News / Graphic Design

Otl Aicher’s Isny: an exhibition celebrating the work of the iconic 20th Century designer

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-1

Otl Aicher: Isny iconography, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate

As part of London Design Festival, dn&co are hosting an exhibition showcasing the work of German designer and typographer Otl Aicher.

Over the course of ten years, Aicher created a series of posters based on the small German town of Isny im Allgäu. The images presented the area in a new way, visualising the town in 128 pictograms that were “stark, reductive and entirely black and white”. The exhibition, alongside the release of a publication titled Otl Aicher’s Isny: How a German town defied the postcard mentality, is to be held at Ground Floor Space gallery in Bermondsey.

Aicher worked with brands such as Lufthansa, Braun and Bulthaup, and was well-known for the Munich Olympics identity in 1972 — a project that garnered him the reputation as “father of the geometric man”. Further to this, his work is was reputable for its simple approach, which dn&co describes as “an economy of line drawn with an often mischievous twist”. The aim of the exhibition is to celebrate the work of the iconic 20th Century designer, featuring the “most comprehensive collection… ever to be seen in the UK”.


“Otl Aicher has long been a source of inspiration, so our trip through southern Germany to uncover his work for Isny was the epitome of a busmans’ holiday,” says Patrick Eley, creative director of dn&co. “The treasure trove of the archive at Ulm, the hospitality of Aicher’s son Florian at Rotis, and the sweet beauty of the town of Isny itself were stops along the way to a greater understanding of the man and his vision, which we bring to life in the book and the exhibition.”

The Otl Aicher exhibition opens to the public on 15 September as part of the London Design Festival. A limited edition book will accompany the exhibition and will be available to pre-order at dnco.com.

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-6

Otl Aicher: Isny iconography, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-7

Otl Aicher: Isny iconography, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-2

Isny im Allgäu: Photo by Tian Khee Siong

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-8

Otl Aicher: Isny posters, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-3

Isny im Allgäu: Photo by Tian Khee Siong

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-9

Otl Aicher: Isny posters, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate 

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-4

Isny im Allgäu: Photo by Tian Khee Siong

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-10

Otl Aicher: Isny posters, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate 

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-5

Isny im Allgäu: Photo by Tian Khee Siong

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-12

Otl Aicher: Isny pictograms, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate 

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-13

Otl Aicher: Isny pictograms, image courtesy of the Otl Aicher Estate 

Otl-aicher-graphic-design-itsnicethat-11

Isny im Allgäu: Photo by Tian Khee Siong