Lucian Bernhard

Lucian Bernhard was a German designer who earned his place in the art world with his poster design. He began working in poster and advertising because this was the work that he had been doing before he became a name in the art world. Emerging as an artist following the Art Nouveau period, his designs were simple, clean, and minimal in color. Bernhard, as an emerging design, was paving the way for a new style of art and he didn’t even realize that it was happening. Bernhard also did not have a lot of confidence in his work, he did not think that he was good at his craft and had almost given up on design before being discovered. As his artistic career developed, he expanded his horizons and began designing typography, packaging, and textiles as well.

One of his early works was an advertisement done for Manoli cigarettes. This advertisement features a heavy, dark background with a teal type treatment of the company name at the top of the image that spans the width of the image. The next aspect of this design is the flat image of the cigarette box and cigarettes, which is located in the left third of the picture plane. The purpose of this advertisement was to picture only the brand name and the product that they produced. This advertisement, and the others like it that he created, are significant because they were the early development as what eventually would be known as an object poster.

Many companies used this poster style at this time in order to advertise their product. Over time, this flat style that Bernhard had developed expanded into a more colorful, realistic style. The way that Bernhard treated his typography remained mostly the same. He used bold, capital letters that then had another border around them as well to allow for more thickness and more attention. In the advertisement design that he did for Bosch, a car parts company, we can see a much more developed style with more dynamic colors and textures throughout the piece.

While Bernhard’s style was simple, his principle was a legacy in its own. His style was simple and to the point with the display of the company name and then an image of a product that they sold or manufactured. We see this style applied in our own time now because many companies basically use this same principle. For example, in a perfume ad for Moschino and their fragrance Couture, you can see that the product and the brand name are the main focal points of the advertisement. This advertisement does have modern trends of influence but at a basic level of understanding it uses the same principle the Bernhard did. This method of advertisement that he developed clearly works which is why it is still influential to us in modern day.


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Information was also taken for class lectures and the class textbook.


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