Graphic Design Collection

Poster art, advertising design, visual communication – graphic design has many names. The Graphic Design Collection brings together all of these in its holdings: comprising more than 400,000 objects acquired over a period of 150 years, which document historical and contemporary design alike.

Posters are one of the core focuses of the Collection, as are brand and corporate design, advertising art and ephemera of all kinds, from restaurant menus to record sleeves. Typography and book design are shared with the Book and Media Art Collection.

Art, culture, and beautiful books have always been at the centre of the Collection, with works by creatives from both graphic design and the fine arts. Other focuses are product advertisement, politics, and industry. Some of the highlights of the collection include around 3,800 early posters and pioneering works of modern advertising art, the Marzona Collection with its works of the neo-avant-garde from the 1960s, and thousands of one-offs, drawings, and design sketches from the estates of figures such as Ernst Paul Weise, Herbert Kapitzki or the firm Stankowski+Duschek, offering an insight into pre-digital design processes. Alongside German graphic design (including work from the GDR), France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Japan, and Switzerland are all well-represented.

The Graphic Design Collection always makes a concerted effort to remain up to date: every year, for example, it presents the 100 best posters from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Its acquisitions seek to reflect the latest trends and debates in the field of graphic design. In regular exhibitions at the Kulturforum, university seminars, and public events such as Nah dran!, the collection engages in inspiring dialogues with creatives and students.       

The objects from the Collection can be viewed in the Study Room. Prior registration is necessary.


The digital database only provides access to sections of the Graphic Design Collection. If you cannot find a particular object on there, get in touch with the Kunstbibliothek by telephone or email.

Contact for Requesting Items from the Collections

Phone: +49 30 266424101
E-Mail: kb[at]