Falstaff Beer Can

Falstaff Beer Can

Usage conditions apply
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 Landor believed a product to be as much a fashion accessory as a beverage, they worked for months to design a modern, masculine label that loyal customers could still recognize. The new design, on this can, portrayed its famed “manly heraldic shield-and-lion,” bold FALSTAFF name, 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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Beer Can
Beer Can
overall: 12.1 cm x 6.8 cm; 4 3/4 in x 2 11/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Bequest of Walter and Josephine Landor
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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