Bibliothèque: Designs for Dieter Rams & Vitsœ
The following post was contributed by Rob Fissmer: friend of Ghostly, Vitsœ ambassador, and unabashed Dieter Rams enthusiast.
The Ghostly Store’s sale of the Bibliothèque designed, Vitsœ produced ‘Dieter Rams 10 Principles for Good Design’ poster makes me really happy, as it brings together two companies I admire greatly. (Full disclosure: I work for Vitsœ!)
In February of 2010 I was able to catch the UK installment of the 'Less and More - The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams' exhibition at London’s Design Museum. Vitsoe had quite a big presence in the show, and I was lucky to have Vitsœ’s managing director Mark Adams walk me through the entire sequence of the exhibit. Mark has worked directly with Dieter Rams since the 1980s, and continues to do so to this day, so it was a real treat to have him share insight into certain eras of Rams’ output, in addition to stories about specific items as relayed directly to him by Rams. I spent quite a bit of time with each and every one of the over 200 products in the exhibition that were designed by Rams over a 60 year span.
It was here where I can say my budding Dieter Rams fanboyism really kicked into overdrive, but it was also where I first became exposed to the work of Bibliothèque, designers of the exhibition’s graphics. Upon entering the show I was immediately in awe of the giant screens they had created and inserted into Vitsœ’s 606 Universal Shelving System, spanning the entire 50 feet of the upper floor gallery entrance. They had taken graphical elements from both Braun’s and Vitsœ’s visual language over the years and scaled them up, printed, or routed out certain elements in order to create a procession aligned with the various phases of Rams’ output presented within the gallery. I found myself spending equal amounts of time marveling at both theirs and Rams’ work.
Above, is the massive 23 foot hand painted mural they did of the Audio 300 system Rams designed for Braun in 1969… an item I WILL own one day. That’s not me in the photo, but I’m sure I assumed that pose for a good 10 minutes in front of the mural.
This wasn’t the first time Vitsœ and Bibliothèque had joined forces. In 2007, the Bibliothèque initiated ‘72: Otl Aicher’ took place at the Vitsœ shop in London. The exhibition of their own collection of Otl Aicher’s posters and print designed for the ‘72 Munich Olympics also made great use of Vitsœ’s 606 as a system for displaying Aicher’s work.
Armed with a clear understanding and sensitivity to Aicher’s aesthetic and renowned design guidelines, Bibliothèque designed posters, invites, and guides for the exhibition. The elegant lines of Vitsœ’s shelves make an appearance in each case, creating a perch surface for the best mascot in Olympic history, Waldi.
Returning to the poster that started this post, one can see how Bibiothèque’s visual rendition of the ‘10 Principles of Good Design’ honors the clarity and exactitude of Rams’ design philosophy, while becoming a distinctive aesthetic statement in its own right. As with their work for the ‘72” Otl Aicher” and ‘Less and More’ exhibits, the poster shows how the subtle, yet surprising organization of information can reveal new insights about a subject.