The Munich ’72 manual – an icon of the early days of corporate branding
Guidelines and Standards for the Visual Design. The Games of the XX Olympiad in Munich 1972
Officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The first one-to-one reprint of the manual from 1969. A tribute to Otl Aicher, commissioner of the Organizing Committee of the German Olympic Summer Games, the intellectual and political engaged designer who set the rules to shape Germany’s image after World War II.
Including a prologue by designer Erik Spiekermann.
In the US and in the P.R. China the reissue will be EXCLUSIVELY available during this campaign!
Booklet with English, French and Spanish translation.
Now the Munich ’72 manual is going to be available to everyone
When we visited Olympic historian and collector Markus Osterwalder in his private archive in Herisau, Switzerland, we found one of the rare copies of the design manual of the “Rainbow Games”.
We were absolutely thrilled by its simplicity and beauty and were amazed that a ring binder with 22 fold-out sheets could be the core of more than 100 design fields.
“It is so simple, so well-structured, clearly understandable and educational as basically everything that Aicher created.” Michael Klar, designer and friend of Otl Aicher
The making of modern Germany with timeless design
“Trust cannot be gained through words, but instead only through visual proof.” Otl Aicher, 1975
Almost a quarter of a century after the end of Nazi dictatorship only an explicit counter-draft to Berlin 1936 would allow to represent the spirit of the young democratic country. Otl Aicher’s mission was to create “cheerful, light, dynamic, apolitical, un-pathetic, ideology-free, playful Games of sport and culture”. The Guidelines, 1969
“Everything fell under that title. The colors had to be joyful, the type had to be joyful, everything had to make people smile.” Erik Spiekermann
Aicher’s aesthetic solution: a functional visual language
The identity of the Olympic Games in Munich and thus the image of modern Germany was the result of Aicher’s principles to reduce ideology, language and aesthetics to the essentials, in the sense of Bauhaus.
The rational set of rules should enable to achieve “the widest possible impact of their appearance using the same design means” and “save the planner unnecessary preparatory work and time-consuming detailed decisions and thus give him more design freedom within a manageable scope”,The Guidelines, 1969
The “father of geometric men”, the iconic pictograms, was successful in creating a broad impact of a coherent visual identity “that followed no trends” (Michael Klar) and set standards for branding and corporate design.
A visual grammar with flexible elements that permitted uniformity in diversity and diversity in unity
The visual modules – the typeface, the colors, the grid systems and the application methods – were the basis of all printed matter, merchandising products, signage, wayfinding systems, urban planning and landscaping.
“The freedom of play” was about ensuring “maximum variation” via “strict discipline and adherence to rules”, explained Otl Aicher in 1975.
Prologue by Erik Spiekermann
A tribute to Otl Aicher.
Erik Spiekermann is art historian, printer, type designer (Meta, Officina, Unit, Info, Fira et al.), information architect and author. Founder of MetaDesign ’79, FontShop ’89. Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Britain 2007. TDC Medal & National German Lifetime Achievement Award 2011, etc. Now Edenspiekermann Berlin, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Los Angeles. Lives in Berlin, London and San Francisco. Designer at letterpress studio p98a.berlin. The book “Hello I am Erik” about his life and work was published by Gestalten Verlag in 2014.
We have been granted permission by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to publish the Guidelines and Standards for the Visual Design of the 1972 Munich Games in original size and style.
The copyright to the publication is owned by the IOC.
All pictures of the manual in the video and on this page are taken from the original.
Facts about the reissue
Plates printed from high-resolution scans of the original manual.
Hardcover ring binder, 250 x 310 mm, with 22 fold-out sheets, 300 x 630 mm
4 color Skala + 7 PMS spot colors
Production quality will be guaranteed as we always apply highest European standards.
Everyone involved in the production process of the manual’s reissue pays meticulous attention to preserving the original look.
The publication follows our tradition of classic graphic design books like “Grid systems in graphic design” by Josef Müller-Brockmann and “Typography. A manual of Design” by Emil Ruder.
Designer Otl Aicher (1922-1991)
Graphic designer Otl Aicher was an influential figure in German and part of defining international design history. Aicher grew up in a Catholic family in Ulm; he himself, his family and his close circle of acquaintances, including the Scholl siblings, were declared anti-National Socialists. Together with his wife Inge Scholl and Swiss Max Bill, Aicher founded the Ulm School of Design in 1953, an experimental educational institution in the spirit of Bauhaus and taught in the field of visual communication until 1968.
With designs for companies such as Deutsche Lufthansa and electronics manufacturer Braun he set standards for consistent and unambiguous corporate branding by using few of simple and systematically repeated elements; all gathered in a manual that describes each of their application.
Many thanks for your support!
Michael Klar, designer, student and friend of Otl Aicher, for bringing us close to Otl Aicher and Munich ’72 as a contemporary witness.
Erik Spiekermann for his tribute to Otl Aicher and supporting the reprint with enthusiasm and knowledge.
The specialist team of Erik Spiekermann’s letterpress studio in Berlin p98a.berlin https://www.p98a.com that helped us to find the best production method and hosted us during the shooting of the video.
p98a is an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin dedicated to letters, printing and paper. It is a group of multi-disciplined designers, exploring how letterpress can be redefined in the 21st century through research, printing, collecting, publishing and making things. They work with hot metal- and wood-type, several proof presses, a Heidelberg “Windmill” platen and other traditional analogue equipment, and combine those with digital technologies.” Instagram @p98a
Markus Sebastian Braun, publisher of Niggli Verlag
Writer, director Sandra Ellegiers
Producer Johann Buchholz, www.fridayfilm.de
Director of Photography Emma Rosa Simon
Editor Robert Bohrer
Risks and challenges
To reprint Otl Aicher’s design manual as authentically as possible with today’s technical possibilities is an extraordinarily exciting challenge, even for us as experienced publisher in the field of illustrated books. From the question of how to do the actual reproduction of the pages, to the right choice of paper as well as the printing process and the finishing, we’ve spent a lot of time exchanging ideas with specialists and people whose opinion we highly value. After a long and thorough search, we’ve finally found a printing company in Italy that not only fulfills our high quality standards but also gives us the prospect of close and trustworthy cooperation.
As a publishing house with an international focus, we have a lot of expertise in effectively managing worldwide shipping thanks to our experienced distribution partners in Europe and the United States.
If any problems pop up, which is part of life, we are confident that we have the experience, the knowledge and the commitment in combination with a fantastic network of partners and friends to find solutions for almost any situation. We know that at the end of a long journey, we will have an amazing product that will meet and even exceed the exacting expectations of all of us and of you, our audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)