When discussing the power of design, it is crucial to reify the concept of graphic design and examine its impact on our everyday endeavors and interests.
One store that exemplifies this effect is Target. The store design, embedded with bright lights and wide aisles, was inherited from its predecessor, Dayton’s Department Store. Dayton’s had the uncanny ability to hear and understand its clients, and give them an experience of entering a world that anticipates and meets their needs, consequently earning their praise.
This business savviness has continued in Target’s strategic plan, and can be recognized ubiquitously through the ways in which the products are presented, the lighting, the pricing, and of course the iconic bullseye logo.
First unveiled in 1968, Target’s popular and all-encompassing telltale logo has become one of the most revolutionary and recognized symbols in the field of graphic and commercial design. Furthermore, the logo underwent various transformations throughout the years, with an ongoing debate among executives about the number of rings that should appear in the bullseye symbol. In its initial form, the logo had three rings, with the word “Target” in the middle.
Over time, the design changed to the title alone without the bullseye.
However, from 2006 onward, due to the demand of the store’s clients (corroborating the notion that Target listens to its customers), the logo was changed back to the target symbol, this time with two rings, and has remained as such until today.
The evolution and formation of corporate and commercialized logos is one of the most fascinating and prominent topics in Modern culture. Over the years, Target has become a cornerstone of the US retail economy. Its logo shows that a revolutionary graphic design can be simple and yet still innovative, with the ability to trigger emotions in those that see it, this particular logo signalling a sense of arrival at a certain destination (qua “hitting the target”) and positive achievement. The simplicity and symmetry of the logo is easy to remember and the hyper-realistic presentation of the bullseye creates an atmosphere of an “everything is possible” reality – an emblem of the American dream. Thus, even within our industrial, capitalist world consumers can find designs that give them a sense of satisfaction , creating a utopian, alternate reality that they can step into and feel like they are free.