Lighten up, people! Sure the world’s run by greedy, lifeless, miserable corporate types who don’t care about you – but that doesn’t mean you have to roll over to them and become lifeless and miserable yourselves!

  77. HeartBurnKid says:

    Do you people not realize that this post was supposed to be a joke?

    I bet the chicken never really did cross the road, either.

  78. mariospants says:

    well, at least Wal Mart has an “open asshole” design. Frankly, I don’t see much connection here. Charles Schultz used the Wal Marty version in his comics since the 1950′s and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t channelling assholes.

  79. Craig says:

    I hate Wal Mart as much as the next Consumerist reader but for crying out loud, it’s an asterisk with a hole in the middle. Period. Slow news day today?

    At best you can call it an “ast-hole.”

  80. Ubik2501 says:

    Tiger got to hunt,
    Bird got to fly,
    Man got to tell himself, “Buy buy buy!”

    Tiger got to sleep,
    Bird got to land,
    Man got to keep his debt from getting out of hand.

  81. KingPsyz says:

    @Alex Chasick:

    Shouldn’t that apply to articles as well?

  82. Brazell says:

    @parrotuya: Wal*Mart’s smiley face was different from *the* Harvey Ball Smiley Face. I only know that because I live in the city where it was “invented” in.

    As for the rest of this, I don’t quite know what’s more ignorant, the main article or the wealth of comments. “LUL LUL … I CANT BELIEVE WALMET EXECS READ BOOKS HAR HAR.” “I CANT BELIEVE THAT KURT VONEGUT EVAR READ A FAMILY TREE.”

  83. ELC says:

    The connection to the logo and an anus is asinine. Did anyone think about the fact that it is probably the morphing of their old “star” in the middle of Wal & Mart?

    Anyone who thinks that looks like a rectum, or would consider that art, has definitely got something wrong in their neurons. Just b/c a stupid “artist” drew an asterik and sold it as art, doesn’t mean he’s a genius or that Walmart is copying him.

    I just laugh when people buy stuff like that, especially if they pay a lot. The people who make it are probably laughing too, thinking, “wow, that took me all of 5 seconds to make. What an idiot you are.”

  84. olblueyes85 says:

    It’s a spark. Like a spark of genius. I know I know…but that’s what it is, I promise you.

  85. JimMarch42 says:

    Walmart is clearly in arrears and will be the butt of many jokes for their use of this assterisk.