Michael Klar, German graphic artist, Died at 80


Michael Klar (1943 – 2 September 2023) was a prominent German graphic artist, designer, and professor known for his significant contributions to the field of visual communication. Here’s a narrative overview of his life and work:

Michael Klar was born in Berlin in 1943. He began his artistic journey by qualifying as a photographer at the Lette-Verein in Berlin. Later, he pursued studies in Visual Communication at the prestigious “Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm” in Germany from 1963 to 1966, mentored by notable figures like Otl Aicher, Herbert W. Kapitzki, and Tomás Maldonado.

During 1966-1967, Klar worked as an assistant in the Kapitzki/Ohl project group for the pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany at the world exhibition EXPO 67 in Montreal, Canada. Following this, he graduated in 1968, receiving his diploma from the HfG Ulm. He played a crucial role as a student spokesman during a challenging period when the school faced closure.

In the subsequent years, Klar engaged in various design-related projects and was a co-founder of the “Project Co'”, a design studio in Ulm. His expertise in Visual Communication led to his appointment as a professor at the “Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd” in 1972, where he significantly influenced the college’s concepts and programs.

Throughout his career, Klar held guest professorships at distinguished design schools globally, including the Ohio State University (USA), Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, Canada), and Università Iuav di Venezia (Italy). Additionally, he served as the founding dean of the “Faculty of Gestaltung” at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft in Dresden, Germany, from 1992 to 1994.

From 1992 to 2008, Klar made significant contributions to the field of visual communication by teaching at the “Hochschule der Künste Berlin” (later named “Universität der Künste”) and holding the position of Professor for Visual Communication at the “Institut für Transmediale Gestaltung”.

Michael Klar continued to reside in Berlin, actively contributing to the creative landscape, until his passing on 2 September 2023, at the age of 80. His lasting impact on visual communication and design education remains an essential part of his legacy.