The fascinating story of the WHSmith logo, designed in 1973 by Professor Richard Guyatt, Nick Jenkins, Ian Middleton and Jane-Ann Withers.
Formed in 1792, the British retailer known today as WHSmith began as a news vendor in Little Grosvenor Street, London. Following the death of founders Henry and Anna Walton Smith, the business remained under Smith family ownership for 180 years until 1972. During this time, customers grew familiar with the beautifully designed oak-fronted shops, newsboy mascot and egg-shaped ‘WHS’ symbol.
The 1970s saw many changes for WHSmith. Like other businesses in the post-war years, it was suffering financially and had to change with the times. Chairman David Smith ended direct family involvement with the business when he retired in May 1972, marking another significant era for the workforce. For the business to survive, a large-scale expansion was planned– diversifying into other markets beyond their reputation as a leading retailer of stationery, newspapers and books.