Discover Hans Hillmann’s extraordinary film poster archive

A digital archive chronicling the nearly six-decade-lengthy profession of Hans Hillmann, in point of fact one of Germany’s most influential postwar graphic artists, launched this month. Incorporating his existence’s work – 164 film posters – the archive involves works created for Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman, alongside drafts and illustrations.

Greater unexcited, the archive is accompanied by the beautifully designed ‘Transferring Photos – The Total Movie Posters of Hans Hillmann’, edited and printed by Jens Müller, who heads up the main archival mission alongside Katharina Sussek.

Talking to LWLies, Jens explains how he got here to work with Hillman and the significance of uniting the type designer’s archive now. He remembers discovering the archive of Atlas Movie in a native film museum, which he says “led to the FilmKunstGrafik mission, which paid tribute to the transient period of refined film graphics in West Germany from the 1950s to the ’70s, with Hillmann as its central figure. This was adopted in 2009 by the monograph ‘Hans Hillmann: The Visible Works’. Thru these projects, a non-public friendship and ongoing trade about his graphic work developed.”

Jens adds: “As with many favorite graphic designers, public thought is proscribed to most tantalizing a handful of iconic works. When we talked to Hillmann’s widow about how we may perchance commemorate his work on the occasion of his 95th birthday, we got here up with the postulate of an on-line archive that may perchance fabricate as many of his works as likely accessible.”

The archive with out a doubt succeeds on this mission, charting Hillmann’s worthy achievements and shedding gentle on his prolific profession, which began when, having graduated from artwork faculty, he began working for the distribution company, Neue Filmkunst, who afforded him with out a doubt huge inventive freedom. Hillmann at the origin depended on typeface which he cut and drew himself, since few poster typefaces had been accessible in print retail outlets after World War Two. But in the 1950s, as soon as he was ready to give you the cash for a darkroom, he fused photographic ingredients into his striking designs.

Although he collaborated with such trailblazing filmmakers as Akira Kurosawa and John Cassavetes, Hillmann had moderately exiguous contact with them, preferring to present his designs independently upon meticulously discovering out the motion pictures themselves. By incompatibility, he labored carefully with German administrators such as Volker Schlöndorff and Edgar Reitz, exchanging ideas in approach of film manufacturing. However, acclaimed global filmmakers enormously admired Hillmann’s artistry, with Jean-Luc Godard even decorating an dwelling in Two or Three Issues I Know About Her with Hillmann’s posters.

So what are Jens and Katharina’s favourite designs? Jens has just a few, in conjunction with the poster for Masaki Kobayashi’s Ningen no jôken, admiring Hillman’s success “in applying cinematic ingredients such as zooming and reducing in a graphically very merely solved poster.” For Katharina, it’s now not in point of fact one of many type designer’s iconic works for Hitchcock or Bergman but “Hillmann’s timeless 1964 hang for the Kieler Woche annual sailing contest.”

Be aware extra in regards to the archive at

Published 24 Mar 2021

Akira Kurosawa
Alfred Hitchcock
Hans Hillmann
Ingmar Bergman
John Cassavetes

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