Otto Arpke

Biography

Posters, industrial illustrations, interior decoration, publicity. Born 16 October 1886 in Braunschweig (Brunswick). 1900-1905: studied at the Hannover Kunstgewerbeschule while working in lithography. 1905-1907: worked as decorator in Düsseldorf, and studied with Schlüter . 1907-1908: studied in Brussels. 1908-10: military service. 1911-12: worked as designer in Hannover. 1912: moved to Berlin and set up own studio. 1913: designed film posters for Ufa. 1914-18: military service (1917: officer in Vilna). 1919: co-founded the Stahl-Arpke studio, working mainly for the film industry (to 1924); one of his posters was for Cabinet of Dr Caligari . In 1920 he helped to found the Association of German commercial designers (BDG: Bundes deutscher Gebrauchsgraphiker). 1924-5?: designed the title pages for the new advertising journal Gebrauchsgraphik. 1925: founded the Otto Arpke advertising studio. 1928: His Arpke-Antiqua issued by Schriftguss. 1928-33: taught at the Mainz Kunst- und Gewerbeschule (until relieved of his teaching post by the Nazis), and at Lewin Funke’s Studios (Studienateliers für freie und angewandte Kunst). His clients included the art printer Dinse & Eckert.. From 1929-42 Arpke illustrated covers for the journal die neue linie, and posters for international exhibitions. From 1932-39 he designed posters for the shipping firm Norddeutsche Lloyd Bremen. 1933: moved to Berlin. 1933-35: taught fashion illustration and advertising art. 1935-43: director of the advertising art department at the Berlin Meisterschule für Buchgewerbe und Graphik. 1935: designed the interiors for the zeppelins ‘Hindenburg’ and ‘Graf Zeppelin’, and continued to design posters and illustrate books. 1936: designed poster and brochure for the Berlin Olympic Games. Otto Arpke died 4 December 1943 in Berlin.

Writings by

  • Rotophotdrucke (with E. Schneider), Berlin: Rotophot, 1929
  • ‘Prof. Otto Arpke’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1933, pp. 8-9.

Writings about

  • Richard Braungart, ‘Vereinsdrucksachen’, Das Plakat, April 1921, pp. 229-37
  • W. Gaunt, ‘The whole world of advertising’ (World Advertising Congress, Berlin), Commercial Art, 1929, VII, pp. 137-41 W. Gaunt, ‘The spirit and the letter of modern advertising design’, Commercial Art, 1929, VII, pp. 142-6
  • Otto Arpke 1886-1943, Plakate, Graphik (exh. cat .. ), Berlin-Zehlendorf: Reiter-Druck, 1979
  • Ilse Unruh, ‘Otto-Arpke-Ausstellung im Gutenberg-Museum Mainz’, Aus dem Antiquariat, 1981, 8, pp. A348-50 Siglinde Hohenstein, ‘Otto Arpke 1886-1943. Werk und Wirkung’, Graphik, 10, 1981, pp. 26-7
  • ‘Prof. Otto Arpke’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1930, pp. 2-15
  • E. Hölscher, ‘Prof. Otto Arpke’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1935, pp. 2-9
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘What is good? What is right?’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1935, pp. 2-32
  • Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., July 1938, p. 49 (poster for Int. Handwerks Ausstellung)
  • E. Hölscher, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1959, pp. 14-21 (Gg covers)
  • novum, Jan. 1979, p. 10 (Lufthansa poster, 1933)
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘Modern menus and wine-cards’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., 1929, v. 2, pp. 40-49 note on OA’s Rotophotdrucke, in Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., 1929, v. 12, p. 76
  • Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., 1934, facing p. 872 (shipping poster)
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘Advertising means of the North German Lloyd’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., May 1935, pp. 2-15
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘Posters’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., July 1937, pp. 2-15
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘Otto Arpke’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1939, pp. 2-16 (ads, posters, interior decoration for ‘Graf Zeppelin’)
  • Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein, Typography – when/who/how, Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998., 1998.

Exhibitions

  • Staatliche Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, 1979
  • Gutenberg Museum, Mainz, 1981.