#

Articles

Rotis: light and shade

Rotis: light and shade
Rotis: light and shade

Gerrit Terstiege

Rotis: light and shade

What’s become of Otl Aicher’s former abode? A visit to the Allgäu

Rotis in the Allgäu is legendary as the place where Otl Aicher lived and worked. What other designer’s domain has acquired such mythical status or become so closely linked with a designer’s personality? Rotis was both venture and vision – and an experiment in which a great deal more was involved than design. What remains?

read more

Aesthetic of the devil

Aesthetic of the devil
Aesthetic of the devil

Daniel Damler

Aesthetic of the devil

Technology: a central notion and fixed point of perspective in the work of Otl Aicher

Aicher always protested against the idealisation and fetishisation of the technical. Yet his enthusiasm for the power of the machine and the dynamism of industrial production runs through his entire body of work.

read more

A graphic view of things

A graphic view of things
A graphic view of things

Linus Rapp

A graphic view of things

Absolute sharpness, reduction and strict rules determine the character of his pictures: Otl Aicher as photographer

Otl Aicher didn’t just design company logos and pictograms, he took photographs for decades too – breaking new ground again and again in the process. Trained in syntactic exercises, he extricated photography from art and established it as a medium of communication design.

read more

Show, don’t explain

Show, don’t explain
Show, don’t explain

Elisabeth Spieker

Show, don’t explain

Under Otl Aicher’s direction, designers, architects and landscape planners shaped the face of the Olympic Games 1972

A joyful festival that united sport, design and art is what they had in mind. Designers from various disciplines developed a concept for a bright and cheerful Summer Olympics. In Munich, an open, transformed Germany was to present itself to the world. Among the architects and designers, there was no doubt at all that a new visual image was indispensable to the Federal Republic’s renewal.

read more

Educator, author, activist

Educator, author, activist
Educator, author, activist

Dagmar Engels

Educator, author, activist

Inge Aicher-Scholl preserved the legacy of the White Rose

She launched trailblazing educational establishments that were committed to nurturing democracy in the new Federal Republic: Inge Aicher-Scholl was the founder of Ulm Adult Education Centre and co-founder of the School of Design – and much more besides. As a political activist, she was involved in the peace movement from the late 1960s on.

read more

“It had to be Rotis” 

“It had to be Rotis” 
“It had to be Rotis” 

Gerrit Terstiege

“It had to be Rotis” 

An interview with design icon Stefan Sagmeister about typefaces, beauty and the legacy of Otl Aicher

He ranks among the most prominent graphic designers of international repute: Stefan Sagmeister, Austrian by birth, has lived in New York for almost 30 years. He owes his fame to album cover designs for the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, lectures, exhibitions and his film, Happy. At first glance, Sagmeister doesn’t seem to have much in common with Otl Aicher – but that’s precisely why we were so interested in how he sees the formative German designer. His answers are surprising.

read more

They laid the foundations

They laid the foundations
They laid the foundations

Gui Bonsiepe

They laid the foundations

Reflections on Inge Aicher-Scholl and Otl Aicher

The founding of the School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung / HfG) in Ulm by Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill in 1953 followed in the tradition of various movements: Christian-based humanism, cultural cosmopolitanism and the resistance of the Scholl siblings.

read more

Alpha wolves

Alpha wolves
Alpha wolves

Carsten Wolff

Alpha wolves

They created the signature of an epoch: designers Otl Aicher, Willy Fleckhaus, Anton Stankowski and Kurt Weidemann

Looking back at German graphic design of the second half of the 20th century, there are four very different personalities who – each in his own way – had a formative influence on this period: Otl Aicher, Willy Fleckhaus, Anton Stankowski and Kurt Weidemann.

read more

Design as a team sport

Design as a team sport
Design as a team sport

Mark Holt

Design as a team sport

Otl Aicher’s Dept. XI team: the visual identity of the Munich ’72 Olympics was the work of graphic designers, illustrators and technical staff from all over the world.

From 1965 to 1972, Otl Aicher and a large team created the visual design of the 20th Olympic Games in Munich. A total of 82 graphic designers, illustrators and technical staff worked on the sporting event’s corporate design in the course of this megaproject. Their plan: Germany, the Olympic host, was to present itself as a transformed, social-liberal and post-national republic – in cheerful colours and democratic forms.

read more

Full of feeling against people ruled by their feelings

Full of feeling against people ruled by their feelings
Full of feeling against people ruled by their feelings

Robert Zoske

Full of feeling against people ruled by their feelings

Aicher’s childhood and youth: the years 1922 to 1945

Even while still at school, Otl Aicher was involved with associations within the youth movement that were fiercely opposed to National Socialism. His early experiences had a lasting impact on him: his observations of nature during excursions, his rejection of the all-powerful state, the will to resist, his insistence on the lower case and his distance to all forms of effusive emotionality – Aicher found his themes early on.

read more

“Everything about the plush Waldi was wrong”

“Everything about the plush Waldi was wrong”
“Everything about the plush Waldi was wrong”

Gerrit Terstiege

“Everything about the plush Waldi was wrong”

How a dachshund conquered the world: former Aicher staff member Elena Schwaiger on plush animals, fakes and the authentic mascot of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich

Elena Schwaiger (née Winschermann) was part of the team surrounding Otl Aicher that created the overall design of the Games of the XX Olympiad in Munich. She had started an internship there in 1968 as a graphic design student. Together with Aicher, she then designed the famous Waldi mascot. The colourful dog obediently followed the design guidelines that had been established – and appeared in many different versions as the cheerful ambassador of a new Germany.

read more

People who dared to try something new

People who dared to try something new
People who dared to try something new

Manuel Aicher

People who dared to try something new

The Aichers: a brief family history

The graphic designer had an ambivalent relationship to his parents – that ran in the family. His own father before him had endeavoured to keep his distance from his father and chose a different occupation. Otl Aicher didn’t take over his father’s firm either. And none of his children carried on his business.

read more

A wealth of material

A wealth of material
A wealth of material

Christiane Wachsmann

A wealth of material

How Otl Aicher’s papers and materials came to the HfG-Archiv/Museum Ulm

The papers and materials documenting the work of Otl Aicher were presented to the HfG-Archiv/Museum Ulm by the Aicher-Scholl family in the summer of 1996. Many of the documents on this website originate from the extensive collection.

read more