Art: Hanns Lohrer & Porsche
The 1950s and 1960s were the years that the foundations for the Porsche legend were built. As with all brands it is not only about the products when creating a brand, it is also about communicating a story and desires. This was no different to Porsche, only Ferry Porsche wasn't very keen on advertising. According to Dieter Landenberger, head of the Porsche archive, Ferry put more value "on personal contact with customers and the common word-of-mouth communication in the sports car scene". But when Ferry saw Hanns Lohrer's work he changed his mind. Hanns Lohrer, was the graphic artist and painter from Stuttgart who basically created the 'world around the cars' that appealed to Porsche buyers. He was soon doing more than making posters depicting trophies of the many race wins the Porsche cars were accumulating all over the world in the middle of the fifties. Examples of his work are a series of ads from 1961 where the Porsche 356 was depicted in the context of sports like golf, hunting or horse riding. In the golf ad for example the car didn't even take centre stage, the main vocal point was a set of golf clubs! Effectively showing what else you could go and do with a Porsche beside driving. The Porsche Museum now recognises Lohrer's work and has set up an exciting exhibition at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart to celebrate the early years of advertising Porsche.
From 4 September to 4 November of this year Porsche will be showing a selection of Hanns Lohrer's greatest designs for the company. Which includes the examples given before as well as many of the remarkable designs (see below) that show a poodle, which was even featured as the central image in an ad from 1960, the dog remarks; "I too, prefer Porsche". Which was, according to Landenberger, an hommage to Ali, the choosy poodle of Lohrer's colleague Anton Stankowski. If you have ever looked at Porsche catalogues from that era you'll likely find a Lohrer design somewhere, the 1958 Porsche 356A catalogue cover for example featured a gracious lady hand in a classic driving glove, reaching towards the delicate gear stick (see top). There is so much to discover in Lohrer's work that going to the exhibition is a must if you are anywhere near Stuttgart. For those who can't make it, there is an interesting (German) book available covering all of Lohrer's work (also non-Porsche stuff), here.
Via Spiegel.de, photos: Porsche AG