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The History Of Target’s Logo


The red bullseye logo of the Target Corporation has stood out boldly among retail brands. The company has used this simple and clean, yet meaningful logo for decades. Now, the iconic design has become a recognizable symbol of quality, affordability, and an exceptional shopping experience for customers across the US.

If you’re interested in learning more about the success embedded in the Target logo history, this blog is for you. We’ll dive deep into how its logo design and branding played a vital role in where the company stands today.

Target Logo History at a Glance

Target is a renowned retail seller that provides almost everything you need under one roof. The brand is comfortably settled in the market, offering strong competition to companies like Walmart and Kroger.

But let’s take a look at the Target logos through the years. The story of Target dates back to 1902 when George Dayton initially founded the company in Minneapolis. At that time, the retail chain was called Dayton’s. It wasn’t until 1962 that the first Target store opened with a bullseye logo similar to the one we see today.

The powerful design story of Target’s logo takes off from here. The original logo consisted of three concentric red circles, resembling the look of an actual target used by marksmen on that day. The name of the company was written in black italics on top of the emblem. While the color scheme made the logo easily noticeable, the overlapping design elements made the name difficult to read.

However, it was successful at capturing the essence of the company’s commitment – hitting the mark where customers are concerned. Not surprisingly, this ideology continues to be depicted in the logo we see today.


The company redesigned its logo in 1968 to a cleaner, more streamlined version. The new Target logo separated the name and design elements. The wordmark was written in white capital letters and outlined in black. It also simplified the logo to a mere red dot surrounded by a red circle.

Since this version of the bullseye is still in use nearly 60 years later, Target’s logo and brand identity have become easily recognizable and memorable for customers. 


As Target progressed further into the retail world, the logo design and color scheme did not change that much. However, slight variations in its visual identity can be seen over the years. For example, in 1974, the lettering from the old Target logo wordmark was replaced with solid black letters to enhance legibility, and a copyright mark was added to boost credibility. 


By the turn of the century, Target wanted to bring a fresh perspective to its branding. The company created a logo with a sleeker appearance. The circles were slightly more elliptical, while the wordmark was placed below the emblem. The entire logo was now in red, embracing the minimalistic design of the new millennium. The transformation clearly reflected the company’s commitment to staying abreast with style and trends. 


In 2018, Target tweaked the logo design once again. Two major changes can be seen. The wordmark, which up until now was featured in all caps, was changed to a softer-looking lowercase font, and the bullseye was seen more often on its own. 


Why did Target change their logo?

Renowned brands like Facebook and Amazon had already implemented this style into their logos, so it was natural for Target to follow suit. More importantly, by utilizing lowercase letters, the company was able to create a more casual, friendly brand persona with the hopes of strengthening customer relationships.

Furthermore, Target dropped the wordmark from most of its digital assets, using only the bullseye image, such as on the website and app. Once again, the clean style improved the visual appeal of the logo, adopting a style that matched the expectations of its customers, streamlining the company’s visual identity for the future.

Lessons to Learn from Target’s Logo Design Elements

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of Target logo evolution, let’s take a moment to understand key features that have helped keep the emblem powerful and impactful over the years.

1. The Iconic Bullseye

Target designed a logo that clearly reflected its name. As a symbol of precision, the bullseye in Target’s logo highlights the attention with which the company targets its efforts on customer satisfaction and success. That’s why it’s been the cornerstone of the company’s logo design from the very beginning.

The basic, simple design makes the logo memorable. More importantly, it enables people to easily understand the meaning Target wants to convey through its logo. Its correlation to an actual target creates images of accomplishment and prosperity.

2. Consistent Design

Target has maintained a strong presence in the retail market, yet its design and color palette haven’t changed much over the past decades. This consistency of Target’s logo has significantly enhanced the corporation’s brand image. How has this helped the brand?

According to a Forbes study, a consistent color palette helps boost brand recognition by nearly 80%. Brand recognition means people can identify a brand based on its logo. And the more recognizable a brand is, the more likely consumers will make repeat purchases. So even though Target no longer uses wordmarks alongside its bullseye image, shoppers know the brand like they know their own name.

3. Appealing Color Scheme

While the logo has been infused with black and white elements over the years, red has been its primary color. And it’s clear why. The boldness of red creates a visually impactful brand image that stays in the minds of customers forever. But besides this, the color scheme graphically corresponds to the color of a traditional archery target, an image the corporation wants to promote.

So why has Target utilized a red-and-white color scheme since the beginning?

Red is a symbol of energy, passion, and action, while white offers a clean background to contrast with red and boost the visibility of the logo. By combining both these colors, Target developed a powerful, memorable, and visually impactful logo that resonates with its target audience. Don’t believe me? Try to find someone who cannot recall the design of Target’s logo.

4. Relatable Typography

Another design element that brings all the aspects together is the typography used in the logo. It’s simple yet bold, effectively portraying Target’s straightforward marketing approach. Furthermore, the straight, clean fonts enhance the logo’s clarity and legibility, adding to its impactful design.

Target Logo Design Ideas to Incorporate into Your Logo

If you’re just beginning to design your logo, take a moment to read the following tips. They can help you create one that is just as memorable, impactful, and powerful as Target’s logo.

1. Keep it Simple

A successful logo is easily remembered by your customers. So aim for a simple and clean design that helps make your logo instantly relatable, quickly recognizable, and creates a lasting impression.

2. Choose the Right Colors

Enhance your minimalistic design approach by choosing the right color scheme. Again, simplicity is the key. Experiment with a few colors, choosing the ones that effectively evoke the right emotions in your customers and portray your brand’s identity. To help assess which color scheme is best, go ahead and take an opinion poll from your target audience.

3. Consider Scalability

When designing a logo, make sure to keep scalability and versatility in mind. Remember, your logo will be used on different mediums, so its size should not impact the design or clarity when you scale up or down. To ensure all design elements are scalable, create a sample of the logo in different sizes.

For instance, Target’s logo remains clearly visible, no matter if it is displayed on the storefront or the mobile app. The legibility and recognizability are the same across different sizes.

4. Opt for the Right Typography

The font you use in your logo has a considerable impact on your brand’s visual identity and sets the brand’s tone. So make sure to choose typography that aligns with your brand’s personality, complements the logo design, and is easily readable, irrespective of size.

5. Evaluate Regularly

Logos are bound to change. Just look at how Target’s logo evolved over time. The corporation invested the time and money to assess its design, the impact it had on its customers, and how it performed in its marketing campaigns. However, the key is to make subtle tweaks while maintaining the logo’s core identity.

Over to You

As you already know, a successful logo requires considerable planning and great attention to detail. As we’ve learned from the Target logo history, the secret lies in creating a memorable emblem that reflects the brand. Target’s logo quickly became synonymous with affordability and style, showcasing the brand as a business that consistently hits the mark.

So, to make your logo a visual marker for your brand, find innovative ways to incorporate your brand message and identity. More importantly, build a strong presence in your industry by positioning your logo at various customer touchpoints and platforms.


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