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#DesignerSpotlight – Learn How A Brand Is Made From Walter Landor

Landor, originally from Germany, grew up during a time when Werkbund and Bauhaus movements influenced the design world. After graduating from Goldsmiths University of London, the young and aspiring designer helped found Industrial Design Partnership, a design consultancy firm. In 1939 he visited the United States to attend a design fair in New York. In order to discover more about industrial design from an American perspective, Landor traveled across the vast country before deciding to permanently reside in San Francisco.

Landor founded his design company, Walter Landor & Associates, in 1941. With this platform, he went onto designing identities for what are considered big names till date. He worked with Levi Strauss, Shell Oil, General Electric, Coco-Cola and many more well-known brands.

In 1964, Landor did something that surprised everyone. He shifted the headquarters of Landor Associates onto Klamath, a ferryboat that he bought at an auction and docked near San Francisco Bay. The designer was undoubtedly quite an adventurer, I must say. Nevertheless, the studio that stood on sea made a huge impact on land with its design.



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Walter Landor died in 1995 but his work and wisdom have given inspiration to succeeding graphic designers who focus on brand identity design.

Landor’s Design Sense

Package Design

Certain graphic designers don’t become influencers for no reason, they bring something original and worth noticing to the field. In Landor’s case, he established a modern sensibility in design using unconventional materials for packaging such as cellophane and metallic foils.


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By the 1960s his company broadened the horizon of services they offered from package design to creating complete brand identities.

Logo Design

Observing the logo’s made by Landor at the time, it is evident that he too believed in simplicity. The letter mark he designed for Bank of America is bold and minimal.


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His logo design for Frito Lay suggests that basic shapes can become a part of logotypes.


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The logo for Cotton Incorporated shows Landor’s skill at working with negative space.


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Moreover, he used the method of letter kerning to symbolize brand vision and products.


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He used symbols and icons to represent a brand’s identity, or part of what it does.


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Packaging and logo design are a part of a brand’s identity – so what is brand design and why is it needed?

Defining Brand Design

Designing a brand isn’t a piece of cake, as some would think. It’s not simply about a logo but it does start from there. It’s about creatively and systematically forming an identity for your client, which is meaningful as well as consistent. This said, remember that a brand’s identity is the most important thing. Without one, the world would think your brand doesn’t exist!

So for a brand to exist, you need branding stationery that helps in brand positioning and marketing. While there are several aspects of brand identity from a logo design to its packaging – according to Walter Landor, a brand identity should be designed in a way that creates enjoyment for its target market, and they respond favorably.

Seeing this we now understand that designing a brand isn’t only about aesthetics, but also about creating a certain perception. This is done via brand positioning. The way a brand is perceived, has an impact on its long-term shelf life. And opinions regarding a brand are formed by the experience brand’s design offers. Landor Associates feels that “the more experience we have with something, the more efficient our brains become at processing information.” For example the perception that FedEx, Marlboro and Delmonte have developed overtime enables its target market to instantly relate to the brand.

Want to learn how a brand is made? Watch the video below.

A visual design blogger passionate about interactive, experiential and captivating techniques designers, marketers and brands use to accentuate messages, tell stories, and spread awareness. I’m a visual addict like Alice, who finds books (or anything) without pictures boring! My writings focus on graphic and web design, branding, and visual marketing. My hobbies are to write poems, draw zentangles, read, and watch YouTube videos.

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