Michael Wolff pays tribute to Wally Olins

Michael Wolff has paid tribute to his former Wolff Olins partner Wally Olins, who died this week at the age of 83.

Wally Olins
Wally Olins

The pair founded Wolff Olins in 1965. Wolff left in 1983 and Olins departed in 2001 to set up Saffron, where he remained as chairman until his death this week following a short illness.

Wolff says, ‘It’s a sad day for everyone close to Wally and very sad day for me, both professionally and personally. More so personally, because in our time together creating Wolff Olins we were great partners and friends.

‘Wally was a cornucopia of qualities that I lacked and in that way we complemented one another for many years. It was quite a duet. I remember him for his fearlessness with clients, his open mind in the face of dangerous creativity and most of all for his ever-present sense of humour. 

‘In the early days of Wolff Olins we bought a poster, designed for the fishmonger’s trade, printed in navy blue on poor quality off-white paper with wood block letters. We put it in our Camden Town window. It read “We lead and others follow”. There was truth in it. Wally was a natural leader with generous warmth, great intelligence and insight. 

‘In the world of branding, Wally was a pioneer. We will miss him for his integrity, his inspiration, his relentless energy and his guidance.’

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