The smiley face is completely dead, but now so is the hyphen and the ‘battleship’ blue color scheme.

According to Clusterstock:

Now that Wal-Mart (WMT) is everyone’s favorite stock pick (including Jim Cramer’s), the company will try to shed its dowdy image with this new logo.

The news first came out when a Shelby, Tennessee store builder blabbed that he was instructed to affix Wal-Mart’s new logo to a recently built chain outside Memphis.

Wal-Mart has yet to ‘officially’ announce the move to the new look, but sources in the Wall Street Journal article are saying it will be made public later this week.

The big change will consist of Wal-Mart dropping the hyphen/star and becoming a one-word brand. The color scheme, formerly described as ‘battleship blue’ (does it get more patriotic than that?), will now be ‘burnt orange’ with a sunburst logo at the end.

(Wal-Mart in its current incarnation)

I love the quote that the WSJ used from Chip Saliba, the Tennessee planning and development manager who blabbed about the new logo:

“They have had the most dull, boring signs for 30 years,” Mr. Saliba said. “The new one is kind of funky looking, but I like it,” he added.

Setting aside the fact that the old boring design featured a large yellow, 70s-style ‘peace and love’ smiley face, I’m pretty sure going from blue to ‘burnt orange’ doesn’t constitute funky at all. Neon pink and psychedelic Magic Eye posters would be more conducive to the phrase.

But what about the hyphen? Was it slowing people down too much? In this age of instant gratification and lightning-fast internet connections, was stopping to pause in the middle of Wal . . . Mart too much of a drain on up-beat, ultra-thrifty consumers? I really hope some enterprising reporter takes the ‘Wal to task on this issue in the upcoming new logo press conference.

These are the issues the American people are concerned with.

WSJ: Wal-Mart Plans New Logo To Update Image, June 28, 2008

Clusterstock: Wal-Mart Sick of Boring Logo, Loses Hyphen Adds Exciting Sunburst, June 30, 2008