Weekend Heller: A Heck of a Symbol

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for Weekend Heller: A Heck of a Symbol

Here’s one for the banality of evil bucket: The so-called Sig-Runes, the logo for the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel), was designed by Walter Heck, a graphic designer who had worked for the badge manufacturing firm of Ferdinand Hoffstätter in Bonn. The Daily Mail reports:


The Nazis claimed the double lightning flashes of the SS were “ancient runes” that extolled the supremacy of the German race. But a new TV documentary has debunked the myth, revealing that Heinrich Himmler [hired] an out-of-work illustrator to create them. Walter Heck designed the SS symbol in 1929 and is believed to have copied it from the signs on electricity pylons in the country at the time. A TV documentary titled “Symbol of Evil” purports to show how SS leader Heinrich Himmler paid the illustrator to create the symbol for £1.

Support PRINT.

The experts who write for PRINT magazine cover the why of design—why the world of design looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters. Subscribe to PRINT today, and get in on the conversation of what the brightest minds in the field are talking about right now—essential insight that every designer should know to get ahead.

Treat yourself and your team to a year of PRINT for $40—which includes the massive Regional Design Awards issue ($30 on newsstands).