Johnnie Walker

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The Striding Man logo for Johnnie Walker is probably as iconic as the brand itself.

Around the turn of the century (when George Paterson and Alexander Walkers launched Red Label and Black label), they wanted to convey their unique point of view visually by using special packaging. They held a competition to find suitable artwork but nothing was quite right. It was a cartoon artist named Tom Browne who eventually created the logo. When he was at lunch with Lord Stevenson, a director in the company, Browne turned over a restaurant menu card and drew the famous Striding Man figure onto the back.

After that delicious lunch, Browne produced a number of Walker advertisements. Browne’s Strolling Man was a man who loved the outdoors but also enjoyed a spot of retail therapy. As you can see from the ads, the Striding Man was featured in a number of charming situations — happily walking behind a young courier, cheerfully interrupting a cricket match with his presence, and rather briskly capturing a fish.

Over time, this cartoon has changed in size, shape, color, and demeanor. It reflected the state and condition of the world depending on its social and political climate, so this cartoon would take on an even more royal and sophisticated look, or he’d be dropped altogether.

According to Wikipedia:

Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch whisky now owned by Diageo that originated in the Scottish burgh of Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire. The brand was first established by grocer John Walker. It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky in the world, sold in almost every country, with annual sales of the equivalent of over 223.7 million 700 ml bottles in 2016 (156.6 million litres)

 

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