Wally Olins, 1930-2014

 copy 2001 Saffron Brand Consultants Used With Permission All Rights Reserved

© 2001 Saffron Brand Consultants. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.

We were sad to hear the news that Wally Olins, one of the true pioneers of modern branding as we know it, died on Monday aged 83.

With his roots in advertising - he ran the Mumbai office of Ogilvy & Mather for five years - Olins famously founded Wolff Olins with Michael Wolff in 1965, an agency that pioneered the concept of a 'design consultancy' and developed the idea of branding as a discipline.

After a fruitful but volatile relationship that many likened to a marriage, Wolff and Olins would ultimately part ways, with the former leaving in 1983. Olins would stay put for another 18 years, and founded Saffron Design Consultants in 2001.

Olins famously rebranded British Telecom as BT

He helped shape many of the world's leading brands, including BT, Volkswagen and Renault - and has advised countries and cities all over the world on their brand image, including London, Mauritius, Poland and most recently West Bengal.

Opinionated and charming in equal measure, Olins was hugely prolific and has authored seven books between 1978 and the present, with the latest - Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come - released just last week, ensuring the charismatic design pioneer went out on a high.

Olins's latest book, Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come, was released last week

You can read Saffron's announcement here, while Brian Boylan from Wolff Olins remembers Wally here.

Words: Nick Carson

Nick Carson is the editor of Computer Arts.