The Pioneering Graphic Style of Ottomar Anton

Ottomar Carl Joseph Anton (1895-1976) was born in December 15, 1895 in Hamburg. After graduating from high school, between 1912 and 1913, he entered the State School of Applied Arts, University of Modern Fine Arts of Hamburg. He also worked in the Education Poster Institute Arno Kupka in Hamburg, where he became the head of the studio. During that time he took study trips to Norway, Spain and Italy.

He was appointed professor of graphic arts in 1935. He dedicated himself completely to this particular artistic field in which he made himself a name by winning several competitions. He created hundreds of posters commissioned by airlines and navigation companies such as the Hamburg-Amerika Line (Hapag), Deutsche Afrika Line and also for the Cunard Line. He represented these travel scenes in an eye-catching style, dreamlike but at the same time modern; ships majestically cruising the oceans, streamlined Swastika-sporting Zeppelins crisscrossing the sky in a spectacular and fast way. He was considered a master of graphic design and his use of colour was considered absolutely innovative by that time.

He joined the National Socialist German Workers Party in 1933, about the time Hitler became Chancellor. Then in 1936 Anton joined the Schutzstaffel. During National Socialism he created a number of political posters especially for the Waffen SS and the Hitler Youth which became famous for their original style. Among the most popular it is worth mentioning the call for enlistment in the Waffen SS (1941) poster featuring the portrait of Obersturmführer Klemens Behler. The poster, an icon of the Waffen SS, became widespread in various centers of enlistment.

In 1938 Anton creates a billboard for Mein Kampf without mentioning the book’s title. The advert only states ‘Das Buch, Ein Kraftquell Der Nation’ (‘The Book, The Source of The Nation’s Power’). Other graphic works like Gerade Du! (Just you!) are dedicated by Ottomar Anton to the boys of the Hitler Youth who joined by mass appeal to enlist in any military corps, but especially in the 12.SS Armored Division Hitler Youth.


Published in: on January 13, 2017 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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