The history of form

A lot of things happened in Germany, Europe and the world within the past 60 years - in society, politics, economy and technology and therefore in design, too. form magazine is a contemporary witness of these changes, while being an influencer at the same time. The change is made visible in in the more than 250 issues of the design magazine. What started off as an idea of four creative people in 1957, is today a forum with many loyal subscribers, which offers orientation, sets key topics and stimulates the design discourse.


Founded as “International Revue” by Jupp Ernst, Willem Sandberg, Curt Schweicher and Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Form magazine starts as a wide-ranging culture magazine not only dealing with art, architecture, and industrial design but also with ballet, music, poetry, and designer manifestos.


Karlheinz Krug becomes the new editor. In his function as editor in chief (until 1998) and co-publisher (until 2001) the industrial designer has a defining impact on the magazines development and appearance.


The introduction of the new subtitle “Zeitschrift für Gestaltung” (“design magazine”) manifests a refocusing of the magazine initiated by Karlheinz Krug. Furthermore, an international advisory board is introduced. Among others, members are Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Sigfried Giedion, Johannes Itten, Richard Buckminster Fuller, and Max Bill.


Bertelsmann Publishing acquires Westdeutscher Verlag (Western German Publishing). The editor in chief Karlheinz Krug, form graphic designer Hanswerner Klein and bookseller and publisher Hans Otto Döring unhinge the magazine from the sales package. They found form publishing and continue publishing the magazine on their own.


Co-publisher Alex Buck and Manager Matthias Vogt resume the management of form publishing. In Frankfurt, journalist Fabian Wurm and graphic designer Andres Liedtke have a defining influence on the magazine until 1998. In cooperation with the “Büro für Gestaltung (“Design Office”) Offenbach, the relaunch of the magazine takes place during that time as well. form publishing starts to release designer monographs and publication series like “Designer Profiles”, “Design Classics”, “form theory”, and “form discourse”.


Mathias Wollin designs the all-new form website that goes online for the first time. Internationally renowned designers like Stefan Sagmeister, Jonathan Barnbrook, Peter Saville, Gunter Rambow, or Mike Meiré design the cover of form magazine.


After more than 25 years, Karlheinz Krug withdraws from his duties within the editorial department but continues his work as co-publisher until 2001. To follow in his footsteps as the new editor in chief is Petra Schmidt. form magazine introduces the new subtitle “The European Design Magazine” and from now on is published bilingually in German and English.


Belonging to Springer Science and Business Media, Birkhäuser Publishing takes over form magazine. In consequence, the editorial department relocates their headquarters to Neu-Isenburg Gravenbruch.


The magazine focuses on the different stages of the design process. The new subtitle “Making of Design” puts emphasis on this new orientation. In addition to the new content concept, the agency ade hauser lacour from Frankfurt fundamentally overhauls the layout of the magazine and the website.


Gerrit Terstiege, a member of the form staff since 1997, becomes the new editor in chief.


form celebrates its 50-year anniversary and relocates its office to the Birkhäuser publishing headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. The archive of issues René Spitz constructed for his postdoctoral lecture qualification goes online. It contains more than 20000 pages.


The Spanish publishing house Actar acquires the sections architecture and design of the Birkhäuser Publishing. form magazine is part of this acquisition.


The longtime editor in chief and publisher Karlheinz Krug passes away at the age of 77.


Birkhäuser Publishing declares bankruptcy. In consequence, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG Berlin acquires the book publishing rights, Peter Wesner acquires the rights of form publishing and form magazine. Stephan Ott becomes the new editor in chief. Form magazine is published by form publishing GmbH & Co. KG, Frankfurt.


Designers Heimann and Schwantes from Berlin realize the relaunch of form. The magazine is visually and content wise adapted to the demands and changes of the contemporary design discourse. At the same time the all new website goes online.


Anton Rahlwes and Nina Sieverding succeed Stephan Ott as joint editors-in-chief.


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Established 1957