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Wolff Olins is a brand consultancy, based in London, New York City and San Francisco. Founded in 1965, it now employs 150 designers, strategists, technologists, programme managers and educators, and has been part of the Omnicom Group since 2001.

Wolff Olins
Wholly Owned Subsidiary
IndustryBrand consultancy
Founded1965; 54 years ago (1965) in London, United Kingdom
FounderMichael Wolff
Wally Olins
Headquarters
Key people
Brian Boylan (Chairman)
Sairah Ashman (CEO)
Tim Allen (President, North America)
Number of employees
150
ParentOmnicom Group
Websitewww.wolffolins.com

It has worked in sectors including technology, culture, retail, energy & utilities, media and non-profit.[1][2]

In 2012, the London 2012 brand, which was developed by Wolff Olins in 2007, was included in Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things, an exhibition of design that has shaped the modern world at The Design Museum in London.[3] However, despite costing £400,000 the logo was also largely criticised by the British public, being described as 'puerile'.[4]

Also in 2012 the Orange and London 2012 brands were included in a retrospective examining design from 1948 - 2012 at the V&A in London.[5]

In 2012, the firm was recognised by The Sunday Times as being one of the Best Small Companies to work for and by Ad Age as one of the Best Places to Work in media and marketing.[6] In 2018 Wolf Olins was named the most innovative design firm in the world by Fast Company.[7]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Wolff Olins was founded in Camden Town, London, in 1965 by designer Michael Wolff and advertising executive Wally Olins. Wolff left the business in 1983, and Olins in 2001; Wolff is still active in the field of branding, and Olins died on 14 April 2014. Wolff Olins currently has offices in London, New York City and San Francisco.

In 2002, Wolff Olins was selected by the British Library as a subject of their National Life Stories oral history project.[8]

In 2017, Sairah Ashman was appointed as the first female CEO of Wolff Olins.[9]

WorkEdit

From 1965 to the early 1990s, Wolff Olins developed corporate identities for various large European companies. During this time Olins published The Corporate Personality (1978) and Corporate Identity (1989).[10] Olins defined corporate identity as "strategy made visible", and the firm worked with companies including BOC (1967), The Beatles' Apple Records (1968), Bovis (1971), Volkswagen's VAG (1978), 3i (1983), Prudential (1986) and BT (1991).

During the 1990s, Wolff Olins focused more on corporate branding. The company's work during that time includes First Direct (1989), Orange (1994), Odeon (1997), Heathrow Express (1998), and Tata Group (2000).

More recent work has included Tate (2000),[11] GE (2004),[12] Unilever (2004),[13] Manpower (2006),[14] Sony Ericsson (2006),[15] (Product) RED (2006),[16] London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (2007),[17] New York City (2007),[18] Mercedes-Benz (2009),[19] Tata DoCoMo (2009),[20] AOL (2009),[21] Target's Up and Up brand (2009),[22] PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010),[23] Asian Art Museum (2011),[24] Hero MotoCorp (2011),[25] the Smithsonian (2011),[26] NBCUniversal (2011),[27] USA Today (2012),[28] Windows (2012),[29] Skype (2012),[30] Univision (2012),[31] Cyient (2014),[32] Enel (2016), ZocDoc (2016), The Met (2016), Oi (2016), GrubHub Seamless (2016), Hyatt (2016), Virgin Active (2016) and Genesis Beijing, an urban redevelopment project (2017),[33]

CriticismEdit

Throughout its history, Wolff Olins has presented controversial work.[34][35] Its piper design for BT in 1991 attracted a great deal of opposition. The company was also responsible for the short-lived $110m (£75m) re-branding of PwC Consulting to Monday in 2002. The launch of the London 2012 brand in 2007 was met with widespread public derision. Design critic Stephen Bayley condemned the London 2012 Olympic Games logo as "a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal".[36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "National Life Stories: An Oral History of Wolff Olins". Bl.uk. 30 November 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Wolff Olins". Design Is History. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Design Museum".
  4. ^ Correspondent, Brendan Carlin, Political (3 June 2007). "Olympic chiefs under fire for 'puerile' logo". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Innovation in the Modern Age".
  6. ^ http://adage.com/article/special-report-best-places-to-work-2012/wolff-olins-31-ad-age-s-places-work-list/233668/
  7. ^ "The World's Most Innovative Companies 2018, Design Sector". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  8. ^ "National Life Stories: An Oral History of Wolff Olins". Bl.uk. 30 November 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Wolff Olins appoints Sairah Ashman as first female CEO - Design Week". Design Week. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  10. ^ Wally Olins, The Corporate Personality, Design Council, London, 1978 and Corporate Identity, Thames and Hudson, London, 1989
  11. ^ "How effective are the Tate logos?". Logo Design Love. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  12. ^ Rountree, Kristen. "Wolff Olins Becomes Lead Branding Agency for GE". Adweek. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Unilever icons explained". Logo Design Love. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Manpower unveils fresh brand identity and advertising push". Campaign. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  15. ^ Godsell, Melanie (20 December 2006). "Agency of the Year: Design Agency of the Year — Wolff Olins — Marketing news". Marketing magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  16. ^ "Reviews — ProBono - (RED)". Identityworks. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Wolff Olins' Intuitive Branding". Businessweek.com. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  18. ^ "I ♥ Wolff Olins — Brand New". Underconsideration.com. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  19. ^ "DesignThinkers 2011 | Todd Simmons: Blurring the Line Between Brand and Business". Designthinkers.com. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  20. ^ "New India Cellular Provider Goes Geometric — Brand New". Underconsideration.com. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  21. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Wolff Olins and AOL on Why AOL's New Brand Is From the Future". Fast Company. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  22. ^ "Brand Innovator 2011 > Tim Murray — Brand Innovators". Brand Packaging. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  23. ^ "The Best and Worst Identities of 2010, Part II: The Best — Brand New". Underconsideration.com. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  24. ^ Montgomery, Angus (29 September 2011). "Wolff Olins rebrands Asian Art Museum with upside-down 'A' | News". Design Week. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  25. ^ "Hero goes global; to unveil new brand identity in London". Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  26. ^ Gosling, Emily (19 December 2011). "Wolff Olins works on Smithsonian rebrand | News". Design Week. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  27. ^ "The NBC Peacock is Gone and Rightfully So". underconsideration.com. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  28. ^ "USA TODAY for Tomorrow". Under Consideration. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  29. ^ "Windows — Wolff Olins". Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  30. ^ "Skype — Wolff Olins". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  31. ^ "Logo Gigante!". Under Consideration. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  32. ^ "Cyient — Wolff Olins". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Genesis Beijing — Art Directors Club of Europe 2017 Awards". Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  34. ^ Stephen Bayleyweighs (5 April 2006). "Design expert Stephen Bayleyweighs up other contenders for Britain's lousiest logo | Media". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  35. ^ "Wolff Olins: Expectations Confounded". Creative Review. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  36. ^ Olympic chiefs under fire for 'puerile' logo

External linksEdit