Hans Rudi Erdt

Hans Rudi Erdt its an artist born and based in Germany. Erdt is one of the main artists working in the Sachplakat (Poster Style) movement. In the Sachplakat movement, artist wok with simplified forms, colors, and shapes to get an idea across.


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In “UBoote Herasus” (The U-Boats Are Out!), Erdt uses Sachplakat for the advertising of a movie poster promoting the government film celebrating submarine warfare. This poster breaks things into simplified shapes and colors. The Figure is in the foreground and blocked out into peach, black, and red shapes. The typography in this poster is simple yet experimental. The “U” is centralized in the composition, it encompasses the commander and the boat sinking in the back.  The black silhouette of the “U” and boat echo each other. Although this poster was made specifically for a movie; it still has elements of World War 1 propaganda.

In the Moslem Poster Erdt uses Sachplakat to advertise cigarettes. This poster uses four colors black, red, white, and peach. The background combines effortlessly with the figure in a minimalist fashion. The Cigarette smoke makes a shape that wraps around the “M” in Moslem. Both of these posters show how Sachplakat is used for advertising in different ways.

Manoli Limit poster takes a slightly different approach to Sachplakat. In this poster there is no figure and the main focus is the cigarettes. The box of Manoli’s are open with cigarettes all across the ground. “Manoli” is repeated multiple times, in the title and along with the box. Conceptually, this piece works perfectly because the main focus (the product) is never lost.

Hans Rudi Erdt is an artist that uses Sachplakat to advertise and promote numerous concepts and ideas, from World War 1 propaganda movie posters to cigarette ads.

Works Cited





Lucian Bernhard

Lucian Bernhard was a German designer and graphic artist from the early 20th century. He studied at the Munich Art Academy and later moved to Berlin and New York to pursue commercial work. The Beggarstaff Brothers, and British artists William Nicholson and James Pryde mainly influenced him in his work in advertising and modern design. His client list included names such as Cat’s Paw, Westinghouse, Bosh, Priester, Manoli, and many more. Before Bernhard started his work, posters in Berlin were more ornate and wordy; Bernhard’s posters simplified design. The style of Berhard’s work is most clearly described from his quote: “You see with your eyes, not your brain”. He emphasized working by instinct, and his work reflected that.


Early on in his career Berhard did very simple design work, making pieces that would change the history of poster design. When he won the Priester Matches Company poster contest he created the first Sachplakat, or object poster. This piece highlights the match company with minimal bold letters and a plain image. The companies name along with a simplistic image of matches is placed in the center of a black background. These two features are both shown in bold color. The only other subject matter on the page is Bernhard’s usual signature, bold BERN and HARD in the lower left corner of the frame. Later in Bernhard’s career, he turned towards early German gothic poster style. During World War 1, he worked for the German government making poster propaganda. His work during this time is recognized by its stark images and bright colored letters to highlight important words, like in his poster: This is the way to peace—the enemy wants it that way. This piece in particular, and others during this period, are more dramatic than his earlier work, and used an older-looking textura font.


During his career, Lucian Bernhard shaped the style of product and advertising posters. He’s one of the most important German poster artists in history, being very influential in the development of the Sachplakat, or object poster.



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.


For more reading: http://www.designishistory.com/1920/lucian-bernhard/

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