Otto Hermann Werner Hadank

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Oskar Hermann Werner Hadank, generally referred to as Oskar H.W. Hadank (1889–1965) was a German graphic designer.

Born in Berlin, Hadank entered the design profession in 1907, producing designs for packaging, labels, and trademarks among other things. He did not join the modernist movement, but preferred to work in a classical style "replete with curlicues, swashes, Tuscans and heraldic symbols".[1] He was able to work without restrictions under Nazi rule and was highly esteemed by his influential patrons such as industrialist Hans Neuerburg. The design magazine Gebrauchsgraphik devoted a special edition to him on his fiftieth birthday in 1939. Yet, Steven Heller asserts, Hadank "stood apart from the hacks that blindly followed so-called volk tradition and ultimately adhered to Nazi Gleichschaltung, the cultural standardization of design aesthetics";[1] and there is no record of any interest in politics on his part.

While he was not an innovator comparable to contemporaries such as Lucian Bernhard or Jan Tschichold, and contemporary graphic design histories barely acknowledge him, Hadank was an influential teacher leading a department of graphic and advertising design at the Academy of Fine and Applied Arts Berlin from 1919 on. His students included Walter Herdeg and Hans J. Barschell.


  1. ^ a b Heller (2008).