Joel Portugal is truly a senior statesman in the identity business. He is a strategist who loves design -- who believes design is what makes branding/identity such an exciting and extraordinary profession.
After some early years at McKinsey, in the late 1960s Joel joined Lippincott & Margulies, met Russ Anspach and Gene Grossman and with them, left in 1969 to form Anspach Grossman Portugal. For twenty-five years Joel served as AGP's Managing Partner (for five of them, 1985 - 1990, he was my colleague), retiring from AGP in 1994.
For much of its history, roughly the mid 70s through 1988 (when the partners sold the business to WPP), I think it is fair to say that the torch of global leadership in the identity business was often borne by Anspach Grossman Portugal.
Joel then briefly served at Landor Associates as Vice Chairman, mentoring younger consultants and designers, and then returned to Lippincott for several years as advisor to CEO/Chairman Ken Roberts, advisor to Lippincott's business development group, and again as a mentor to young designers and consultants (a role he greatly enjoys). Few others have anything like Joel's intimate knowledge of the business of corporate identity consulting. (In response, Joel says "I don't mind the word 'business,' but I think my uniqueness is an ability to understand (and love) the role of design in solving a business problem, and its connection to strategy.") Tony Spaeth