Walter Landor (1913 – 1995) was a leading expert in corporate identity and brand design. Coca-Cola, Fuji Films, Levi Strauss, Philip Morris, Twentieth Century Limited, and the World Wildlife Fund were among his most well-known clients.
He was born in Munich in 1913, and in 1931 he moved to London to finish his education at Goldsmiths College of Art.
In 1935, he was one of the people who started the Industrial Design Partnership, which was one of the first industrial design consultancies in Britain. The next year, he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
In 1939, he moved to the United States. In 1941, he and his wife, Josephine, set up Landor Associates in San Francisco. The company made a name for itself by designing packaging and making and coordinating corporate identities. For Landor, creating a corporate identity involved consumer research, business analysis, and strategic planning. This helped the company become a leading international consulting firm with seventeen offices worldwide by the late 1980s, offering various design services like corporate identity and environmental design.
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”
In addition to the clients listed above, the company also designed the logos for several airlines, such as Alitalia, British Airways, Thai International, and Singapore Airlines. In 1994, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, set up the Walter Landor Collections of Design Records and Packaging to honour him as a major American design consultant whose work had a big effect on how people see things every day.
Insight into Brand Promotion
Throughout his career, Walter Landor identified and defined over 30 essential attributes of creative components that contribute to the success and longevity of a brand’s packaging. These attributes encompassed a range of functions, from capturing shoppers’ attention to clearly conveying the brand identity and product information. Landor recognized the importance of packaging in informing and enticing consumers, ensuring that it presented an appealing appearance that aligned with the target market and pricing categories. As the significance of individually packaged goods grew within advertising and marketing, Landor’s insights became even more valuable. Advertisers and marketers realized that packaging could serve as an additional medium for promoting products, complementing other aspects of what Jerry Janowski called “total marketing.” Landor’s understanding of the potential of packaging as a promotional tool highlighted its ability to engage consumers and contribute to a comprehensive brand strategy (Consumer Engineering, 2019).
Landor’s Design Legacy
Walter Landor’s design legacy is a testament to his visionary approach and profound impact on branding and design. His philosophy of “Total Design” revolutionized the way brands are perceived and experienced. Landor’s emphasis on understanding the essence of a brand and translating it into visual elements set a new standard for effective communication. His innovative techniques, such as incorporating consumer research and psychology into the design process, helped brands connect with their target audience on a deeper level. Landor’s designs not only reflected the values and identity of the brands he worked with but also influenced consumer behaviour and shaped the industry. His pioneering work continues to inspire and guide designers and branding professionals, leaving an indelible mark on the design world.
Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s: Marketing Between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness. (2019). Germany: Springer International Publishing.