Kohl’s Logo

Kohl's Logo
Kohl’s Logo PNG

Kohl’s is a U.S.-based department store chain operated by a corporation of the same name. It started with a humble corner that sold groceries. Its first store location was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is now headquartered in Menomonee Falls of the same state, and the chain has about 1,160 commercial locations. The founder of this major American company is Maxwell Kohl, a migrant with Polish roots. He built his first supermarket in 1946.

Meaning and History

Kohls Logo History
Evolution of the Kohls Logo

Even though the official year of the appearance of the chain of grocery stores is considered 1946, their origins go much deeper – in 1927. That’s when a Pole created a retail outlet that sold various food items and standard household goods. But he did not stop there and went on to become more successful. After opening a supermarket in 1946, the entrepreneur decided to enlarge his business, and in 1962 he became the owner of the chain.

In 1972 the controlling interest was taken over by British American Tobacco, but the Kohl family was still in charge. At the end of the 70s of the last century, the trading company was purchased by BATUS Corporation. In 1992 a group of investors made Kohl’s a public chain. The company has been actively developing, opening new stores, and expanding its range all this time. In 1986 it had 40 department stores, and then in two years added another 27 stores. During the 2000s, the chain covered 49 states.

In addition, the brand introduced progressive technologies. For example, it launched its card system, QR code payments, and Apple Pay. Its assortment also became broader: it included not only groceries but also food, jewelry, clothing, and so on. Kohl’s pays a lot of attention to visual identity. To strengthen its position on the market, the brand hired the advertising agency DeVito/Verdi from New York, which worked out its image down to the last detail. The department stores had four different types of emblems that also acted as signage throughout their existence.

1946 – 1962

Kohl's Food Stores Logo 1946

Although the company was called Kohl’s Food Stores, the logo featured only one word, “kohl’s.” However, the logo’s association with the founding family remained unchanged despite changing status and department store owners. The inscription was written in lower-case bold type. The only thin element was the upper right stroke “k.” A large apostrophe of unusual shape was between the “l” and the “s.” It looked like a vertical trapezoid, turned slightly diagonally. The last letter was far from the others, so the distance between it and the other characters was greater.

1962 – 1979

Kohl's Department Stores Logo 1962

After the change of owners, the brand underwent its first redesign, after which its symbols changed dramatically in style. According to the English spelling, the first letter in the lettering was transferred to the upper case, while the others remained in the lower case. All the characters were serifed, and the “K” and “s” were also serifed. The inscription was slanted, almost entirely coherent, as the letters were joined together. A space was preserved only between the “o” and the “h.”

The last character in the word “Kohl’s” exceeded the lower border and took two lines. Under the main name of the brand appeared its second part – “Department Stores.” The word combination was located at the bottom and written in the fine print. The apostrophe became classic and distinct. The entire text was white. A black rectangle served as the background.

1979 – 1983

Kohl's Department Stores Logo 1979

The next facelift of the new look brought an intricate logo. Instead of typewritten characters, it was written in cursive but without italics because the stroke was strictly vertical. The word “Kohl’s” took the form of a personal signature to give the impression that the chain of stores was personalized and owned by one individual rather than a group of businessmen. This gave customers more confidence in the stores and took the company to a higher level of development.

The letters in the logo were thin, large, sans serif. The main emphasis was on the looping writing style: all characters had loops except for the “s.” The “K” was the uppercase and largest, extending beyond the bottom line. At the bottom was the second part of the brand name, made in typewritten type. The developers removed the dark background, so they repainted the text in black to contrast well with the white space.

1983 – 1987

Kohl's Logo 1983

The changes in 1985 were significant. As a result, the management of the chain of stores approved a radically different logo. The word combination “Department Stores” disappeared from it as the brand became widely recognized. This allowed the owners to shorten the inscription and make the logo universal to denote the brand and the company. The emblem now represented broad printed letters, without a solid fill, with a bold outline.

1987 – today

Kohl's Logo

A new logo Kohl’s, namely the letters, was given a solid cherry color filling where the outline was. Now it is used everywhere – in marketing, signs, labels, and business papers. The word “Kohl’s” is typed in broad printed characters with the same inter-letter space between all the characters. The apostrophe does not look like a comma but like a bold dot with a miniature stroke at the bottom.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

Kohl's Emblem

The retail chain’s identity has evolved from a simple form to… simple. It had the most complex look between the debut and the current logo. This is due to the composite name, which contained several words.

Kohl's Symbol

While the early versions of the logo used a thin typeface, the current version is in a very bold and squat Helvetica family font. The current Kohl’s logo palette consists of a combination of white and burgundy #800033. It was first used in 1985, and before that time, black and white monochrome prevailed.