Our upcoming auction includes 9 volumes of Das Plakat, a seminal publication that chronicled poster design, graphic design, illustration, and branding. Nearly 100 years after its final issue, it continues to provide a wealth of information and inspiration to collectors, artists, and designers alike.
Dr. Hans Sachs.
Das Plakat was launched in 1910 by a dentist who loved posters. Dr. Hans Josef Sachs was already a fervent collector of posters; in 1905, he founded the Verein der Plakat Freunde (The Society for Friends of the Poster), and Das Plakat became their official publication. In its first years of publication, 4-6 issues were released annually in a print run of 200 copies. By 1920, new issues were released monthly and printed in copies of 5,000. Clearly, the magazine was a hit.
Josef Fenneker, March 1921.
As an affichomaniac, Dr. Sachs had his finger on the pulse of commercial design—not just in Germany, but around the world. Each issue of Das Plakat was designed by a posterist of the period, and they were given complete control over every design aspect, from the typography to the cover. These artists included Schnackenberg, Bernhard, Mangold, Scheurich, Cardinaux, Hohlwein, Schildberger, the Beggarstaff Brothers, Baumberger, and Fenneker. Hundreds of illustrations and poster tip-ons filled the pages while essays discussed the philosophy, ethics, and impact of the medium. The magazine not only pleased fellow poster lovers, but legitimized this fairly new field of graphic design and paved the way for commercial design as we know it today.
“[Das Plakat] not only exhibited the finest poster examples from Germany and other European countries, but its high standards, underscored by exquisite printing, established qualitative criteria that defined the decade of graphic design between 1910 and 1920.” —Steven Heller
In his 1957 essay, “The World’s Largest Poster Collector,” Dr. Sachs wrote of his posters, “I am grateful to the fates for the decades in which I was able to find such joy in my treasures and for the environment which made all this possible. They were an infinitely rich and significant part of my spiritual, artistic, and human development.”
At Auction on Nov. 15:
Das Plakat: 9 Volumes. 1912-1921.
One of the most complete sets we’ve ever offered.
Das Plakat – A Photo Essay
William H. Bradley
The best graphic design
Endless plates and prints
Artist signature guide
It’s better with a book.
Order the Rare Posters Auction catalogue now
for full details on all 500 lots