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He began his career at Erik Spiekermann's Metadesign in Berlin where he was involved in the development of the Berlin transport information system and designed exhibition catalogues for the Kunstamt Kreuzberg. In 1985, he moved to Sedley Place Design, where he ran design programmes for some of Germany’s leading companies including Volkswagen, Votex, Schering, Deutsche Bundespost and Deutsche Bundesbank.
He joined Pentagram in 1989 and worked with Alan Fletcher on design programmes for Scandinavian Airlines, The Travelstead Group, The Barbican Centre, Shakespeare's Globe and information graphics for Stansted Airport. In 1992 he was made an associate and has been responsible for the development of a new corporate identity for Shilla Hotels in Korea, exhibition designs for the Design Council and a competition for a new identity for the City of Berlin.
In 1993 he left Pentagram to start his own studio in London followed by the opening of a German office in Berlin in 1996. Clients include British loudspeaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins, Canadian electronics firm Classé, Hotel Arts Barcelona, Meoclinic in Berlin, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, The British Museum as well as National Portrait Gallery, accountancy firm Deloitte, Vitsœ and International Design Center Berlin.
Clients and work
His work has been widely published and his reputation is reflected by invitations to lecture in the UK, Germany and Holland. In 1994 he was appointed Visiting Professor for Corporate Identity at the Fachhochschule Potsdam and was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the D&AD since 1996.
Ordnung and Eccentricity, a major survey of his work has been published by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2002. A second book titled Thomas Manss & Company written by Conway Lloyd Morgan was published by av edition in 2008.