Walter Heinz Allner

Biography

Editorial designer, posters, design consultant. Born 2 January 1909 in Dessau. 1927-30: studied at Dessau Bauhaus: teachers included Moholy-Nagy , Josef Albers , Wassily Kandinsky , Paul Klee . 1930: assistant to Piet Zwart . 1933: in Paris as assistant to Jean Carlu . 1934-6: has his own advertising agency in Paris, Omnium Graphique; also art director of Formes. 1945-8: co-editor and Paris correspondent of the Swiss art journal Graphis; co-director of Editions Parallèles. 1948: founder, with the publisher Zollikofer, St Gallen, Switzerland, and editor of International Poster Annual. 1949: moved to USA; freelance designer. 1951: co-editor of Fortune magazine. 1955: designed covers for Modern Packaging. 1962: assistant art director of Fortune; 1962-74: art director of Fortune (for which he created 79 covers). From 1974: taught at Parsons School of Design, NYC. Allner had been design consultant to Johnson & Johnson; designer for numerous corporations including Container Corporation of America, IBM, Museum of Modern Art. Wrote on poster art. Died in New York City 21 July 2006, age 97. ‘[He] introduced a European Modernist typographic sensibility to American magazine design… ’. ( Steven Heller )

Writings by

  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, Zurich: Amstutz & Herdeg Graphis Press, 1962. , 1962.

Writings about

  • A comprehensive reference is in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Munich/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 1990-., 1992.
  • Posters, New York: Reinhold, 1952
  • Steven Heller, obituary, New York Times, 24 July 2006.
  • brief biography, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1955, p. 54
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘Walter H. Allner, New York’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1954, pp. 2-5
  • Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott, Bernard Stein, Typography – when/who/how, Cologne: Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 1998., 1998

Exhibitions

  • Bauhaus Dessau, 1989.