In the year 1926, the five linoleum manufacturers in Germany merged to become a public limited company. For this new enterprise – Deutsche Linoleum Werke AG (DLW) – a shared logo had to be found. It was to be progressive and thus the artist Willi Baumeister was commissioned to design it.
DLW advertisement in the Deutsche Bauzeitung, number 71, 1928 (design: Willi Baumeister).
He arranged the three initials of the Deutsche Linoleum-Werke in a framed square, positioned the DL over the horizontal W and added the i-dot of the linoleum as a small square so that, in the interplay between the light-coloured letters against a dark background, a sculptural back and forth resulted, almost as if incised in linoleum. He also designed the first major advertising event in the context of the “Die Wohnung” exhibition organised in Stuttgart in 1927 bythe Deutscher Werkbund under the direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The DLW stand at the Leipzig construction exhibition in 1929 was designed by Mies van der Rohe.
The throughout positive reaction to the DLW products in the circles of experts and the general public is documented in the daily press of the time and in specialist journals.
The throughout positive reaction to the DLW products in the circles of experts and the general public is documented in the daily press of the time and in specialist journals. In November, the second issue reported on the grand topic of that time, the housing developments. Precisely in the phase of the economic and political stabilisation in the Weimar Republic from 1924 to 1929, the local authorities and the non-profit-making building societies intensified council housing, in order to resolve the existing lack of housing. In the metropolis Berlin, where under Planning Commissioner Martin Wagner several large developments were constructed, DLW therefore in 1928 established a new department, the information centre for architecture. The employees on site supplied information on all technical issues and compiled brochures on ceiling construction, underfloors, screeds, sound insulation, installing and maintaining linoleum.
The DLW journal Nachrichten der Deutsche Linoleum-Werke A.-G. in the year 1928.
Between 1927 and 1930, DLW participated in exhibitions in Munich (Heim und Technik), Breslau (Werkbund exhibition “Wohnung und Werkraum”), Cologne (hotel business), Berlin (Bauwelt sample exhibition), Dresden (Hygiene Museum), Copenhagen (Danish construction exhibition), Vienna (Austrian Werkbund), Basel (living quarters) and equipped the stands of the German industry at the Barcelona World Fair with linoleum. Spectacular was the appearance at the Frühjahrsmesse Leipzig 1929 with the stand designed by Mies van der Rohe. Shop windows framed by slender steel supports made the whole exhibition area easy to survey which was only equipped with a few raised boards, tubular furniture and a tower made of cross-section models for floors.
The DLW advertising of the year 1929 created by Heinz Sperzel was to be unpretentiously designed, not contain too much text and be striking in its simplicity. The graphic advertisements and photo montages represented the zeitgeist of the modern age.
In retrospect, the variety of ideas for advertising measures is surprising, especially since only a fraction is still preserved in its original state today. In the end, the orientation on the artistic avant-garde and the modern age in the 1920s turned out to be a successful investment in the future for the traditional company. Because still today – after more than eighty years by now – the DLW logo looks just as ageless as do the art and the architecture of the modern age.
Origin: References 2010, Dr. Susanne Liehr