The letter "W" is an interesting one. Besides being the twenty-third letter in the alphabet, it is the only one having more than one syllable; it has three — unless it is pronounced with two: dub-yah.

It is more than a bit ironic that — as a truncated single-letter brand — W, in most cases, has three times the syllables when spoken, as compared to any other single-letter brand. So, while it may be more visually efficient, it clearly lacks auditory efficiency. 

As to the question posed by the title of this blog post, here are some possible answers:

To the extent any are unfamiliar to you, clicking on the image will reveal the source of the particular W logo.

Notwithstanding the existence of this multitude, Wendy’s would have us believe that adding the word "the" — definite article in the English language — yields the only true W (albeit unregistered):

Apparently I’m not the only skeptic to wonder about the scope of rights associated with single-letter "W" marks, only a week ago Gallagher Blogs wrote on the subject, apparently inspired by University of Washington’s "W Day" celebration of the University’s 150th anniversary.

By the way, when do you suppose the world’s largest retailer will truncate to W?

UPDATE: Thanks, Leslie, Wegman’s is a little outside of my shopping area, but you must be speaking of this:

  • How could you forget Wegmans? Especially their W-pop

  • Great post, Steve. Interesting concept to consider what brands are associated with each individual letter of the alphabet. Thanks for writing and sharing.

  • Wikipedia is actually a .org, not a .com as mistakenly linked. (It’s a noncommercial entity.)

  • Steve Baird

    Dan, thanks for droppping by and leaving a comment. Wikipedia is a noncommercial entity, but they also own the .com domain and it redirects to the .org domain.

  • Kathleen (Kathy) K. Feeken

    And what about Whataburger? Here in Texas a W associated with a burger is equivalent to nothing less. Even the company’s domain mark includes the wonderfully designed brillant orange W …

  • WEI

    W, when said, is like a promise to multiply you by two. “I w.” (I double you.)

  • If time was money, saying W would be expensive–being three times as many syllables as any other letter.