1972 Olympic Games: Munich celebrates – and memorializes

Cheerful colors, spectacular tent rooftops and an endearing mascot: this is how the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich will be remembered. But also this: an assassination attempt on the Israeli athletes, in which a policeman and eleven athletes lost their lives, are burned into the memory. This year, the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games will be celebrated in Munich. Throughout the year, under the motto “Munich on the Way to the Future 1972-2022-2072”, there will be exhibitions and events in the city on the topics of sport, culture, design, architecture, culture of remembrance and togetherness in democracy – in public and digital space. To mark the anniversary, the Olympic Village and the Olympic Press City will be celebrating a week of festivities from Friday, 13 May, to Sunday, 22 May.

A class and its art teacher honour Aicher

On the occasion of the 100th birthday of the designer who was so important for Isny, a lot is happening in the town – even far away from the “aichermagazin” in the Kurpark, which opens on 21 May. In the gallery under the arcades in the Amtshaus on Bergtorsraße, works by pupils of the Isny secondary school who have dealt with the idea of pictorial signage have been on display since the beginning of May. Thirteen picture frames adorn the art window under the arcades at the corner of Bergtorstraße and Kanzleistraße – a “small exhibition” that art teacher Matthias Baader and his students from grades five to eight of the Isny secondary school are proud of. In art lessons in February, they spent several school hours approaching the designer Otl Aicher and the image he once developed for Isny and intensively studied Aicher’s visual language. “Our students dealt with the exciting cosmos of Otl Aicher with a lot of enthusiasm and creative joy,” says Baader. From the students’ point of view, Aicher was not only significant for Isny and the region, but also shaped visual communication like hardly any other creative artist in the world, and “still does”.

The exhibition will be on display under the arcades for about two months. Matthias Baader concludes that the project has “provided young people with an original approach to Otl Aicher’s thinking and doing in an exciting way”.

Contact: Gymnasium Isny Rainstraße 27, 88316 Isny im Allgäu, telephone: 07562 975650.

Submissions requested: Otl Aicher Prize for Young Designers

On the occasion of Aicher’s birthday, the otl aicher rotis e. v. is promoting written works by students or young designers dedicated to the life and work of Otl Aicher. The submitted works should have something to do with Aicher’s oeuvre, deal with an aspect of his works or with a part of his biography. The aim is also to bring to light new topics, rarely considered aspects of his life and work. If the quality and scope are sufficient, the first-placed work will be published; places 1 to 3 will be awarded cash prizes of 5,000 euros, 2,500 euros and 1,000 euros.
Submissions are welcome until 31 January 2023. The jury will evaluate the work by the summer of 2023. The winners will be notified.

Please send digital submissions by e-mail to Manuel Aicher of otl aicher rotis e. v. aicher[at]aicherweb.com.

Typical Aicher, typical Isny: a town celebrates the famous designer

In the 1970s, Otl Aicher set an example of modern town advertising with the image for Isny in the Allgäu: with black lines and geometric shapes on a white background, in an almost square frame, 136 pictorial symbols were created that communicate the complexity of the town and the region. Today they are an important part of the town’s design. “What Aicher created for Isny is of priceless value,” emphasises Rainer Magenreuter, mayor of the small town in the Allgäu. For Aicher’s 100th birthday, Isny is therefore presenting itself in the light of the image he created. Not only design enthusiasts, art lovers and graphic experts are invited to the anniversary, but also citizens, friends and visitors of the region. In the temporary exhibition building in the middle of Isny’s Kurpark, visitors will meet Otl Aicher and the town of Rotis, where he worked and lived for a long time. Along the original pictorial signs, they encounter Aicher’s Isny. The curators Monika Schnell, former employee in Aicher’s office in Rotis, and art historian Renate Breuss present the connection between the town and the designer: by using photographs and anecdotes, with the help of digitally accessible audio texts and also with the help of the atmosphere of the exhibition space, which opens up to the top. A comprehensive programme of events accompanies the anniversary from May to October. It stages what was important to Aicher and what is typical in Isny. Well-known Isny events such as the children’s festival and the popular regional markets are dotted with cross-references to the designer. Creative workshops, literary projects, performances, participatory events and guided tours of the town are based on the impressions Aicher once had of Isny: the appreciation of good food and fresh herbs – preferably from one’s own garden, the region’s nature and cultural landscape, tradition, good beer, music and much more.

otl aicher 100: “there is nothing here that gives shade” – slide show and panel talk at Architektur Galerie Berlin

The International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) invites you to a slide show and panel talk at Architektur Galerie Berlin on 20 October. Karsten de Riese and Prof. Michael Klar will report on a photo reportage commissioned by BMW that took them to Tunisia in 1975 together with Otl Aicher and his son Florian. The event is part of the “otl aicher 100” initiative, which illuminates the multifaceted thematic cosmos of this great designer, whose centenary of birth we are celebrating this year, with the online platform otlaicher.de.

Berlin, 28 September, 2022 – One project, two motorcycles, four men and a confrontation with themselves, each other and the desert. As part of the “otl aicher 100” project, Karsten de Riese and Michael Klar will report on their two-week tour through the North African desert.

“With Karsten de Riese and Michael Klar, we have invited two long-time companions of Otl Aicher for this evening’s talk,” says a delighted Kai Gehrmann, artistic director of the Otl Aicher 100 project, who will moderate the conversation. “I am sure that we will discover entirely new facets of Aicher through their stories.”

The desert had a special meaning for Otl Aicher: “the desert is a landscape of thought. you don’t just walk around between dunes, you go on walks of thought. your horizons of thought change.” The fewer external distractions, the more significant the immediate environment becomes. The focus changes. In the absence of civilization, people focus on what’s important. Not knowing in the morning whether you will reach your destination in the evening can evoke conflicting feelings. For one person, the focus is on freedom and the ambition to reach the set goal. For another, a resistance spreads within. The desert holds its own challenge for every human being, and in this case, too, it has become the scene of tests of human endurance. Sometimes even its vastness is not enough to keep travel companions out of each other’s way. The crucial thing is that the four of them have always found their way back to each other – also after this tour.

Karsten de Riese’s slide show with the Kodak Carousel projector is a retrospective of an intensive and unique journey that left its mark on all participants. Together with Michael Klar, he places the adventure in the common prehistory of the protagonists and the later private and professional points of contact. Conflicts as well as cheerful anecdotes are illuminated, which in the end grew into friendships based on mutual respect and appreciation.


Karsten de Riese

Born in 1942 in Eisenach. Trained as a photographer in Munich, then studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Ulm. Freelance work for newsweeklies and magazines, institutions and commercial enterprises, as well as on his own projects. 1969 to 1972 officially commissioned photographer for the OC of the Olympic Games in Munich. Collaboration with Otl Aicher until his death in 1991. In the broadest sense, the human being is always at the center of all his work, especially his long-term projects. Karsten de Riese lives in the Isar valley south of Munich.

Prof. Michael Klar
Born 1943 in Berlin. Designer, studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm, also with Otl Aicher. Collaborated with the Kapitzki/Ohl group for the Pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany at EXPO 67 Montreal. As a student representative, he was involved in the disputes leading up to the liquidation of the HfG in 1968 by a resurgent political right in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament. 1972 Professorship for Visual Communication at the FH für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, whose teaching concepts he significantly influenced. 1992 Professorship for Information Design at the Berlin University of the Arts and founding dean of the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences, Dresden. Today, many of his students teach at universities in Germany and abroad. Michael Klar lives and works in Berlin.

Kai Gehrmann
Born in 1972 in Osnabrück. Initiator and artistic director of the project “otl aicher 100”. Designer and managing director of Stiehl/Over/Gehrmann with offices in Berlin and Osnabrück. Has been working in the fields of corporate identity / corporate design, user experience / user interface design and design strategy since 1994. With his team, Kai Gehrmann advises companies on the design of their analog and digital brand communication. He is also responsible for the worldwide licensing and further development of the otl aicher pictograms.


“there is nothing here that gives shade”
An event of the IDZ Berlin in the context of “otl aicher 100”.

Location: Architektur Galerie Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 96, 10243 Berlin
Thursday, 20 Oktober 2022, beginning 7:00 pm (admission from 6:30 pm) Get-together following the event.

We ask for timely registration on the IDZ website.
We have compiled image material for your press coverage on our press page.


Editorial team:
Florian Aicher, Thomas Edelmann, Prof. Dr. Chup Friemert, Kai Gehrmann (Artistic Director), Jasmin Jouhar, Katharina Kurz, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Rinker, Gerrit Terstiege and Fabian Wurm (Chief Editor).

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Corporate partners:
Bulthaup GmbH & Co KG; ERCO GmbH; FSB Franz Schneider Brakel GmbH + Co KG

Other sponsors and cooperation partners:
Bauhaus Dessau e.V.; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Deutscher Werkbund Berlin e.V.; HfG-Archiv Ulm

Media partners:
ARCH+; brand eins; ndion