“The new BMW with swing axle”

Henry Ehlers


BMW 3/15 PS DA 4

The poster artist Henry Ehlers was not only under contract with BMW, but also designed advertising posters for many other well-known companies of that time. Henry Ehlers’ graphic style was unique in German-speaking countries. His shapes were clearly geometrically structured, influenced by art deco. The austere compositions are combined with occasionally absurd, almost Dadaistic promotional messages.

Today, Ehlers commercial posters are considered works of art. One of them even found its way into the permanent exhibition of the MoMA in New York as an example of the “German Factual Poster”: “The new BMW with swing axle”. The irony of this story: The poster is today a famous classic, the advertised swing axle, however, to a lesser extent. On the contrary, it turned out to be rather problematic. Because of its imprecise wheel guidance system, the innovative axle suspension was soon to be discredited by automotive experts and had to be subsequently improved.

Historische Werbeplakate


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