Image credit: Ed Wheeler via The Authors Guild

Alina Wheeler’s family expressed their grief in a post shared to the late branding consultant’s Instagram, writing:

We are heartbroken.

We are all so lucky to have known Alina and learned from her–to have experienced her wisdom, humour, humility, generosity, and magic.

She once said, “Make sure you have an I-believe-in-you person.” Thank you, Alina, for being that person to so many of us.

The passing of Alina Wheeler, who was only 76 years old, has triggered an overwhelming response from the design community, with many of her peers and fans sharing their admiration for her.

It was an honour to know you, work with you and love you Alina. Rest in Power. THANK YOU for everything.

– Debbie Millman (@debbiemillman)

Honoured to have learned from you, Alina. Thank you for everything you have contributed to our industry.

– Jacob Cass (@justcreative)

Alina. Your voice, your empathy for others, your kindness and compassion towards others will forever remain in our hearts.

– Simon Charwey (@simoncharwey)

Print Magazine write:

Alina Wheeler, the daughter of a sea captain, was born on October 14, 1948, in South Orange, New Jersey. She spoke Polish before she spoke English. Alina’s first encounter with branding happened in the second grade at Sacred Heart of Jesus. When asked to color-code her soul, Alina was told to color it black if she had sinned a lot, white if she had been pure, and red if she had only sinned a little. (She colored hers in a checkered pattern.) That childhood experience ignited her fascination with color and brand architecture.

This led to a vibrant career in design. Wheeler graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1970, and went on to work as a consultant, author, and speaker. On her work, Wheeler wrote:

My Mantra is: Who are you? Who needs to know? How will they find out? Why should they care?

Here at Novagram, we’ve previously written about Wheeler’s Designing Brand Identity – even saying that we hoped the book would be renewed for a sixth edition:

This offering from an industry ‘it’ girl has thoroughly earned its place on any designer’s bookshelf, or studio coffee table.

Designing Brand Identity will remain a firm staple on our branding bookshelf, and Alina Wheeler’s wisdom will continue to inspire us in our work.

If you’d like to learn more about Alina Wheeler and her work, you can explore her website.

We are Novagram, a UK creative agency
specialising in branding, design and digital development