Design pioneer Walter Landor, founder of global packaging and identity consultancy Landor Associates, has died at the age of 81.
Landor pioneered the use of strategic design and visual imagery as marketing and business tools, helping to develop some of the world’s most recognised brands and corporate identities – from Bank of America and British Airways to Levi’s and Coca Cola.
According to Wally Olins, a competitor, friend and admirer, Landor was a “warm, sensitive, lovely man who represented a link between the 1930s, when design was still a peripheral and rare activity, and the 1980s when it became an industrial resource.”
Design Council chairman John Sorrell says: “He was one of the great pioneers of design. It is very sad to lose him.”
Widely credited with establishing the economic value of design in business, the German-born designer started Walter Landor and Associates in 1941. The firm became Landor Associates and now has 17 offices around the world with over 300 employees. Olins says Landor built up a “company which stands for the most aggressive and effective use of design strategy”.
Alvin Schechter, chairman of Interbrand Schechter, says: “Landor was a man of great charm, he was very talented and a good salesman.
“He was the first to recognise that design was a potentially global business, and was virtually without competitors in some parts of the world at one stage.”
Rodney Fitch comments: “Long before brands became a culture, Walter Landor was doing it.”