Erik Nitsche

“In 1940 he was asked to become art director of Air Tech and Air News magazines, specialised technical magazines filled with charts and graphs about aerodynamics and hydraulic systems. He had total control of the illustrations and format. It matched his swiss background and love for logics and precision. Laszlo Moholy Nagy was confronted with Nitsche’s work through these magazines, wondering whom it was that was working Bauhaus-style in the USA.

He was very productive in the 1940’s, working for a large number of clients as art-director. In 1947, he succeeded Herbert Bayer as art director at Dorland International in New York, and in 1948 he became art director of Mademoiselle magazine for a few issues (Bradbury Thompson later took over the job). Nitsche was restless, called himself a ‘nomad’ and never managed to remain at a job for a long time. He had the feeling he wasn’t an office-person and in the early 1950’s he left New York and moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut. For this new start he had to attract new clients. He got involved in The Gotham Agency which, among others, had the General Dynamics account.”

“General dynamics, in the run for the ‘International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ in Geneva, wanted to be positioned as a purveyor of peace instead of a developper of weapons and destructive materials.
For communicating this message they knew they needed a skilled graphic designer. Nitsche was assigned as art director in 1955 and given complete freedom to build the company’s identity from zero.”

An Andres Segovia Program record sleeve

Decca DL 9647

For more images / further links to read about Erik Nitsche and his work – you can read this whole article here. Be sure to check out some of the links down at the bottom.


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