Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Plakatstil- German Poster Style
Plakatstil or “poster style” is a German movement in poster design that started in 1906. Initiated by Lucian Bernard with a poster design for a competition by Priester matches he took an innovative approach by drawing two large simplified matches and writing the brand name above them in clean, bold letters. The simplicity of the design marked a movement away from the decorative Art Nouveau style, which featured curvilinear and detailed ornamentation towards sleek functionalism and modernist simplicity. The success of the poster led to a revolution in graphic design that dominated German advertising for the next decade.
Plakatstil was clear and eye-catching. In the Plakatstil style designers reduced images to elemental or symbolic shapes placed over a flat background colour, the typography in bold lettering. Plakatstil incorporated distinctive eye-catching yet flat colours in combinations not seen in other art forms such as Art Nouveau. Plakatstil removed the complexity and helped emphasize a more modern look a further step towards abstraction. Rejecting curvilinear ornamentation like that in Art Nouveau and instead focused on rectilinear and geometric structure based on functionalism.
Main Artists of the Plakatstil style were Lucian Bernard (Priester-1906 poster shown above) and Ludwig Hohlwein with (Burger and Zimmermann-1908).