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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. It has worked in sectors including technology, culture, retail, energy & utilities, media and non-profit. 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. However, despite costing £400,000 the logo was also largely criticised by the British public, being described as "puerile". Also in 2012, the Orange and London 2012 brands were included in a retrospective examining design from 1948 to 2012 at the V&A in London. 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. In 2018 Wolff Olins was named the most innovative design firm in the world by ''Fast Company''.

History

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

Work

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). 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).

Criticism

Some of Wolff Olins' work has received controversial reception. 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".Olympic chiefs under fire for 'puerile' logo
''The Telegraph'', June 4, 2017.


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Wolff Olins


{{Omnicom Category:Branding companies of the United Kingdom Category:Business services companies established in 1965 Category:1965 establishments in England