A logo that has been a part of the brand for over a century, the Striding Man was first created by Tom Browne in 1820. This iconic logo has been often edited and refined by many designers, cartoonists and illustrators over the years.
If you have spent an evening with this guy, the amber hues of the liquid must have made you at least a little curious as to the Walker, why he’s walking or where he’s going.
Christine McCafferty and Vine Pair worked together to find out this little guy’s history. When George Paterson and Alexander Walker launched Red and Black label (then known as the Special and Extra Special Old Highland Whiskey), they were looking for some good artwork. Tom Browne was the only one who fit the bill.
At first, our Striding Man was the outdoorsy type who enjoyed shopping as well.
It continued on to depict him fishing, playing cricket and choosing the best Christmas present to have carried for him – of course that was a box of Johnnie Walker.
As time continued, the Striding Man gained some weight and was a hit with the ladies. Abandoning his outdoorsy adventures, he seemed more interested in fashion and women. And then it was rowing… then when the World War I came, he was depicted as a recruit in the army used to encourage patriotism.
Over the (almost) 200 years that the Striding Man has been alive, he has been a figure of what men should be like. Being handed over to illustrator and artist, he first got some colour by a woman in 1927. Eventually, he was incorporated into the very name of the brand himself – as the letter, “k.”
This is a great example of logo evolution and proof that you have to keep reinventing yourself over time to appeal to society or your newfound goals in your business.
However long the Striding Man walks for, we can be sure that he’ll always look extremely fashionable and full of class no matter where he goes. Keep on walking, Striding Man.