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The Nazi Graphics Standard Manual
February 8, 2011 7:25 AM   Subscribe

The Nazi Graphics Standard Manual
posted by jefficator (73 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man what design ...fascists.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 AM on February 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


No logo for you!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:31 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh great, more annoying Heilvetica lovers.
posted by hanoixan at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2011 [25 favorites]


Just sent it to some design friends. Their response:

"..."

"...is this what I think it is?"

"it doesn't seem THAT detailed..."
posted by functionequalsform at 7:34 AM on February 8, 2011


Finally! A client who isn't afraid of designing with white space.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:36 AM on February 8, 2011 [47 favorites]


Full of Comic Sans. Who knew?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


The book "over-explains the obvious" and leaves no Nazi Party organization question, regardless of how minute, unanswered.

"They are PORTOBELLOS"

It should be obvious that authoritarians are authoritarian. And yet I was surprised that design was addressed given how antithetical it would seem for the Tea Party to do it. Like, that's art-fag stuff, dude.

But even in the larger scope, the current extreme right talks a lot about freedom but is still authoritarian. I guess the Big Lie there is You'll Be Free To Tell Everyone Else How To Run Things.
posted by DU at 7:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aryan Extra Bold.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seem odd to link to the Kottke blurb, rather than the actual Design Observer article.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's a link to a PDF copy in the comments on Heller's blog, for those who don't want to drop hundreds of bucks
posted by jtron at 7:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least they had a consistent design philosophy.
posted by COBRA! at 7:47 AM on February 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


And it's only slightly more expensive that Nathan Myhrvold's new book.
posted by slogger at 7:50 AM on February 8, 2011


There's a whole subculture of people who collect this Nazi shit
posted by KokuRyu at 7:51 AM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know who else had stringent design standards...
posted by vorpal bunny at 7:54 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


"But even in the larger scope, the current extreme right talks a lot about freedom but is still authoritarian"

I find that the only thing consistent about the right is it's complete and total hypocrisy. The more they attack the left, the more likely it is that they are themselves guilty of whatever behavior, idea, or attitude they ostensibly condemn.

The first thing I thought of when I saw this manual...oooooo! a style book for white trash tattoos!
posted by Xoebe at 7:54 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fascism. You're doing it wrong.
posted by markkraft at 7:56 AM on February 8, 2011


I don't see how it could be surprising that such a large organization with such a consistent, recognizable visual style would have some sort of central guidelines.

I mean lolnazisux but I don't really think anyone assumed that the signs in the backgrounds of those movies all looks the same as a coincidence, right?
posted by paisley henosis at 8:07 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Blah blah blah. Godwin's law again.
posted by foggy out there now at 8:10 AM on February 8, 2011


Fuhrtura Condensed Bold
posted by emelenjr at 8:14 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's an exception to Godwin's Law is when you're actually talking about Nazis.
posted by sbutler at 8:17 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh great, more annoying Heilvetica lovers

Right when I'm thinking "Christ if you're going to be a font snob at least spell...."

BASTARD!
posted by timsteil at 8:17 AM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Fashion spread begins on p. 82 of the pdf that jtron linked to.
posted by lukemeister at 8:24 AM on February 8, 2011


Fashions change, but Nazism is forever.
posted by artof.mulata at 8:27 AM on February 8, 2011


Is this the sort of thing that is subject to the inverse of Godwin's Law, whereby at some point in the thread someone will compare the Nazis to some current figure who also has a stringent and uncompromising style manual ... like, I don't know, Disney?
posted by wabbittwax at 8:30 AM on February 8, 2011


Macht das logo reichlich.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:34 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or perhaps "Machen Sie das Logo größer" would be better. German friends are out of time, high school German failing me. Ugh. Translation failure is failure.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2011


Neo-Nazis.
posted by mazola at 8:40 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Hans, what did I say?"
"You said one pica between..."
"I SAID ONE PICA BETWEEN PAGE ELEMENTS!"
"... page elements, Hauptmann."
"So, why don't I see one pica?"
"Because I thought..."
"YOU THOUGHT! Please tell us, Oberleutnant, what exactly did you think? Enlighten us."
"I thought it looked ... I don't know. Modern?"
"Overlapping elements are for Hungarians, Oberleutnant! You're not Hungarian, are you?"
"No."
"Swiss?"
"I'm from Munich."
"You'll be calling the Eastern Front home if you don't put one pica between page elements."
"Yes, Hauptmann."
"And use a contrast filter on this photo. It looks muddy."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [39 favorites]


Great: "Attention: Anyone who links to this site has automatically had your IP address forwarded to Interpol, the FBI, CSIS, MI-5, the Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye (GRU) and, for good measure, the Agency that employs Walmart security guards. You'll be hearing from us. Sucker."
posted by Mike D at 8:47 AM on February 8, 2011


Great graphics.
The Nazis actually started out as a design team then quit to pursue world domination and genocide because art directors are a bitch to work with.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:48 AM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's a whole subculture of people who collect this Nazi shit

Historians? Librarians? Museum curators?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:58 AM on February 8, 2011


Historians? Librarians? Museum curators?

Lester Burnham's next door neighbor.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:05 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is a universal law that as a conversation about Nazis continues, the probability that someone will mention link to a cat that looks like Hitler approaches 1.

I would propose calling this Niwdog's law but for two points.
1) It would needs to be Niwcat's law
2) I have no idea how the hell you'd pronounce either of them...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:11 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh for the love of... I proof read that three times.

*sigh*
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:12 AM on February 8, 2011


Looking over the linked PDF…

man those Nazis loved their organizational charts.
posted by ShawnString at 9:13 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finally! Braindead neo-nazi skinheads will learn how to draw a swastika the right way when they deface property.
posted by Splunge at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2011


"Goebbels, you deutschbag, this is Arial!"
posted by adso at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Valuable historical document and all that.. but fuck selling this shit, fuck buying it, fuck private individuals collecting it.

I simply cannot think of a valid reason why a private individual might want to own this. Nor can I think of a decent excuse for a dealer profiting from trade in it.

It just seems perverse in the extreme.
posted by Ahab at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2011


You know who else had stringent design standards...

Here she is!
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:45 AM on February 8, 2011


Valuable historical document and all that.. but fuck selling this shit, fuck buying it, fuck private individuals collecting it.

I simply cannot think of a valid reason why a private individual might want to own this. Nor can I think of a decent excuse for a dealer profiting from trade in it.

It just seems perverse in the extreme.
posted by Ahab at 11:29 AM on February 8 [+] [!]
Perversity is reason enough for me; other reasons could include being a historian, a designer, a herald, a student of political science/mass media etc. There are plenty of reasons that don't include (nor do they necessarily preclude) being a Nazi or sympathetic to such.
posted by jtron at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


All it's missing is a PowerPoint template.
posted by octothorpe at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2011


All it's missing is a PowerPoint template.

WHITEPOWERpoint!
posted by ColdChef at 9:52 AM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


something something the CSS SS something something
posted by unSane at 10:03 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't the Internet amazing? This thing has existed for 70 years or so, and there must be plenty of antique booksellers who have seen, held, smelled, and even sold a copy. But scan a few pages, write a blog post, and voila. It'll probably be reprinted.
posted by fixedgear at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2011


Valuable historical document and all that.. but fuck selling this shit, fuck buying it, fuck private individuals collecting it.

I simply cannot think of a valid reason why a private individual might want to own this. Nor can I think of a decent excuse for a dealer profiting from trade in it.

It just seems perverse in the extreme.


If you ask me, one of the great things about not living in Germany (Nazi or otherwise) is not needing a "valid reason" to read degenerate (scuse me, "perverse") books.
posted by vorfeed at 10:24 AM on February 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's all fun and games until you get to page 529.
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:28 AM on February 8, 2011


I simply cannot think of a valid reason why a private individual might want to own this. Nor can I think of a decent excuse for a dealer profiting from trade in it.

Oh man outrage!!, I can think of many reasons. . Because it's a part of history, because it's fascinating on a anthropological/graphic/artistic level, because it's so unlike anything you'd find today...
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Now that we know where graphic standards come from...
posted by 3.2.3 at 10:55 AM on February 8, 2011


Man, so much of Nazism (and totalitarianism in general) was about playing dress up. The movie MAX wasn't so great in general, but it really does communicate how there was an attempt to infuse politics with aesthetics.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 10:57 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clearly, somebody forgot to run this by the Fuhrer.

The whole thing's set in Fraktur!
posted by designbot at 11:02 AM on February 8, 2011


It's all fun and games until you get to page 529.

A breakdown of the Nuremberg Laws? My German is hamstrung by having learned it at an age that einfahrt caused study-ending giggles. Some other weird stuff for a design manual: org charts, etc.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:16 AM on February 8, 2011


"Hans, what did I say?"
"You said one pica between..."
"I SAID ONE PICA BETWEEN PAGE ELEMENTS!"...


That was outrageously good, Cool Papa Bell.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:53 AM on February 8, 2011


It's all fun and games until you get to page 529.


Stalingrad?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:02 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hans, have you looked at our caps? It's just that they have skulls on them... Hans, are we the baddies?
posted by krunk at 1:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Would there still be as much fascination with them if there wasn't all that branding and strong symbolism?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:12 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I simply cannot think of a valid reason why a private individual might want to own this.

I like stuff.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2011


Hans, have you looked at our caps? It's just that they have skulls on them... Hans, are we the baddies?
posted by krunk


I thought that clip was funny when I first saw it; but a book I was reading recently (about the Clash, of all things), pointed out that the British have worn baddie caps as well.
posted by COBRA! at 2:17 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought that clip was funny when I first saw it; but a book I was reading recently (about the Clash, of all things), pointed out that the British have worn baddie caps as well.

Well, to be fair, "DEATH Or Glory" would seem to send a rather different message than plain old "DEATH".
posted by vorfeed at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2011


True enough. Although I don't know if you have time to read the detail text when the Lancers are charging you.
posted by COBRA! at 3:13 PM on February 8, 2011


More photos and a copy for sale here.

Did anyone else giggle at the picture of the SS guy in his underwear?
posted by CNNInternational at 4:03 PM on February 8, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn Would there still be as much fascination with them if there wasn't all that branding and strong symbolism?

No, and the same applies to the two inspirational elements of your username. Icons are iconic. Much of modern branding and especially graphic design is driven by that endless search for iconicism, which naturally grows everywhere but is extremely difficult to deliberately cultivate. This particular document well post-dates the rise of Nazism, and is as much descriptive as prescriptive - it summarizes and clarifies extant icons, and doesn't seem to be creating many. I wonder who was ultimately responsible for the coherency and clarity of Nazi design elements?

This is a very interesting document for a lot of reasons, and it's a pity that the inherent evil of much of the content and of its authors so overwhelms consideration of the thing itself. I'd thought of style manuals as a relatively recent thing, but apparently not.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:04 PM on February 8, 2011


CNNInternational Did anyone else giggle at the picture of the SS guy in his underwear?
I think that's a sports or physical training uniform.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:05 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


geeze, aeschenkarnos, don't be such a wardrobe nazi.
posted by CNNInternational at 4:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now that we know where graphic standards come from...

Actually I think the first graphic standards were created by Peter Behrens for AEG in the early 20th century, and were used elsewhere before the Nazis, like in the London Underground.

Story about Nazi typography:

Before the Nazi party rose to power, Germany had been slowly moving away from blackletter to using the Roman alphabet. When the Nazis first set their standards, in order to unify Germany, respect its history and set it apart against the rest of Europe, they dictated that all official documents had to be set in fraktur. In 1941, however, they quickly and suddenly reversed this position and instituted that the documents would now use roman letters. Although this is probably due to difficulty in communications with conquered nations, the official reason they gave at the time was that fraktur was too "Jewish."
posted by girih knot at 4:19 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing these guys have a much different version of Wingdings than I have.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:49 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


RVPower:
I'm guessing these guys have a much different version of Wingdings than I have.

or maybe not! (ytmnd link)
posted by CNNInternational at 6:19 PM on February 8, 2011


(all jokes aside, girih knot, that was a really cool comment about German typography. where'd you hear about that stuff?)
posted by CNNInternational at 6:23 PM on February 8, 2011


A course in the history of graphic design I took in college. The textbook was pretty good if the history of design interests anybody (but most of it is not about Nazis).
posted by girih knot at 6:29 PM on February 8, 2011


Can we get one for communiqués to be sent to and from the Elder Gods?

I'm tired of using human elements like Papyrus and the blink tag to drive people slowly insane.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:15 PM on February 8, 2011


Also, you know who else had a consistant and generally polished design in his media?

That's right. Obama.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we get one for communiqués to be sent to and from the Elder Gods?

I'm tired of using human elements like Papyrus and the blink tag to drive people slowly insane.



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posted by girih knot at 7:25 PM on February 8, 2011


Before the Nazi party rose to power, Germany had been slowly moving away from blackletter to using the Roman alphabet. When the Nazis first set their standards, in order to unify Germany, respect its history and set it apart against the rest of Europe, they dictated that all official documents had to be set in fraktur. In 1941, however, they quickly and suddenly reversed this position and instituted that the documents would now use roman letters. Although this is probably due to difficulty in communications with conquered nations, the official reason they gave at the time was that fraktur was too "Jewish."

My high school German teacher said her drafted-into-WWII father-in-law told her they stopped using fraktur because no one could read the damn stuff. How's that for hearsay?
posted by jefficator at 7:04 AM on February 9, 2011


What happened to German graphic design standards. Regardless of the politics / atrocity, that's some fine design. What do we have now? Deutsche Telekom? T-Mobile? My (German) employer recently launched a massive communications / market positioning exercise...via a British design agency. Man, you've slipped, Germany :P
posted by Lleyam at 2:33 PM on February 9, 2011


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