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Brand design legend and founder of Landor Associates.
A renowned packaging designer who had a natural talent for
designing things with broad popular appeal, Walter Landor
(1913–1995) is best remembered as a pioneer in the field of
branding and in the use of consumer research. His legacy lives on
in the work of Landor Associates, the company that he founded in
1941, and that today has integrated brand consulting and design
offices all over the world.
Landor's conviction that, “Products are made in the factory, but
brands are created in the mind,” led to some of such globally
experienced visual identities as Del Monte (1965), Levi's (1968),
Cotton Inc. (1973), Marlboro (1977), Tab (1979), Dole (1984),
Coca-Cola (1985), and Fuji Film (1987). Landor also designed the
corporate identities for many commercial airlines including
Alitalia, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Delta Airlines, Cathay
Pacific Airways, and Singapore Airlines.
Son of a prominent German architect, Landor was born in Munich
in 1913. During his early art education he was exposed to the
influence of the Bauhaus and Werkbund design movements. Landor left
Munich in 1931 to complete his studies at London University's
Goldsmith College School of Art. It was here that he changed his
name from Landauer to the more English-sounding Landor. At the age
of 22 he became a founding partner with Misha Black and Milner Gray
in England's first industrial design consultancy, Industrial Design
Partnership (IDP) and, at 23, he became the youngest fellow of the
Royal Society of Arts.
In 1939, Landor traveled to the U.S. as part of the design team
for the British Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. Afterwards
he continued west to San Francisco, a city that he saw as a perfect
fusion of the cultural traditions of East and West. He decided to
settle there. Two years later he established Walter Landor &
Associates in his small Russian Hill apartment, with his wife
Josephine as his first associate.
In 1964, Walter moved his firm to the retired ferryboat,
Klamath, anchored at San Francisco's Pier 5. Although Landor
Associates eventually outgrew the ferryboat in the late 1980s and
moved to its present headquarters at 1001 Front Street, the Klamath
remains the firm's corporate symbol.
Landor retired in 1989 and in 1994, a year before his death, the
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History
assembled The Walter Landor Collections of Design Records and
Packaging to document and permanently house the legacy of Landor's
contributions to American design history in the 20th century
The distinguished AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements in the field of design.
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