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The bequest of Otl Aicher

The bequest of Otl Aicher

Otl Aicher (1922–91) was a co-founder, temporarily a rector, and one of the most important lecturers at the HfG. As head of the Visual Communication Department he set new standards in the fields of design and graphic design. With the members of his development group “E5” he created corporate identities for the companies Braun and Deutsche Lufthansa, the West German airline. In 1968 he became responsible for designing the Munich Olympic Games. Further projects included Bavarian Reinsurance, Bulthaup, Dresdner Bank, ERCO Luminaires, Frankfurt Airport, FSB, Westdeutsche Landesbank, and the television channel ZDF. His pictograms, developed since 1968, quickly became an international system of symbols. Otl Aicher is also known for his photography and his large body of writing as a cultural critic.

The artistic legacy of Otl Aicher was presented to the Ulm Museum/HfG Archive by the Aicher-Scholl family in the summer of 1996. It consists of correspondence on approximately 350 projects, 4,000 posters, 27,000 sketches, 30,000 slides, as well as many texts from exhibitions, photos, negatives, and papers. The materials have been conserved and systematically documented in a complex database.

The Otl Aicher Archive is integrated into the HfG Archive. All the materials can be viewed for the purposes of academic study. The publications of Otl Aicher are available in a reference library, and a small permanent exhibition gives an insight into the designer’s extensive work.