Munich Mortgage Bank

Graphic Design

Munich Mortgage Bank

Munich Mortgage Bank
design kalender koenig ludwig von bayern 2 showcase
design kalender koenig ludwig von bayern 3 showcase

Munich Mortgage Bank

Calendar »King Ludwig II of Bavaria«


Project | Wall Calendar »King Ludwig II of Bavaria«.
Client | Münchner Hypothekenbank, Munich.
Year | 2000.
Industry | Financial services, insurance and banking.
Services | Graphic design.
Note | The calendar received several international awards, for example from the Type Directors Club of New York, the Art Directors Club New York, Tokyo Type Directors Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. It also won the London International Advertising and Design Award and the red dot best of the best.


Further information in German
  Tokyo Type Directors Club zeichnet Wolfgang Beinert in Japan aus
 Wolfgang Beinert Preisträger des red dot: best of the best
 Type Directors Club New York zeichnet Wolfgang Beinert in den USA aus

design kalender koenig ludwig von bayern 1

Background information
on the design of the »King Ludwig II of Bavaria« wall calendar«


On behalf of a Munich mortgage bank, Wolfgang Beinert designed a calendar about »King Ludwig II of Bavaria«. A topic in line with the trend of the time, but one that is extremely clichéd in conservative circles and thus places particularly high demands on the design. Wolfgang Beinert attached great importance to leaving the baroque shell of the Ludwig depiction and designing a calendar in the spirit of the cosmopolitan zeitgeist, i.e. to place it in an international design context. This work makes the otherwise rather antiquated king shine in a completely new light.


This calendar prefers a balanced design of image and text elements to large single image representations. The very rare and hard-to-obtain original photographs have been retouched with great care and are all duplexed (duotone).

Each calendar page is individually designed down to the last detail, but some elements run like a thread through the whole work. On the left edge of the page, for example, all the years of Ludwig II’s life are listed in subtle Pantone Grey 2, while the year to which the corresponding month refers is always blacked out. If there is a special information text, it is directly linked to the relevant day in the current calendar. All explanatory texts on the selected key dates from Ludwig’s life are written in Münchener Hypothekenbank’s house font, Concorde Nova by Günter Gerhard Lange. Emphasis within these texts is achieved by using spatulated small caps, common caps of Concorde Nova and Amsterdam Garamont italics by M. F. Benton, also spatulated.


Above the calendar, the year 2001 is printed in alternating medieval figures in Corporate A by Prof. Kurt Weidemann and the name of the month in small capitals in Concorde Nova by Günter Gerhard Lange.

The calendar itself is microtypographically worked and positioned the same in each month. The dates (1-31) are in the Frutiger narrow bold by Adrian Frutiger with the weekends in bold and the corresponding weekdays (Mon-Sun) in the Amsterdam Garamont italic by M. F. Benton. The Sundays and holidays are additionally highlighted by a Gothic sword from the Mason by Jonathan Barnbrook to bridge the gap to Ludwig’s world of dreams and knights. The calendar weeks are indicated by Roman numerals, the moon phases and zodiac signs by corresponding symbols.

Below the calendar there are four design elements: the name of the month set slightly back, a legend to the zodiac symbols on the right, the year in Roman numerals in the centre and written out in letters on the left. The name of the month in the background is in a subtle Pantone grey 2, analogous to the year 2001, but in Miles Newlyn’s Sabbath Black Bold script and overlapped by the calendar up to the last letter in the upper third. Small caps from Concorde Nova by Günter Gerhard Lange were used for the zodiac signs, and Frutiger schmal mager and Frutiger schmal fett by Adrian Frutiger were used for the year and the Roman numerals.

January calendar page

The upper half of the first calendar page familiarises the reader with the theme of the work. Ludwig as the protagonist of the calendar is introduced by means of various elements. In the foreground is his first name, conspicuously set in small capitals of the modern base 9 by Zuzana Licko, with a historical photograph integrated into the letter D. In the immediate vicinity of this lettering, there is also an original autograph and, in vanishingly small capitals of the same typeface, further information on Ludwig’s title and reign. These design parameters are so contrasting in stroke width, form and style that they do not compete with each other, but rather strengthen and enrich each other. In contrast, the dates of Ludwig’s life 1845-1886 harmonise with the word Bavaria, which they overlay, due to their congruence of form. All the characters are taken from Base 9; the only significant differences are in size and colour.

In the lower half of the calendar page, a short text informs about Ludwig’s engagement. Two elaborately retouched original photographs printed in duplex were reproduced to support the text. For the microtypographical lettering, the Amsterdam Garamont by M. F. Benton was used in combination with the Trade Gothic Bold by Jackson Burke. The former for the lower case letters and brackets, the latter for the respective lettering.

Calendar page February

Ludwig’s affinity for medieval legends and fairy tales combined with his social position predestined him to promote the work of Richard Wagner. A fact that does not remain hidden from the composer either – he not only casts an eye on Ludwig II, but does not lose sight of him and his patronage throughout his life. A corresponding design, which makes use of a wide variety of design elements, communicates this relationship very cleverly. Two original autographs, a photograph, graphic forms such as circles and arrows and Neville Brody’s ORC A in the digits of the year 1864 are used. The enlargement effect used makes Wagner’s priorities and goals clear. The two-line information text is partially backed by a pantone grey portrait cut of a Wagner coin. The lettering Lohengrin in the Mason by Jonathan Barnbrook is not only related to the text in terms of content, but also forms a stylistic unity with the portrait cut, which acts like a watermark. Despite the colour match, the font and image can be clearly differentiated thanks to the chosen stroke widths. Analogous to the first calendar page, the text is accompanied by two microtypographically inscribed original photographs. The captioning of these miniature photos continues throughout the calendar (a-p).

Calendar page March

The Munich Residenz from a bird’s eye view lends itself to being placed in a modern context. Ludwig’s chambers, for example, serve as the target of a computer game, creating a clever link between floor plan drawing and photograph. A certain flair of internationality is also created by the three letters MUC in Zuzana Licko’s Base 12, as they refer to Munich Airport. In a different language, the place Munich was centred on each of these letters in common small caps of Base 9 by Zuzana Licko. In addition to the clearly visible cursive writing at the bottom of the illustration, there are numerous microtypographical offsets in this illustration that are only recognisable when looking very closely. The dates of Ludwig’s life, for example, which are in the left margin of every calendar page, are not covered by the photograph here, but continue in the image. The information text is again accompanied by a photograph of Ludwig and is here further embellished by a pantone grey bracket taken from Jan Tschichold’s Sabon.

Calendar page April

This month was mainly created by using parts of an original letter by Ludwig II. The individual sections are labelled according to their order, with the lowercase letter in base 9 by Zuzana Licko and the bracket in sabon by Jan Tschichold. The numbering g), however, does not designate another section of the letter, but indicates the incompleteness of the letter by the truncated X. The small capitals NEX are also from Zuzana Licko’s base 9.

Calendar page May

Here the unfinished X of the previous month reappears – written out, in the Frutiger schmal mager by Adrian Frutiger. This letter is in some ways reminiscent of Documenta, but serves above all, both in the ground plan and in the photograph, to paint out the unfinished, now demolished north wing of Herrenchiemsee Palace. The illustration here has been moved up to the upper edge of the calendar, creating an overlap of typography and image.

June calendar page

At the top left, the second half of the X from calendar page 4 pushes into the edge of the picture, followed by a T. Next has a certain ambivalence here, as it can be placed in three different contexts: In terms of content, it refers to the conclusion of the letter on the right-hand side; typographically, the X is the last letter of the vertically written Rex; and the T is the initial letter of Tristan, thus establishing the reference to the event from Ludwig’s life depicted in the illustration. The caption consists of capitals of Frutiger schmal mager by Adrian Frutiger.

The lower half of the calendar page refers to Ludwig’s death. Between the calendar and the information text we find the inscription Requiescat in pace (He rests in peace) in small capitals of Concorde Nova by Günter Gerhard Lange. Further left, the same statement in the form of a typographically designed acronym. The R is the registration mark of the Mason by Jonathan Barnbrook, the rhombus is a self-drawn element and the small capitals I. P. come from Base 9 by Zuzana Licko.

Calendar page July

Ludwig’s avant-gardism was particularly evident in his ability and willingness to take advantage of advances in technology. Consequently, the innovative king could not pass up the luxury of a terrace carriage for his railway train. In addition to the company logo Klett & Comp. in small capitals of the Engravers Roman from the Berthold Schriftenbibliothek, another autograph and the original illustration of a train axle in the form of a technical drawing are used. The information text is free-standing, positioned without overlaps below the calendar and accompanied by two miniature photos.

Calendar page August

On the eighth calendar page, the information text is located above the calendar and is underlaid with a pantone grey L. The lower part is worked strictly geometrically on an axis. Ludwig’s birthday as a symbol of innocence, supported by the Horace quotation integer vitae scerelisque purus (Pure in life, free from crime), is purposefully depicted with a fascistoid aesthetic arrangement. An artifice that defies outdated typographic conventions in order to reopen a new associative space for these elements. With the same intention, a Fraktur font is used for the names of the months. The fonts are all in the foreground here and overlap Ludwig’s original photography.

Calendar page September

This image manages to maintain its balance despite the considerable stylistic diversity. The original photograph was processed or exposed in four different ways to allude to Ludwig’s preference to enjoy the view of the palace from the Marienbrücke at any time of day (cf. calendar page October). The inserted scale is taken from an original drawing, as are the newly traced ground plan and the autograph. Aligned with the ancient measuring scale, the lettering Neuschwanstein in Base 9 by Zuzana Licko was inserted into this installation as a modern element.

October calendar page

The page layout reflects Ludwig’s passion for viewing Neuschwanstein from the Marienbrücke. The upper half serves to depict the bridge by means of an information text, a photograph and typographic elements. The large image and the elaborate design of the word Marienbrücke initially draw attention to the upper half. The background is a pantone-grey self-constructed M surrounded by a circle, the basic shape of which is taken from Zuzana Licko’s Base 9. Connected to it are the remaining letters of the bridge’s name, also in base 9. In contrast, Neuschwanstein Castle itself takes a back seat. It is depicted upside down to capture Ludwig’s perspective as he looks down from the bridge. The inscription in Base 9 by Zuzana Licko , which is not only upside down but also mirror-inverted, is integrated into the image apart from the initial letter. To facilitate a clear assignment, both the bridge and the lock are marked with a letter to which the information text refers.

Calendar page November

The Würzburg Residence stands here in a very modern design context. In addition to the dominant lettering Nro. 4 in ORC A by Neville Brody, the registration mark from the Mason by Jonathan Barnbrook in combination with the Triplex Condensed by Zuzana Licko reappears above the image. The binary code projecting into the photograph is the encoded form of Ludwig’s date of stay in Würzburg. The detour to Bayreuth marked on the right of the map provides information about one of Ludwig’s possible travel motifs.

December calendar page

A calendar page that contains a variety of different elements. Original photographs, old writings of a calendar from Louis’ time, a Tintoretto putto, a binary code and an original stamp of the royal city court are set in relation to each other as well as to the fixed calendar. For example, the Tintoretto putto is at the top of the date bar, overlapped by the usual month inscription and the binary code for the date 24.12.2001.

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Wolfgang Beinert