Falstaff Prototype Beer Bottle


In 1939, Walter Landor arrived in the United States to help install the British training pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. At twenty-six years old, Landor had left his home in Germany to study art and design in Britain, where he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Industrial Artists. With whispers of war circulating around Europe, Landor decided to stay in the United States and travelled to the West Coast in search of design work. In 1941, Landor and his new wife Josephine Martinelli founded Walter Landor and Associates (today Landor) in their San Francisco apartment. The company specialized in packaging and label design for a number of iconic brands ranging from Marlboro cigarettes to Aunt Jemima to Sara Lee. As the company expanded, Landor’s base of operations moved from his home through several locations until it settled in 1962 on the Klamath, a docked ferryboat in the San Francisco Bay that would become an iconic part of Landor’s own brand.

The Falstaff Brewery Corporation originated in St. Louis in 1903 and acquired breweries throughout the century. In the 1950s Alvin Griesedieck opened a new brewery in California because of the state’s recent exponential growth in economy and population. Falstaff, the fourth largest brewing company by the 1960s, decided to redesign their products and brand after six years of consistent labeling. The company chose Landor for its reputation and previous success in “male marketed products.” Because Walter Landor and Associates believed a product to be as much a fashion accessory as a beverage, they worked for months drafting and producing various package shapes, colors, symbols, designs, and prototypes to create a modern, masculine label that loyal customers could still recognize. The new design portrayed its “Manly heraldic shield-and-lion,” bold FALSTAFF name, gold neck label, white background, gold stars and blue banner. After this corporate redesign, Landor maintained an ongoing relationship with Falstaff Corporation in an effort to help understand and interpret the company’s needs.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of LaVeda Mair

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1998.0058.01Accession Number: 1998.0058Catalog Number: 1998.0058.01

Object Name: form, bottle

Physical Description: wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 16 cm x 7.5 cm; 6 5/16 in x 2 15/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-83ce-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1421560

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