Informational Poster

OTL AICHER (1922–1991)

[2/11] Initial Exploration

[2/16] Research + Essay

“The World as Design” by Otl Aicher // “Otl Aicher” by Markus Rathgeb
Portraits, Typefaces of choice, Color palettes, Select works (artifacts, logos)

[2/18] Sketches

  • Political/social context: Growing up in Nazi Germany, serving in the army, and committing design practice to rebuild Germany after WWII
  • Designing for everyday life: “The street is more important than the museum.”
  • Brand identity work: designing for German companies, including Lufthansa, Metro Bilbao, ERCO
  • Strong use of grids and structure in design work
  • Clearly documenting design guidelines in manuals
  • Pictograms (first used in Olympics, but later in signage)
  • Importance of location/life in his work: Growing up in Ulm (city), later life in Rotis (suburbs)
  • Education: founded Ulm School of Design and was a prolific teacher

[2/25] Poster Concepts

Simplifying photographs to create custom pictograms
  • lack of focus in the signage poster though icons are interesting (can potentially incorporate
  • really need to think about what information will be included in the actual poster
  • Aicher holding A sign is still a strong picture — keep iterating

[3/1] One Poster Concept

  • Realizing the importance of the designer’s work to the poster vs. getting stuck on a concept I wanted to execute
  • Having lots of ideas is good but choose one or two so you can develop them to a greater fidelity to understand if it’s truly effective
Inspiration poster + new color palette!
Color, contrast, and blending mode experimentations
  • Showcase Aicher’s graphic and flat work from the 1972 games
  • Contrast his photograph with a bright color palette

[3/2] Crit

  • Approach is reminiscent of both Aicher and my style (I just noticed this and think I might be able to make it more “Aicher” if I added some remnants of an underlying grid structure)
  • Smart use of large type and a cool story (I might be able to push this more, playing with dimension and tactility. Playing off the relationship between the graphics on the top half of the poster vs. the “tactile” nature of the photo of Aicher)
  • Limited color palette is nice and cohesive; try adding some areas where his work is in full color (This is a cool idea and I agree, it can draw more attention to his work vs. having the same hierarchy between landscapes and his work)
  • Can still edit down on use of type — quotation marks in squares, paragraphs on top (Agree, the type doesn’t look like a “system” just yet; need to edit down on the paragraphs and determine an appropriate flow of information on the page)
  • Pushing concept of tactility and dimension — make some graphic shapes look further forward in space vs. in the background, adding texture (reminiscent of photo)
  • Clean up type — make font choices, font sizes, and colors more consistent
  • Standardize use of lines — do they run along graphic boundaries? merge them into “grids”?
  • Intentional use of color — using color to bring out more dimension, using color to draw even more attention to Aicher’s work. limited color palette + some exceptions

[3/3] Refinements

  • can still push colors
Formal 10-column grid // Comparison between original and formal grid poster
  • Standardized size of all type (18 pts), Made both quotes the same size (30pts)
  • Used Rotis SemiSans for body copy and timeline type, Univers Light for quote
  • Made the two quotes follow the same curve and removed the large quotation marks
  • Seamless gradient on large type
  • Incorporation of more blue on other parts of the graphic
  • Ditched inner shadow/drop shadow idea to focus on cropping of images and appropriateness of type placement

[3/4] Final Poster




Carnegie Mellon Design + HCI ‘23

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