There have been a number of books on designer Otl Aicher but to date none have provided a detailed account of the 1972 Munich Olympics and Aicher’s design team, Dept. XI, or the full and breathtaking scope of their outputs; not just print and the sports and info pictograms, but apparel, signage, stadium decoration, cityscapes, the official mascot Waldi, and the souvenirs.
50 years on from the Munich Games project it’s time for such a publication, for the story to be finally told – with your backing this long overdue book will come to fruition.
The research is complete, the design and writing are 75% complete. The book is researched, written, designed and published by Mark Holt, co-founder of London’s internationally acclaimed design studio, 8vo, and co-editor and co-publisher of the typography journal, Octavo. He is the co-author and co-designer of the 8vo biography, ‘8vo. On the outside’, 2005, Lars Müller publishers, and ‘Octavo Redux 1:1’, the story of Octavo journal, published by Unit Editions in 2017.
If successfully funded, the book will be printed mid September and available exclusively to Kickstarter pledgers in mid November 2019, a few weeks prior to general release and launch.
Unique insights and content
Munich ‘72. The Visual Output of Otl Aicher's Dept. XI, is the culmination of 3 years work incorporating story and image research at various archives in Ulm and Koblenz (Germany) and Lausanne (Switzerland) as well as the Nick Roericht archive in Ulm. Over 20 people on Aicher’s team have contributed their recollections. Five of the team have been interviewed (their interviews are published in the book).
Over 30,000 words of German has been translated from original documents and correspondence from the period, offering up unique insights which form the basis of the book, namely: Aicher’s thoughts, and the development of, his groundbreaking concept for the Games’ image (and his sometimes problematic dealings with the Organising Committee); the story of the beginnings of the team and their eventual incorporation into the Organising Committee as Dept. XI; the team’s collaborations with product designer Nick Roericht and the production staff of Dept. I(P); the origins of the Olympia-Waldi mascot; and the story of how an entrepreneurial owner of a Hamburg-based flag manufacturer threw Aicher a vital lifeline in creating and overseeing hundreds of souvenirs.
Additionally, the book presents the fullest account yet of the development of the official emblem and includes the five winning entries from the public competition, as well as the official emblem artwork. It also recounts, for the first time, the competition for the design of the official poster (both these projects resulted in Aicher threatening to quit the project).
Shown and translated in full are the Standards and Guidelines for Visual Design, as well as those for Olympia-Waldi.
Dept. XI: A lasting testimony
Otl Aicher continues to be solely credited for the Munich ‘72 project. This new publication aims to serve as the catalyst for a more ‘shared’ crediting of the Munich outputs, which would seem a fitting way to express the collaborative nature of the team and the work of the 70-80 individuals who brought Aicher's utopian vision to life over an 8-year period (1965–73). While not a catalogue raisonné, the books compendium of works opens with key projects by each of Aicher's 10 team heads, followed by more general works. Where known, all works are dated and credited to their respective creators.
The book tells the story of Gerhard Joksch's sports pictograms accompanied by sketches and artwork.The book's appendix contains a previously unpublished account on the anatomy of the sports pictograms written by Joksch himself, and, from the book's author, a comparative study of three sets of 1972 sports pictograms – the original analogue versions, the Rotis redrawn versions (later licensed by ERCO), and a set later redrawn by Joksch himself.
2. Munich Olympics Folklore
3. The ’72 Games: ‘HfG Ulm in Practice’
Team Heads and Support Staff
4. Prelude to Dept. XI: The Garching-Hochbrück Studio (1965–68)
5. From ‘Strahlenkranz’ to ‘StrahlenSpirale’ – the Official Games emblem (1967–68)
6. Otl Aicher’s ‘Erscheinungsbild’ (image) concept (1967–68)
7. The Dept. XI Team (1967–73)
8. Gerhard Joksch’s ‘Body Alphabet’ (1967–71)
9. Rules of the Game – Guidelines and Standards for Visual Design (1969)
10. Playing the Game (1967–73)
Part 1: Key Projects by Team Heads (1967–72)
- Alfred Kern’s Information Pictograms, Signage and I.D. Graphics (1967–1972)
- Karsten de Riese’s Photography (1967–72)
- Rolf Müller’s Bulletins (1968–72)
- Vera Simmert’s Apparel (1969–72)
- Holger Franke’s Kiel (1969–72)
- Team Joksch’s Sports Posters (1970–71)
- Elena Wischermann’s Olympia-Waldi (1970–71)
- Eberhard Stauss’s Munich Cityscape (1970–72)
- Hans Roericht’s ‘Arbeitsgruppe Austattung’ (1970–72)
- Ian Mclaren’s Cultural Programme (1971–72)
Part 2: Compendium of other Works (1968–73)
11. Guidelines and Standards for Olympia-Waldi (1971)
12. Olympic Souvenir (1970–72)
13. Afterword (Otl Aicher’s 1975 ICOGRADA lecture, Edmonton, Canada, translated in full)
Interviews with Prof. Ian McLaren, Elena Winschermann, Prof. Michael Burke, Jürgen Hoffmann and Gerhard Joksch
- Olympiapark 2019 (photographs)
- Team Biographies
- Anatomy of the ‘Body Alphabet’ by Gerhard Joksch
- Sports Pictograms: A Comparative Study
Hardback, 536 pages. English language
225mm high x 170mm wide
Over 300 illustrations, 5 interviews, many unseen images.
REWARDS: Postcards, signed copies, unused event tickets, tote bags and posters
Everyone who purchases the book will receive the 8 postcard set (A6 format).
The other reward levels are limited in number...
100 x the 'Signed Copy' reward level.
100 x 'Signed plus Tote bag'.
24 x 'Signed plus unused event ticket' (selected randomly).
There are 6 separate 'Book and Poster Bundles' - just one of each. Each bundle includes one book and one original A0 format poster from the Games.
SET OF 8 POSTCARDS: Letter from Coordt von Mannstein to Aicher explaining construction of the emblem; Vera Simmert's apparel; Gerhard Joksch holding aloft boxing poster films; Aicher and Kern working on the Fackellauf poster; von Mannstein's emblem artwork (detail); Joksch's pictogram artwork; Waldi mascots; souvenir matchboxes.
TOTE BAG OR UNUSED TICKET?
BOOK and POSTER BUNDLES 1–6 / A0 FORMAT: Each bundle offers a different poster
Please note that at a later stage you will be asked to confirm your delivery address and your name as you would like it to appear in the book. If you don’t supply this information then your name may not appear.
Books will be shipped from the UK – some overseas destinations may trigger import duties and taxes. These cannot be predicted and are the recipient’s responsibility and not the publisher.
Risks and challenges
These are negligible as Mark has a wealth of production knowledge accrued from a near 40-year career designing books and cultural catalogues. As is expected, project costs have been calcualted in detail, and time contingencies have been factored in where required. A printer of the highest quality is in place and ready to produce the book. A fulfilment house has been tasked with packing and delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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