West Berlin graphics

Because of the so-called Ostalgithere is relatively an abundance of graphic material produced beyond the Berlin Wall during the Cold War era.
However, the lens that, as Westerners, makes us admire the ingenuity of the designers who lived and worked beyond the Iron Curtain with curiosity and a pinch of exotic excitement, risks making us lose sight of it and put it out of focus. period was built on this side of the wall, in that West Berlin, which developed at the same pace as the rest of the “free world”, while the GDR on the other hand was stuck in a different time flow and a different narrative line. .

However, the “bubble” was actually the western part of the city. Surrounded by 360 ° of East Germany, throughout the period between 1961 and 1989 it remained a territory in itself, an island with its own very lively cultural scene and a specificity that is also evident from a graphic point of view.
To emphasize this special status comes a book, West Berlin Graphic Designcurated by the designer and instructor Jens Müller – co-founder of the Düsseldorf-based studio Vista – and published by his small independent publishing house Optics books,

Jürgen SpohnBerlin International Film Festival Youth Series, poster, 1964 (on loan: Jens Müller)

Rudolf J. Schmitt (artwork) and Anton Stankowski (logo), Berlin A letter, Brochure cover, 1967 (loaned: Jens Müller)

Christian ChruxinKlau mich, Bogopslag, 1968 (courtesy: Jens Müller)

Erich UngerDetektei Atlas, poster, 1968 (loaned: Jens Müller)

Volker Noth (DE)False programmed, Book cover, 1968 (loaned: Jens Müller)

Sigrid von Baumgarten, Hans Förtsch (DE)SFB WDR Musik der Gegenwart, poster, 1970 (loaned: Jens Müller)

Erik Spiekermann, MetaDesignProposal for new signage for Berlin’s public transport, 1987 (lent by Jens Müller)

Ott and Stein (DE)Berlin Modern Architecture, poster, 1988 (on loan: Jens Müller)

Müllers is the first book to focus on this aspect.
He is made in collaboration with his students and draws from the archives and highlights – giving them the right meaning and visibility – graphic projects that are rarely examined under the lens (it is the second time in a few lines that I use this metaphor, probably due to the name of the publisher and from Müller’s studio) of design history.

From posters of theater performances and concerts to graphics in newspapers and magazines, from company logos to book covers, from the identity of city institutions to signage by public transport: part of what you can see while flipping through the book still exists today, part instead, it fell into oblivion after the reunification of the two Germanys.

Among the volume’s 152 pages, there are more than 500 illustrations, as well as interviews with the designers and several previously unpublished projects.
“A trip to a city that no longer exists,” the author defines.
In bilingual English / German it is possible buy online.

Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)
Jens Müller, “West-Berlin Graphic Design. Graphic design behind the Iron Curtain “, Optik Books, 2019 (with courtesy: Jens Müller)

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