Fridge Magnets and the Aichermagazin

Stick & Win!, the most creative campaign yet to celebrate “100 Years of Otl Aicher,” is intended to strengthen the town’s “Isny brand.” Anyone spotted with a sticker on their car will be stuck with a voucher for the local gift shop on their windshield. 

In the 1970s, well-known designer Otl Aicher created a corporate design for the Bavarian town of Isny: a total of 136 pictograms in black and white, depicting the town and region; anecdotes about Isny’s gates and towers, meadows and forests, and regional animals. The centenary of the designer’s birth is occasion for a relaunch of his corporate design. A new merchandise line with Aicher’s drawings is now available not only as stickers, posters and jute bags, but also as bouncy rubbers, skipping ropes, apple brandy and honey from the town wall’s bees.

Also part of the program: a wonderful exhibition in the newly built “Aichermagazin.” The black framework with its reduced aesthetics of wooden buildings is a lovely homage to Aicher’s work as an exhibition designer—the similarity to the Braun Pavilion at the 1959 Frankfurt Fair (which was in turn influenced by Mies’ Farnsworth House) is striking. 

A room formed by several wall slabs presents texts, anecdotes and photos as an insight into Aicher’s life and work. Entering it you find yourself in a walk-in version of a typical Aicher poster: lots of black wall, small text blocks, squares in different sizes, loosely combined with longitudinal formats. A real treat for Aicher fans! … and a wonderful example of an exhibition where space and layout were created simultaneously and consistently thought together. 

Outside, Isny’s pictograms are presented. QR codes refer to old-timey stories told by residents. The images can also be discovered around town and through events, such as the excursions “Firs, Hay & Apple Tree,” which take you into nature for herb binding, fruit harvesting and forest bathing. 

For all the entertaining marketing the rediscovery of Aicher’s images is fortunate. Because let’s be honest: How many town’s CIs do we know to be just as enjoyable in a museum as they are on the bumper of an Opel Corsa?