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Designing America250: A Celebration of Independence

An interview with
Valerie Aurilio & Phyllis Murphy


When I say Independence Day, a few of you will think of the 1996 movie starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. But if you're an American, Independence Day is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which happened on July 4, 1776. It's a day celebrated with fireworks, family reunions, barbecues, picnics, parades and more.

In 2026, America will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the nation's founding, and America250 promises to be the largest and most inclusive celebration in the country's history.

Such a monumental occasion deserves its own identity, and that task was given to the brand design agency Landor. In this interview Ian's joined by Valerie Aurilio, General Manager and Phyllis Murphy, the Executive Creative Director of Landor in Chicago. In this interview we'll learn more about the America250 project, how Landor approached a brand intended for almost 400 million people, how the logo was designed, presented and more.

Landor Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: So I'm going to start by asking you guys to briefly introduce yourself to the audience. Like I said, I normally do an introduction for the audience anyway, but I think because of the context of this particular project, I think it'd be really helpful if you could both briefly introduce yourself.

Valerie Aurilio: Well, I am general manager of Landor Chicago, Valerie Aurilio. I bring a mix of creative and strategic experience to that role of leading the Chicago office. I am a designer by heart, I've had a long creative career. I have deep experience in brand building and design. I've partnered with some of the biggest names in CPG and corporate identity across the nation, and the world, against a rich and varied list of categories. So anything from beauty, to baby care, to pharma, finance, food, tech.

I've seen a lot and I've done a lot across those categories. But regardless of what I'm working on, it's how we work at Landor that gets me really excited and who I get to work with. I love to get messy, I love to collaborate and roll up my sleeves with amazing creative talent that we have at Landor. And I love to chase the big idea.

Ian Paget: Brilliant. Thank you. And Phyllis, do you want to introduce yourself as well?