City mourns bow-tied branding pioneer Olins

Gabriella Griffith
TRIBUTES have been flooding in following the news yesterday of branding legend Wally Olins’ passing on Monday.

The man who not only rebranded British Telecoms as BT, but also made wearing black rimmed glasses and bow ties cool long before east London’s hipsters got hold of them, has died of a short illness, aged 83.

“He was a lion of the branding and identity industry, founding one of its finest firms,” WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell told The Capitalist.

“We’ll miss him enormously, but he leaves a marvelous legacy.”

Olins, one of the co-founders of agency Wolff Olins and founder and chairman of Saffron Brand Consultants, was a regular in the City and had worked with the likes of Lloyd’s of London, First Direct, Prudential and management consultants McKinsey and Bain throughout the years.

“He was an iconoclast,” managing partner at Bain & Company Paul Rogers told us.

“He was fearless, said exactly what he thought and had a fantastic sense of humour – he was a great human being.”

Described as one of the forefathers of corporate design, the British business world will no doubt feel his loss but we look forward to a celebration of his life - expected in London this summer.