branding pioneer wally olins has died aged 83
wally olins photographed by kate berry



wally olins, chairman of saffron brand consultants and former chairman of wolff olins died on monday april 14th, 2014 after a short illness, he was 83.


olins was born in london in 1930 and educated at oxford, where he read history. upon graduating he entered the world of advertising, before eventually becoming ‘the world’s leading practitioner of branding and identity’ – the financial times.


‘he adored his family and was adored by his family. although many people knew the public side of him, which was someone of huge intelligence and energy who was always prepared to say what he thought, not everyone knew the more private side of him, which was a very loving and generous family man.


‘the great thing was he wanted to finish his book. it was a short illness, and he was active until the last. his attitude was, ‘let’s get on with it’. he was traveling abroad up until two months ago. he said he was not going to retire, and he never did.’ – rufus olins, one of wally olins’ four children, told the guardian


wally olins advised many of the world’s leading companies, including renault, repsol, british telecom, volkswagen, TATA and lloyd’s of london and has also worked with many countries, regions and cities. over 250,000 copies of his books have been sold in 18 languages, including the seminal works, corporate identity, wally olins on b®and and the brand handbook. his latest book, ‘brand new – the shape of brands to come’ published by thames & hudson went on sale earlier this month.


last february designboom spoke to wally olins about his career, influences and much more…


‘I read a lot about current affairs and love reading history. I enjoy looking – at buildings, at people and the countryside. I love art, my favorite period is early 20th century german impressionist painting, so somewhere or other, I think I have a frustrated creative streak.’


‘in my conduct I always try to be straight forward and honest. naturally there are situations where you have to be tactful and sensitive and I am when I need to be. it’s not that I think that’s the right or wrong way to be it’s just the way that I am.’ – wally olins


read the full interview here »