Max Bittrof

Biography

Publicity, type designer, posters, trademarks. Born 27 November 1890 in Frankfurt an der Oder. Trained in Krefeld and Wuppertal-Elberfeld while apprenticing as lithographic printer. From 1919/20: freelance in Frankfurt a.M., designing posters, labels, book jackets, publicity. 1923: one of founders of BDG (Bund Deutscher Gebrauchsgraphiker: Association of German Commercial Artists). 1927-9: advertisements for Opel (automobiles) and Nestor cigarettes, for which he is particularly known. 1931-5: designed work for publishers, printers; designed the black-letter Element Fraktur (1934, Bauer). From 1948: designed first West German banknotes (www: moneymuseum.com) and stamps. 1952: designed postage stamps for the German Communication and Transport Exhibition, Munich 1953. From 1957: taught commercial art at Westend art school, Frankfurt a.M. Died 15 May 1972 in Frankfurt a.M.

Writings by

  • ‘Das Bild im Plakat’, Klimschs Jahrbuch, 1936, pp. 31-8.

Writings about

  • K. Th. Senger, ‘Wie wirbt man für Getränke?’, Graphik, 1950, pp. 340-56, esp. p. 348 (advertisement)
  • Karl Hans Walter, ‘Funktion und Gestaltung der Schutzmarke’ (logos), Graphik, 1951, 5, pp. 232-5 Friedrich Friedl, ‘Max Bittrof’, in eye, 9/1993, pp. 72-7
  • Frithjof Dahl, ‘Max Bittrof’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1928, pp. 3-18 plus supplement
  • ‘German Communication and Transport Exhibition, Munich 1953’ (special number), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Sept. 1953
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 1995
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘German posters of 1927’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., v. 2, 1928, pp. 31-59
  • Werner Suhr, ‘Max Bittrof’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., May 1938, pp. 19-26
  • Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein, Typography – when/who/how, Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998., 1998.