The well-known and established greetings card company Hallmark has a long and interesting history. It is a company that has evolved since it was founded, and the company’s brand image reflects the changes. One element of the brand image that has changed over the years is its logo. Here are a company overview and a look at the history of and the story behind the Hallmark logo.
An Overview of Hallmark
Hallmark is the oldest and largest manufacturer of greetings cards in the United States. It is a private, family-owned company that was founded by Joyce Hall in 1910, and its headquarters are in Kansas City, Missouri. The company eventually expanded its range of products beyond greetings cards, and they began manufacturing gift wrap, stationery, ornaments, and party goods. Hallmark then expanded its range further in 1987 when they acquired Binney & Smith, and they later changed this company’s name to Crayola.
Since 1951, the company has also been involved in television and produced the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. They were also involved in the Odyssey Network, a joint venture with The Jim Henson Company. Hallmark replaced the Odyssey Network with the Hallmark Channel in 2001. Over the years, Hallmarkhas made various acquisitions to expand the company significantly. Some of their acquisitions have included British companies, such as Creative Publishing and Valentine & Sons. Now, the company remains in the hands of the Hall family. Donald J. Hall Jr. is the Executive Chairman, and David E. Hall is the Executive Vice Chairman. Mike Perry is the President and CEO of the company.
The Original Company Logo
Hallmark’s original logo was introduced in 1910 when the company was founded. At that time, the company was called Hall Brothers, which is reflected in the logo that uses the wording ‘Hall Bro’s.’ In the early days of the company, they operated on a door-to-door basis selling their cards. It was a simple design in black and white, with the word ‘Hall’ in a fancy text, with the bottom of the last ‘l’ forming a black swirl below the word ‘Hall.’ In the black swirl, white lettering spells out the word ‘BRO’s’ in capital letters. The company used this logo until 2017.
Changing the Brand Name and the Logo
In 1917, the company changed its name from Hall Brothers to Hallmark. They wanted to retain the company’s family name, and the addition of the word ‘mark’ to the end of their name refers to the hallmark stamps used on high-quality jewelry. Using this terminology was intended to create a company image of good quality products. When the company changed its name, it also changed the logo. Therefore, 1917 was the first time a company logo appeared with the name Hallmark. They retained some aspects of the original design, such as using a simple black and white color scheme. However, other elements of the design changed completely. The word ‘Hallmark’ was written in sand serif type, while the word Cards below had serifs, says 1000 Logos. The C and S’s bottom tips at the beginning and end of the word are connected by a line that underlines the word. All the text is encased in a border, on top of which is a basic crown design. The crown is completely different from the crowns used in later Hallmark logos. This logo was used alone until 1923, and then alongside an alternative logo until 1949.
The Alternative Logo
Between 1923 and 1949, Hallmark also used an alternative logo alongside the main logo on their greeting cards. It simply said ‘Hall Brothers’ in upper case to reflect the company’s family history. The word ‘Hall’ was written on an upward slant and underlined. The letter ‘B’ in brothers is larger than the rest of the word’s letters and interlinks with the underline below the word Hall. The word ‘brothers’ is written horizontally, and it is also underlined.
The 1949 Logo
Hallmark changed their logo once again in 1949. They retained the font type of the alternative logo used between 1923 and 1949 but changed the wording to ‘A Hallmark Card.’ This was written horizontally and underlined with no images.
Adding the Crown in 1952
In 1952, the iconic Hallmark crown appeared for the first time. By this point, the word ‘Hallmark’ was used alone on the logo, and the wording was a handwritten font that was designed by a New York-based team led by Andrew Szoeke. It was also Szoeke that designed the crown, and he began work on the design in 1949. The crown used in the logo is a five-point crown, although it is slightly different from the one used in the current Hallmark logo. Each of the points of the crown has a curved design with rounded tips. The crown’s bottom edge is curved, below which there is an oval that gives the crown depth. This logo was in place when the company changed its name once again in 1954, and it became Hallmark Cards, Inc.
The Current Hallmark Logo
The most recent update of the Hallmark logo came in 1977, and it is this logo that is currently in use by the company. Unless you look closely, there are very few differences between the current logo and the one sued in the 1950sw, says Good Logo. For example, they retained the same font style used in the previous logo, although they made it a little lighter. In the new logo, the crown remained the main image. However, they made slight amendments to its design. Instead of having curved and rounded points, the five-point crown now features straight-edged points with sharp tips. There are then filled circles about each of the points with white spacing between the dots and the points’ tips. The Oval below the crown is thinner than in the previous version.