In 1963, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF for short, was launched as a new public TV broadcaster in West Germany. With a program offering news, sports, culture and entertainment, it would become one of the country’s most influential media institutions. The TV station’s multifaceted design history began with a logo competition in the year before it went on air. In 1973, Otl Aicher developed the first comprehensive corporate design solution for ZDF — including custom typefaces that would be used for almost three decades. In 2001, the New York–based design agency Razorfish created the logo still in use by the station today.
From early program posters to the dynamic interface design solutions of the present: here, for the first time, is a comprehensive examination of the broadcaster’s rich design history. Interviews feature designers who have helped shape ZDF design over the years. The evolution of on-air design and the frequent renewal of corporate design are explored in detail and with many rare illustrations. The book pays tribute to an omnipresent icon of everyday design in Germany and documents its development over six decades.
»A uniform corporate design does not come into being overnight. First of all, it must lead to an understanding of its own in the institution itself, to confident handling, without slavish literalism. Ultimately, a set of instruments is now available. Then music is added. With an institution like ZDF, it seemed obvious to create a relatively liberal set of instruments.«
— Otl Aicher, 1973