Does package design have a Walter Cronkite

18cronkite.1901I just heard that Walter Cronkite died this evening, and it got me thinking about growing up with the evening news, a simpler time, and whether our industry has such an icon.

The New York Times obit descibes him online as, “Walter Cronkite, who pioneered and then mastered the role of television news anchorman with such plain-spoken grace that he was called the most trusted man in America,”

In many ways package design and the network news grew up and matured together in the 50s and 60s. Who do you suppose “pioneered and then mastered” package design.

There seem to be some other american icons with such stature. Aaron Copeland in music, Martha Graham in dance, Ansel Adams in photography.

Perhaps Norman Rockwell was such an illustrator, or William Golden in broadcast design, Walter Landor or Walter Margulies might qualify in corporate identity, or Teague in product design, but who would that be for our industry.

Do you have any ideas?


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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One Response to Does package design have a Walter Cronkite

  1. Douglas May says:

    Least we forget that the package designer evolved out of the printing industry (a way to add value to the cost of the printing package). That was the cart driving the horse approach, as compare to the content driving the technology in broadcast journalism. The package design industry has just recently begun to get it right in the last 30 years. We also need to remember that graphic designer’s like Saul Bass, Herb Lubalin and Chermayeff & Geismar did their share of innovative package design and pioneering.

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