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“Trade:Mark” Exhibition at the Kunstbibliothek Now Accessible Online as a 360° Panorama


After opening on 12 March 2020, the exhibition Trade:Mark – The Stankowski + Duschek Graphic Design Studio had to close its doors to the public just one day later, along with all venues of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, because of precautionary measures instituted to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The exhibition has now been made available as a 360° panorama.

Trade:Mark can be experienced via the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin website as a 360° virtual tour. Visitors have the opportunity to move as they please through the exhibition space and to view the exhibits at close range, with accompanying texts providing background information.

Christiana Thomson, exhibition curator, explains: “For Stankowski + Duschek, art and design were inseparable. The trademarks the graphics studio produced are symbolic sign systems closely linked to Concrete Art. This unique connection becomes apparent through the interplay of the works in the exhibition space, with the virtual tour making this very tangible. Visitors will discover corporate design in its most diverse manifestations: the Deutsche Bank logo as Op art, a butcher shop counter for the Rewe grocery chain, infographics for the Viessmann company, and much more. Karl Duschek described brands as cultural atoms – particles of communication condensed to their most powerful aspects. An entire wall of business cards illustrates this idea.”

Marken:Zeichen (Trade:Mark) – The Stankowski + Duschek Graphics Studio

Logos, signage, corporate identity: Components that are now part and parcel of every company’s image were still in their infancy in the mid-20th century. Pioneering in this development for decades was the graphic design studio of Stankowski + Duschek, a leading firm in the field of communication design in Germany. The two designers mastered the art of trademarks like no other German graphic design studio of their day.

Anton Stankowski (1906–1998) was a pioneer in the field of advertising graphics. Beginning in 1972, he joined forces with his 41-year-younger partner Karl Duschek (1947–2011) to develop the studio into a centre of excellence for visual communication. Compressing complex messages into memorable geometric sign systems became a hallmark of Stankowski + Duschek’s work.

The Trade:Mark exhibition demonstrates how design and art merge to form a universal entity. It presents works from the extensive Stankowski + Duschek estate, which Meike Gatermann gave to the Kunstbibliothek in 2012, supplemented by loans from the Stankowski-Stiftung and the Kunstarchiv Karl Duschek in Stuttgart.