Monday, September 16, 2019

The Posters of Ludwig Hohlwein


Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949) produced simple and recognizable poster designs that influenced many graphic artists in his time.



From the perspective of design impact, his work has remarkable graphic power, with organized values and strong silhouettes.


Hohlwein's work was part of a poster tradition known as "Plakatstil" (German for 'poster style') or "Sachplakat."



The posters were characterized by bold, flat colors, and playful lettering, a reaction to the subtlety and complexity of the Art Nouveau style.



Forms are simplified into a finite number of value steps. White shapes spill over into other white shapes, and the modeling of form leaves out any unnecessary detail.


Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, he also produced Nazi posters, so his legacy is associated with that history.

However, during his time, Hohlwein's posters influenced many designers and artists in Germany, including Edmund Edel, Ernst Deutsch-Dryden, Hans Lindenstadt, Julius Klinger, Julius Gipkens, Paul Scheurich, Karl Schulpig and Hans Rudi Erdt, and they were admired by contemporary illustrators in the USA, including Edward Penfield and Coles Phillips.
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Websites:
Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949) on Wikipedia
Flickr collection of his posters
Search results on DuckDuckGo
BooksHohlwein Posters in Full Color
Ludwig Hohlwein, 1874-1949: Kunstgewerbe und Reklamekunst (German Edition)

4 comments:

Glenn Tait said...

I loved his ability to simplify form and create strong graphic imagery. Contemporary illustrator Nancy Stahl seems strongly influenced by him in some of her work. The poster book is an excellent overview of his work.

Luca said...

A couple of days ago i saw the "franziskaner" poster on an internet meme and i was wondering who painted it originally, i like a lot the clean and defined shapes on the monk face. So, thanks for this very timely post! :)

Marc Tellier said...

Thanks for sharing that, what a brillant artist !

Incredibly productive.

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