Julius Klinger (1876–1942) is one of my favorite poster artists ever!
This innovative Austrian illustrator, graphic designer, typographer
and teacher was also a pioneer in the fields of branding and advertising.
After studying at the Technologisches Gewerbemuseum in Wien,
Klinger found his first employent at Wiener Mode magazine.
There he met Koloman Moser, who encouraged him to move
to Munich where he found work as an illustrator for the satirical
Lustige Blätter, 1907
In 1897 he relocated to Berlin, where he worked extensively as a commercial artist
and contributed to humorous magazines such as Das kleine Witzblatt,
Lustige Blätter, Die Lustige Woche and Das Narrenschiff.
Hermanns and Froitzheim, 1910, thanks to Stefan Lukut
Zoologischer Garten, 1910
Hollerbaum und Schmidt, 1910
Together with the printing house Hollerbaum und Schmidt, he developed
a new functional style of poster that soon gained him international reputation.
Klinger's timeless designs display a very minimalist, modern and refined aesthetic
enriched by fantasy, a strong sense of humor and the love of animals.
Flugplatz Wanne Herten, 1912
Karikaturisten Ball, 1913
8 Kriegsanleihe (8th War Loan) propaganda poster, 1918
Palm Cigarren, 1918
Klinger promoted economy of design and a clear separation between poster art
and painting. After the end of WWI, he established a school for commercial art
in Vienna and devised some very large and comprehensive advertising campaigns
for companies such as Tabu cigarette paper and MEM toiletries and razor blades.
These are the strongest expressions of his graphic functionalism, which relied
on the company logo, simple geometric shapes and bold, flat colors
to achieve maximum impact and brand recognition.
Wipag Klinger, 1923
Sadly, this story has a tragic ending. Because of his Jewish descent,
Klinger fell victim to nazi persecution. In 1942 he was deported to Minsk,
where he was presumably killed during the same year. For some time
his name almost fell into oblivion, but he was recently rediscovered
by many who appreciate his stylized and ultra modern approach,
and his work has been featured in numerous design blogs