The Nazi Style Guide
The policing of all things Swastika was the responsibility of Dr. Robert Ley, the head of the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF) and the Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude, KdF). Known as much as anything for his heavy drinking, this former editor of the anti-Semitic newspaper, Westdeutsche Beobachter, was not a designer or art director, but garnered considerable power owing to his intense loyalty to Hitler. One of his most ambitious design initiatives was taking over the development of the Volkswagen (people’s car) from Porsche.
Perhaps a lesser, though significant, responsibility was developing a NSDAP handbook that detailed the organizing principles and mechanics of building the Nazi movement. It is this 550 page, red cloth-bound book titled Organizationsbuch der NSDAP, with the symbol of “Greater Germany” embossed in silver on the front, which turns out to be the elusive standards manual. The DAF was also responsible for typesetting guides and other graphic arts handbooks, but this is the graphic masterpiece of the Master Race.
It is not exactly clear how much Dr. Ley (who hanged himself after the war) was personally involved, although his introduction is in the volume. Perhaps he did not know the difference between typefaces, or even what graphic design was. But it was his office that determined the standards of stationery, enamel signs, flags and pennants, awards and badges, party uniforms and all things involving the swastika and ancillary symbols. So someone in Dr. Ley’s office knew what he was doing, though received no credit.
Here are some examples from the standards book:
via Design Observer. Buy Heller’s book below!
* you did know that Hugo Boss made Nazi uniforms, right?