• Steven Heller

Do You Know Max Hertwig?

Even if you’ve heard of the German poster, type, lettering, logo and book cover designer Max Hertwig (1881-1975), I doubt you’ve  heard or read much about his vast and unique career.

As a student of early 20th century German design, I knew the name, collected bits of his work, but he was one of the many greatly skilled designers who fell in the shadow of Lucian Bernhard. Seemingly to rectify the paucity of biographical information and alter the historical perception of Hertwig as a mere follower, C. Arthur Croyle, Associate Professor of design at Iowa State University, has spent years researching and uncovering a significant amount of work and biography. The result is Hertwig: The Zelig of Design, referring to his associations with the German Werkbund and the Bauhaus, as well as with Peter Behrens, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius.

Hertwig may not interest everyone, but he should. He is one of the building blocks of modern graphic design history. He left enough of a legacy to both appreciate for its craft and savor for its art.

Just look for yourself (above and below) and order the book here.

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