Michael Wolff Research

Michael Wolff – Brand Identity Designer

Michael Wolff Website

Wolff & Olins Website



Michael Wolff was born in 1933 and is a British graphic designer known for his work as a brand identity designer. In 1965 he teamed up with Wally Olins to create Wolff Olins, a brand consultancy that includes clients such as Apple Records, Audi, The National Lottery and more. Their joint business is partnering with ambitious leaders to design a much better business. They have a global team to help deliver meaningful change across their client organisations.

Examples of Wolff Olins’s Work

The National Lottery


The National Lottery Logo has been re-done to appeal to a new generation of players with a powerful idea that united their family of games, linked projects with its prizes and re-energised its culture to be ready to change more lives. Wolff Olins partnered to Camelot in 2012 (runs The National Lottery), they raised £6.5bn that same year. However they weren’t enjoying the benefits of their success. They had their strong focus on prize money, and that made it feel one dimensional. The people felt like they didn’t ave much of a connection with The National Lottery.

The ideas that Wolff Olins came up with was that for The National Lottery to become relevant again, it needed to be clear on what it stood for. This would be better to appeal to a new generation and wider audience of players. Get more people involved with The National Lottery.

TNL Graphics.PNG

The main idea was to give the brand a re-design with their visual identity – give it more of a modern look, and also communicating ‘life changing’ and reflecting contemporary Britain. The main part of the previous logo that people associated The National Lottery with was the hand logo, so Wolff Olins gave it a better look for the new and modern generation.


Wolff Olins want to create The National Lottery a life changing place to work and to others who do not work there. Their aim is to change more lives every year.

The National Lottery logo is neat and much more clear compared to the previous design. It provides a more modern look to fit the new generation and make it more engaging. The use of the twisted fingers hand logo, it reflects the luck in the lottery, and was a key aspect to the company. I think that re-designing the hand was better than getting rid of it and replacing it with something else.

London 2012


The Olympic games were more of an opportunity to do things different. If there was going to be a legacy, this meant that this had to reach beyond the event, or indeed the location. And, for the games it would need the support of more than a logo. It would need a brand: 2012.

It was a critical factor that London 2012 would engage young people. So for Wolff Olins to know how to engage a younger audience, they set up discussion groups with schoolchildren (aged 7 to 13) and adolescents (aged 16 to 19). This is effective primary research as they are finding out what would engage the younger audience to the Olympic games.


The brand of the games needed to have energy, expressing it meant that they had to explore on how they might express it.They came up with an energy line grid from which the logo was built. The structure of the logo was also a set for the patterning that would form a key part of 2012’s expression. The finalised logo that was developed was bold and energetic, it reflected London as a modern, edgy city.

Wolff Olins didn’t want the logo to be the houses of parliament with a watercolour brushstroke. That logo idea wouldn’t be engaging, it is boring and only relevant to the location, not the Olympic games them self.

2012 Ad.PNG

The logo is colourful, bold and engaging, all of these factors make the logo effective. It is different to how it was done before, something new that can be carried on for other Olympic games as inspiration.


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