Gerd Arntz and the origins of the stick figure
July 7, 2008 4:35 PM   Subscribe

The Gerd Arntz Web Archive collects graphics from the career of the man who - in creating over 4000 Isotypes for social scientist Otto Neurath in 1930s Red Vienna - can make a serious claim to be the inventor of the modern stick figure. He attacked the corruption of German society as the Nazis rose to power, then joined Neurath in an attempt to create a transnational visual language that bore later fruit in Otl Aicher's 1972 Olympic pictograms and the AIGA passenger/pedestrian symbol signs. [via Mark Larson and Austin Kleon]
posted by mediareport (9 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
He was the icon maker before there were computers. Thanks mediareport.
posted by netbros at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2008

Yep, that's us Dutch.

nice, thanks
posted by jouke at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2008

With all due respect, Émile Cohl's characters predate Neurath's "modernizing" of stick figures.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:17 PM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awesome! I wish I had someplace to use these symbols...
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 5:51 PM on July 7, 2008

Tangentially-related: from 1979's Anarchy Comics #2, Paul Mavrides and Jay Kinney present: Kultur Dokuments (pdf), featuring The Picto Family and The Political Bizarros, in which we see the newly-radicalized proletarian Pictos seize control of their graphic style, and a fun Archie parody.

And, on further exploration, previously.
posted by Kinbote at 6:19 PM on July 7, 2008

In the industry category - Cut the bull?
posted by tellurian at 8:25 PM on July 7, 2008

Cool stuff, thanks mediareport!
posted by carter at 8:37 PM on July 7, 2008

With all due respect, Émile Cohl's characters predate Neurath's "modernizing" of stick figures.

Well, with all due respect, you rock. I love early film and *really* love early animation and had never heard of Cohl before. That first link is brilliant stuff. Thanks, Smart Dalek.
posted by mediareport at 6:49 AM on July 8, 2008

Thanks mediareport (+ Smart Dalek). Great post! (also: this)
posted by peacay at 8:09 PM on July 8, 2008

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