A Face known round the World
Paul Rademacher, 1901 - 1985, had original ideas for everything: cameras, car tires, fiberboard, furs, beer, machine tools, shoes. His ideas got posted on billboards, advertising pillars, buses and streetcars. He inspired people to go to the zoo or horse races, whetted their curiosity about art exhibitions, made them aware of traffic dangers. That was his profession, and he lived for it.
Paul Rademacher began his work as a freelance artist and graphics designer in 1927. Today, one of his creations is still famous in almost every corner of the world: the emblematic Hermes face - the official logo, originally designed to promote the industrial trade show known as HANNOVER MESSE. And here is the whole story.
Back in 1947, when the decision was made to stage an industrial trade fair in Hannover, Germany, painters and graphic artists were invited to create a design that could be used in the advertising campaign. After hearing that management had already dictated the motif, Paul Rademacher declined to participate.
He considered artistic creativity to be sacred, and was determined to defend his own. When the organizers were unhappy with the results, he was not at all surprised. Literally at the last minute, they turned to Paul Rademacher, who in an overnight inspiration had the idea of using the god of trade: the impish Greek messenger Hermes. His design became progressively more abstract, until he ended up with only two flowing lines depicting a facial profile, mouth opened in proclamation, donning a winged helmet a simple yet highly distinctive emblem.
Definition: Hermes (Gr. for "Stone heap")
Messenger of the gods, god of shepherds and their herds, god of travelers and roads, patron saint of merchants and thieves, god of youth and eloquence (hermes logios) and fertility, clever inventor, son of Zeus and the mountain nymph Maia, who was one of Atlas's daughters. The Romans identified Hermes with Mercury, god of commerce and travel (Hom. h.4; Soph. Ichn.)
In his capacity as a swift messenger of the gods, above all Zeus, Hermes played a role in many myths. He is usually portrayed wearing a winged helmet (petasos) and winged sandals.