designers books

Published by Sébastien Hayez


Written by Sébastien Hayez, 6 years ago, 14 Comments


Update from the update post of 27 of january 2011.
Update from the original post published on september 2009.



I must admit that I knew very few things about this magazine. I recently bought a 1961 issue to have an advice. I don’t want to tell more here, a next post will come soon showing more of this issue.

Maryellen McFadden give me some clues about the publisher:

Professor H. K. Frensel founded Gebrauchsgraphik in 1923 and it became one of the most popular international advertising design journals of that time. Published in both German and English, it followed Dr. Frenzel’s concept that advertising should be a positive force in society and he followed what was developing with work influenced by Futurism, Constructivism, DeStijl and the Bauhaus, as well as other innovative graphics. The magazine never espoused any specific philosophy but was open to all design directions that related to the highest standards.

And here, some other informations taken from Questia:

Gebrauchsgraphik, Monatschrift zur Förderung künst­lerischer Reklame (Commercial Graphics, Monthly Magazine for Promoting Art in Advertising), which was published in Berlin from 1924 until 1944, was one of the first-generation graphic design journals in Europe. It followed the poster movement and typo­graphic reforms associated with German Jugendstil and their respective literature in the pre-1924 years and developed them in new directions. Gebrauchs­graphik published some of the first reviews of an activity still to be termed ‘graphic design, together
with articles on book design, advertising, publicity and packaging. In the years before the Second World War, Gebrauchsgraphik established itself as a suc­cessful bilingual (German-English) publication, with a hiatus between 1944 and 1950. Then it was relaunched from Munich where it is still published under the revised title of novuni Gebrauchsgraphik.

At the first look Gebrauchsgraphik looks quite similar to Graphis magazine. But it’s probably Graphis who was inspired by his german big brother : short articles written in 2, 3 or 4 languages (german, english, later french and spanish as well). The main difference was Gebrauchsgraphik was a monthly magazine, Graphis a bi-monthly magazine. Both never focus on a unique topic, but display a great variety of interests: graphic design, typography, illustration, advertising, art & craft, etc.

Gebrauschsgraphik was founded before WWII, the few pages I’ve seen from the first years were a good example of Art Deco and Futurism design. We’ll see that in my 1961 issue, the layout seems quite traditionnal compared to Graphis, TM or Neue Grafik layouts (all 3, pure swiss magazines).

If you are interestd in finding issues of Gebrauchsgraphik, it’s not very hard. Try a quick search in Ebay and some old issue from the 1940 and before could be found for a reasonable price. Seeking deeper, I’ve found one of the first issue for 850 euros but 30 to 70 euros seems to be a good price for most of the issue from the 1930′ to the 1950′. Then, issues from the 1960′ and 1970′ are around 10 to 30 euros.

Click on the thumbnails to view full size.
Most of this covers came from karajahnauktion.

Send an email for more information about a specific issue.

About Sébastien Hayez

Art director, graphic designer & illustrator from Lyon, France. Admin at Co-admin of the Facebook group Archives Graphiques Curator at Writer at The Shelf, issue 2.

  1. Sébastien HayezSeptember 4, 2009, 6:28 pm

    Thanks, you have an amazing flickr set, could I do a complement with some of your Gebrauchsgraphik covers ?…

  2. Derrick SchultzSeptember 5, 2009, 11:38 pm

    Gebrauchsgraphik and Graphis are a perfect complement to each other. Graphis got a little thin toward the 70s and 80s as they started publishing more than just the magazine, and Gebrauchsgraphik went through some major changes as well, but from post-WWII until then they are amazing documents of what was going on in design and advertising art.

    In complement to Will’s flickr set, we have a collection of cover photographs from most of Gebrauchsgraphik’s time:

    A lot of them are not the greatest pics but are for documentation purpose. Its great to see them all at once and see the progression of cover styles throughout the years.


  3. Sébastien HayezSeptember 6, 2009, 9:17 am

    Yes, you’re right, Graphis was really thin at the end of 70′ & the 80′ are quite poor. I was quite interesting by Novum but it seems to be written in german only ! I’ll probably do an important post with all the cover from Gebrauchsgraphik I could find. Thanks !

  4. Derrick SchultzSeptember 7, 2009, 4:30 am

    Novum, at least right after they switched over from Novum to Novum Genrauchsgraphik was tri-lingual. That might have changed since though.

  5. Anna AvellarFebruary 13, 2013, 12:05 am

    I have the issue with the fish but can’t figure out the year or number of this issue. I don’t want to open it just yet because it is carefully wrapped. Can you help?

  1. […] is was of the best and first graphic design related magazine. I’ve archived here most of the covers found. But for the modernist fans, it’s always hard to find a massive collection of mags for a […]

  2. […] arrival this morning with a pack of 26 issues of german magazine Gebrauchsgraphik. Each issue is quite in a good state, and I’m happy enough to see the pre-war period in my […]

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