A simple essential piece of machinery
Otl Aicher's 1985 logo and corporate identity for FSB
German Franz Schneider set up shop in 1881 as a maker of antique-style cabinet fittings and religious devotional artefacts cast in brass. These were modern for the time, with Franz Schneider having a good eye for emerging trends. FSB, as it exists today, was established when Franz Schneider moved from Iserlohn to Brakel in 1909 (adding the B to his initials) and focused his efforts on designing and manufacturing classic hardware for doors and windows.
Despite a long and significant history, a growing building crisis in Germany at the beginning of the 1980s had FSB Managing Director Jürgen Werner Braun questioning the company’s approach to marketing as commissions had begun decline. He needed to rethink the way the products were presented and marketed.
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Braun was connected to renowned German designer Otl Aicher (Munich ‘72, ZDF) through a chance meeting with Klaus Jürgen Mack of ERCO, a lighting manufacturer who he had previously worked Aicher. Braun raised the issue of marketing, and was convinced he needed a better brochure. Aicher rejected this, suggesting that Braun was stating what he ‘wanted’ but didn’t know what he ‘needed’. Regardless of his initial reluctance, and with an approach that would be led by ‘who’ the company wanted to be rather than what it was, Aicher proposed a total corporate strategy which would include corporate identity design and a new logo.
Continue reading to understand the origins of the logo, logotype and colour palette, and see these applied to stationery and advertising.