Heinz traimer - AUSTRIAN AdverTising Art

Vintage Poster Art in Vienna 1950s-1970s. Posters by the artist Heinz Traimer

We share the passion for the marvelous designs by the artist Heinz Traimer

As early as his school days, the Bavarian commercial artist Heinz Traimer (1921-2002) showed a talent for drawing. He designed new packaging for a local baker. The piano player, excellent sportsman and budding medical student was drafted into the Wehrmacht as a radio operator during the war. He returned from Russian captivity in 1945 with polio. Now Traimer had to find his way back into life with difficulty. In 1948, he applied with more than a thousand other applicants for one of the 12 places at the highly respected "Akademie für das Grafische Gewerbe - Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucker" (1949-1952) in Munich, where he was accepted.

It is not easy to trace the graphic artist's early years. He probably worked partly as a freelancer and partly as an employee in Munich advertising studios. It was probably here that he designed his first posters and brochures for German savings banks.

He met his wife Gertraude on a summer holiday at Lake Millstatt (Austria) in 1954. In the business lawyer from Vienna, he found a brilliant partner. Until her early death (1979), Gertraude supported her husband magnificently in business matters. In Vienna, the graphic designer found a job as studio manager in the large agency "Koszler", but did not want to subordinate himself artistically. He left the studio after only one year. Before October 1955, contact was made with the advertising department of the Z - Zentralsparkasse der Gemeinde Wien, the savings banks and the Sparkassen-Verlag.

The first verifiable and widely distributed World Savings Day poster was created with the meaningful title on the occasion of the State Treaty: "Save - be free!".

Together with his wife he went into business for himself and founded one of the first Austrian screen printing companies, the "Kahlenberg-Graphik", which developed into a very flourishing business with several employees. Here, professional artistic work was now perfectly combined with the technical knowledge of feasibility.

The fun-loving graphic artist and advertising copywriter was initially taken aback by the sometimes gloomy savings advertising in Austria, which showed starving children and horror scenarios of all kinds, since those depicted had not invested any savings. After two world wars and inflation, as well as the country's only short sovereignty, people had neither the desire nor the necessary money reserves to save. The banks' advertising activities were made more difficult by laws that considered bank advertising immoral. Traimer was also responsible for shop window design.

In 2002 the famous German-Austrian graphic artist and copywriter Heinz Traimer died in Vienna.

Traimer worked in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in the Austrian capital.


350 coulourful and humourous posters

He left an Estate with about 2.500 objects including more than 350 unique posters (poster collection). Most oft the posters are colourful and have humorous content.


Thousends of objects about graphic-design in the 1950s-1970s

Moreover there are hundreds of drawings, drafts, photographie, books, copywriter-documents.


Traimer the main graphic-designer for Savings Bank Group in Austria

The graphic artist used to work as a succesful freelancer for the Savings Bank Group of Austria and especially for their biggest member the Central Savings Bank of Vienna, which means that the Traimer Collection is


a bank-advertising- collection.


But not only the Savings Bank Group was his customer, he also worked for industry-companies and restaurant-owners, for the City of Vienna and political parties.


Posters from Heinz Traimer are collected by several institutions in Vienna, such as the National Library, the Museum of applied Arts, the Archive of the Savings Bank or the Poster Collection of the City of Vienna.


Poster art in Vienna after 1923

In 1923, the well known graphic artist, Julius Klinger wrote a book called "Poster Art in Vienna" - so let´s start to write a new chapter about Viennese posters in the 1950s and 1960s.



Matthias Bechtle (art historian in Vienna)

Pride will have a fall. Poster for the Savings Bank 1959.
Pride will have a fall. Poster for the Savings Bank 1959.
It is easy to forget all your sorrows while drinking a wine. But don`t forget bills will arrive tomorrow. Poster for the Central Savings Bank of Vienna in 1958.
It is easy to forget all your sorrows while drinking a wine. But don`t forget bills will arrive tomorrow. Poster for the Central Savings Bank of Vienna in 1958.

Heinz Traimer (1921-2002), born in Germany, was a German-Austrian graphic-designer and advertising copywriter who lived and worked in Vienna since 1956. The artist was educated in Munich at the prestigious schools “Blocherer-Schule” (Blocherer School of Applied Arts) and the “Akademie für das graphische Gewerbe – Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucker "(Academy for the graphics industry - German Master School for printing). Professor Eduard Ege and Eberhard Hoelscher, both well-known German graphic-designers, were his teacher. In the first years after his training, he came into contact with bank advertising. He also won several competitions and was employed by the well-

known agency “Südgraphik”.


Because of his girlfriend and later wife he came to Vienna and was immediately hired as studio manager at the prestigious advertising agency “Koszler”. Here he probably created the first ads for the Zentralsparkasse der Gemeinde Wien "Vienna Savings Bank” In 1956, Traimer decided to start his own business. With his wife he installed a silk screen printer studio called “Kahlenberg-Graphik”. Henceforth, Austrians saving banks group was his main customer. Until 1970 his work was characterized by fast sketches or simple surfaces and often included humorous content. Pupils and young people, the middle class and the working class were his main target group in the years until 1970. Therefore, any of his posters gave advice how to save money in a colorful and narrative way. With the growing affluence of the population, bank advertising received new motifs, which showed "lifestyle" in the poster art photography - a technique which Traimer did not really like.


Traimers graphics appeared as posters, in newspapers, magazines, on slides at the cinema, public buildings, on buses and trams. He also developed TV and radio advertising. So it was impossible not to take notice of his works in the years between1955 and 1980.

Further customers were the Automobile Club „ARBÖ“,the electronics company „Kapsch“, the City of Vienna and numerous other businesses and private customers. When Traimer died in 2002, he left an estate with nearly 2.500 objects including 300 posters. Moreover posters by Traimer can be found in the collections of various museums or collections like the “Erste-Stiftung – Archiv” (Archive of the Erste Foundation), the "Wienmuseum" (Historical Museum of Vienna), the "Wienbibliothek" (Vienna Library), the “Museum für angewandte Kunst – MAK Museum of Applied Arts), the “Österreichische-Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB)” (Austrian National Library) and the "Strassenbahn-Museum" (Tram museum).


Text from diploma thesis about Heinz Traimer at the University of Vienna.

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