Otl Aicher


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Max Bill (1908—1994)



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A German graphic designer and educator, Aicher studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts from 1946 to 1947. Having established a studio in Ulm in the following year, he later became closely associated with the highly influential and radical Hochschule Für Gestaltung at Ulm. In fact he was a co‐founder and lecturer in visual communication from 1954 to 1965. He was also vice‐chancellor from 1962 to 1964. He was strongly influenced by Max Bill, the institution's first director and a graduate of the Bauhaus. His graphic design work is characterized by a sense of structure, geometric organization, and discipline and communicates an ethos of functionalism. Whilst at Ulm he collaborated on the design and display of Braun products with Hans Gugelot, another key figure at the institution. However, Aicher is perhaps best known for his graphic design programme for the 1972 Munich Olympics, which embraced all the visual dimensions of the event, ranging from uniforms and interiors, to maps, street signs, and pictograms denoting individual sporting activities. He also worked on Corporate identity graphics for a number of major clients including Lufthansa (1962–4), Frankfurt Airport (1967–70), König Pilsner (1975–6), and Erco (1975–7).

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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