Waitrose (full name – Waitrose & Partners) is a retail chain of several hundred supermarkets scattered throughout the UK. It is also a brand for the sale of products domestically and their export abroad. The firm was founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, David Taylor, and Arthur Rose, and in 1937 it was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership, which still owns the trademark. The origin of the first store is the Acton area in London (UK). Today the head offices are located in the English cities of Bracknell and Victoria.
Meaning and History
At first, it was just a grocery store opened in West London by three entrepreneurs. The organization was, in fact, a partnership, but after four years from the moment of its work, it ceased to be such since one of the founders left it. When the John Lewis Partnership absorbed it, it already had ten retail outlets of its own.
Then the story of ups and downs began. So, in 1944, the network increased by 12 points of sale at once. In 1951, one of the Waitrose brand stores completely switched to a self-service system. In 1955, the commercial network expanded throughout London, in the 1960s focused on the southeast region of England, and in the 1970s, nationwide expansion began throughout the country.
Moreover, the Waitrose brand was the first to open organic products and launched online shopping with home delivery. As a result, the brand became so famous that the UK population trusted its emblem. No wonder he received a warrant from the royal court to supply food and alcoholic beverages for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.
As for branding, it should be noted: initially, the chain of stores was called Waite, Rose & Taylor – after the names of the organizers. But with the departure of one of them, it changed its name to Waitrose. It was this version that became the basis of the emblem.
1904 – 1908
The first logo looked like a simple plaque listing the names of the owners of the store chain. The text was on an elongated brown rectangle and consisted of the phrase “Waite, Rose & Taylor.”
1908 – 1955
After Taylor left the business, the name was shortened to the Waitrose version, which is still relevant today. In terms of individual brand identity, almost nothing has changed. The logo looked like simple grotesque lettering on a dark background.
1955 – 1969
Since the signboard is the most important brand with real sales points, it was decided to continue to use a personal identity. There was nothing extra on the emblem – only the network’s name, executed in an uppercase font. The letters had pronounced serifs and a wide inter-character arrangement. The color scheme of the logo is monochrome and consisted of a combination of black and white.
1969 – 1987
The designers made the font massive, wide, and bold. As a result, the inscription looked large. The serifs have also been enlarged, so they have expanded significantly, turning into a kind of mini-rectangles at the characters’ ends.
1987 – 2004
The developers left, in fact, the same font but reduced the width of the letters. As a result, the lettering on the logo has become thin, graceful, and easy to read.
2004 – 2018
After the redesign, the brand received a color emblem with the name in a sleek typeface. The letters are green and completely devoid of serifs. They are elongated, clear, chopped. The main emphasis was on the “t,” which was completely missing the bottom, and the top was cut off at an angle, which made it appear sharp.
2018 – present
The undertaken update is related to the rebranding of the company. After the renaming, an addition appeared in the name: ampersand & and the word “Partners.” The designers also worked on the letters, using a different font – clean, open, thin, which quickly read the lettering. They also tweaked the color by choosing a dark olive shade. This option has one little feature that is almost invisible. The fact is that the last two letters in the added part (“R” and “S”) are slightly lower in size than the rest of the characters.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
For a brand, the most important thing is the logo’s recognition and versatility so that the name of the supermarkets is heard. Therefore, the owners settled on a simple but effective solution – a minimalistic logo consisting only of text. Some variants for Waitrose were developed by advertising and marketing agency Monotype Imaging and studio Interbrand.
Initially, the retail chain used signage, which was dominated by serif signs. But starting from 2004, a radically opposite letter was approved – smooth, chopped, from the Sans Serif category. Each logo had its writing style. The year was close to fonts such as Clarendon Wide Medium, Typewriter FS Condensed Bold, Century Schoolbook FS Regular Humanist 521 Regular, and Chantilly Medium. The color scheme is monochrome and consists of black and white (formerly) and olive and white (now).