Everyday Branding in the GDR

23 April, 2009


Commonly referred to as East Germany, the former German Democratic Republic existed from 1949-1990. During that period, a significant portion of Germany was virtually cut off from the rest of the world (at least from Capitalist societies). So what exactly was it like for those living behind the infamous wall?

Anyone interested in learning more about the GDR needs simply to check out the fascinating DDR Museum in Berlin. Visitors can interactively experience aspects of what life was like during that time through multi-media displays and many hands-on items. They illustrate everything from the education system to the Stasi to how people spent vacations. There are numerous samples of everyday items such as food and toiletry goods, clothes, and toys. The major headliners of the museum are the fully reconstructed kitchen & living room from a quintessential apartment and one of the famous Trabant cars. Both of those exhibits you can explore and play in.

However, of primary interest for all of us here are some superb typographic specimens! These typical* East German household objects have often been adorned with gorgeous lettering. The museum has much more to see and admire, these here are just a taste.

Next time you are in Berlin consider an excursion to check out a bit of former East German (life)style.

*Not all of these are necessarily “typical” items but could still be found (somewhere) in the GDR.




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