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Graphic Designer Homage: Lucian Bernhard

What's up guys?  This is my first of many Graphic Designer Homage posts where I'll be showcasing an artist's style as well as their short bio.  I'm a big fan of graphic design and it's always important to note where we get our inspiration from. These artists, in the upcoming posts, will shed some light on where I get my inspiration from...

Lucian Bernhard (1883-1972) has an interesting story.  He was a self taught artist that only briefly went to school for art (but did very well while he was there).  Bernhard ran away from home after being disowned by his father as a teenager, and that's what sparked his art career in the early 1900's.  His first piece was for Priester, a company that made matches.  They held a competition for an advertisement that caught Bernhard's interest.  This was when the minimalist design style thrived in poster art.  He used flat colors with merely the company name and product on the background.

Lucian Bernhard, advertisement for Priester matches, 1905.

Here we see the poster he made for Priester.  It's very simple, yet effective and to the point.  Many artists in the modern era have adopted this minimalist style and have taken it a step further, such as the talented Noma Bar (one of my favorites).  Bernhard used this style with several other advertisements as other company's also fell in love with the minimalist approach.

Lucian Bernhard, advertisement for Stiller shoes, 1912.

Lucian Bernhard, advertisement for Manoli cigarettes, 1910.

Lucian Bernhard's minimal style inspired me to focus more on what actually needs to be on a piece of art, eliminating anything that's excessive.  Bernhard was also a master of color theory.  He knew how to complement colors within the subject matter to make the best out of his art.

Hauk Vagner