Video transcript

(gentle music) - I'm standing in the MoMA stores and I want to talk today about a poster of 1912 to 13 designed by the German designer Ludwig Hohlwein for Kaffee Hag. Kaffee Hag was one of a number of foodstuffs that represent German innovation in applying scientific principles to new foodstuffs. It was a decaffeinated kind of coffee, which was advertised at this time as being healthy, and hence, Hohlwein's decision to link it to this man clad in his tennis whites. By 1913, Kaffee Hag already had a strong visual and brand identity on the market. It was just succinctly referenced in this image. You can see half of the icon appearing on the side of the coffee mug, but that was enough to trigger recognition of a brand. The strength of the image really relies on this very simple, incredibly economical visual means to communicate the message with bold use of forms and contrasted tonalities, a limited color palette and a very modern approach to the typography, using this Sans Serif type. And what was unusual and new and very modern for the time was his use of negative space. You really are focused on the title Kaffee Hag. Another example of this wonderful economy of means and giving the image a slightly humorous touch is the way he's accommodated the printer's name in the shape of a tennis ball. And it's not only about branding of the product, it's also about the branding of Ludwig Hohlwein as a graphic designer. By 1925, he'd designed about 3,000 of these posters. His signature is located in the bottom where he's extended the umlaut over Munchen, Munich, to connect to his name in this compact and graphic rendering of his identity. (gentle music)