Lucian Bernhard

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1883–1972 | BORN: Stuttgart, Germany | EDUCATION: Munich Art Academy

Invented the “object poster,” focusing on the product being sold

Rejected Art Nouveau’s decorative complexity

Designed several typefaces

Lucian Bernhard was in his early 20s when he entered his design in an advertising poster contest sponsored by Priester matches. (Consider this an early form of crowdsourcing.) Although Art Nouveau was popular at the time, with its complex ornaments and floral embellishments, Bernhard took a different creative direction, painting a simple scene showing a smoking cigar in an ashtray with matches. A friend saw the artwork and thought ...

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