Interview mit Patrick Märki,

Managing Director und Creative Director KMS TEAM

03/15/2017 | In an interview the »Schule für Gestaltung Basel« gives a fascinating glimpse into the working life of a designer who left Basel for Munich 16 years ago – to join one of the industry’s biggest design agencies. His philosophy: «Design is a journey, not a series of fixed principles. Design is the visual expression of a mindset.».

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Why the felt pen marked a revolution

10/25/2016 | German designer Knut Maierhofer founded branding agency KMS TEAM in Munich 32 years ago. Today, KMS TEAM is a leading international company focused in the areas of brand strategy, design and communication. Clients include Audi, Canyon, Porsche Motorsport and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

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Knut Maierhofer, Inhaber und Gründer KMS TEAM Knut Maierhofer, Inhaber und Gründer KMS TEAM Knut Maierhofer, Inhaber und Gründer KMS TEAM

Design: Germany is cool

The Germans build great cars and brew delicious beer. They’re good designers too? Knut Maierhofer isn’t at all surprised.

It wasn’t so long ago that «Wallpaper» magazine dedicated 84 pages to an article on the German design scene, calling it «risk-seeking, experimental, unique and forward-looking». Design and lifestyle magazine «Monocle» also took a closer look at the new, cool Germany in a special report entitled «Why the world needs the new Germans».

As welcoming and flattering as these publications might be, much of this is not new. Design has played a major role in Germany for many years now. Much of what shapes the world of design today originated in Germany — including Bauhaus, considered the most important design institution of all time, and the design principle “less is more”. KMS TEAM has always felt a strong commitment to continuing these important traditions.

We are also greatly influenced by pioneering designers Otl Aicher and Dieter Rams. Aicher created the pictogram and is one of the most visionary German designers of the 20th century. Rams was head designer at Braun, and his «Ten principles of good design» are as valid today as they were 25 years ago. His simple, streamlined and beautiful industrial designs still provide inspiration to Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of design at Apple.


What does German design stand for?

It stands for clarity and logic. It reveals the structure of the product in a clear way, making it self-explanatory. German design stands for honesty. It doesn’t try to make a product look more powerful or valuable than it is. In other words, it doesn’t make promises it can’t keep. German design also impresses through its longevity. It never seems antiquated because it never tries to be trendy.

Design is a decisive part of value creation in today’s world. As product features and functions become increasingly similar, good design is what makes the difference. The design strategy, communication, branding and user-friendly features need to be consistent and interconnected to ensure that people perceive these brands and their products as both unique and valuable.


What does German design do?

Design creates intelligent systems and explores complex tasks in a logical way, reducing them to their simplest form. Once upon a time, the main purpose of design was to ensure the functionality and usability of a product. Today, it is easy to integrate emotions and aesthetics. After years of being dominated by objectivity and reduced complexity, the German design of the 21st century is becoming increasingly experimental — achieving a balance between function, emotion and experiment.

German design gets to the bottom of things. It always looks for the DNA of the brand or product, asks why something is considered good, and – most importantly – how it can be done better.

In the end, the main consideration is whether and how people «think» design. This is the only way that design and the brand can be effective tools for management and communication. German design is authentic and doesn’t imitate. Instead of simply asking what the customer wants, it conveys a strong sense of the company’s and product’s self-confidence. German design means having character and showing it. Only products and brands that are truly unmistakable will enjoy lasting success among consumers. 

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MAN Energy Solutions

Corporate Design

Meeting the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement is proving to be one of the major challenges of our century. The ambitious accord aims to achieve a carbon-neutral global economy by the year 2050. MAN Energy Solutions, a global player in the engineering industry, is committed to achieve this goal with a very specific new strategy. Sustainable technologies will make up the majority of the company’s sales by 2030.

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ATOS

Corporate Design

ATOS: The clinic group aims to get its patients back into their active everyday lives as quickly as possible. They are specialized in the fields of orthopedics and joint surgery.

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Consec

Corporate Design, Naming, Website

team & project has managed complex programs and projects in particular for major clients in the automotive industry for over 20 years. The firm’s strong growth provided the impetus for a new brand identity. The project includes the strategic positioning, brand and name development, the visual identity, a new website and a new design for the company’s office space.

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Phoenix

Corporate Design

One of the world’s leading independent product and interface design studios gets a new, self-confident corporate design. We developed a new visual identity in line with the company values logic, morality and magic.

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MENTZ

Brand development, Corporate Design

Points become a journey. MENTZ, a middle-sized family business, is a leading developer of multimodal mobility systems for public transportation, working with public transport associations around the world in cities like Munich, London and Dubai. The company delivers dynamic information services that support travellers before and after their journey.

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ŠKODA

Corporate Design

ŠKODA has a wide and loyal customer base, whose purchasing decisions are guided by rational reasoning. The brand wants to change this and establish an emotional connection to its customers by strengthening the design at all of the brand’s touchpoints in equal measure. ŠKODA communicates relevant stories and content via digital channels that directly appeal to the target group. In addition to new models with a striking, crystalline design, the most important tool is a new visual identity that translates this message.

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MVV Energie

Brand Development, Corporate Design

Mannheim-based energy company MVV has been a pioneer in energy transformation for years. We translated this momentum into a new brand identity. The first step in the process was the question: How can we rethink energy and bring it to life?

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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Corporate Design

KMS TEAM developed the new visual identity for Staatsgalerie Stuttgart from two starting points – its position as a strong international brand, and as a museum with a unique collection.

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LEDVANCE

Brand Development, Corporate Design

Robert Börsting, Design Director KMS TEAM on LEDVANCE’s new visual identity: »Our goal was to create a symbol that allows the greatest possible flexibility in design while illustrating the great variety in light. But how do you translate the quality of light into a symbol?«

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Universität Heidelberg

Research magazine »Stop & Go«

The 9th issue of the University of Heidelberg’s research magazine is titled »Stop & Go«. These two states shape and determine our everyday experiences in a fundamental way. The alteration between standstill and movement is the dynamic of our life – whether in our environment, society or history.

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KMS TEAM

#sticktogether

How can we make communication more tangible in the age of digital, real-time communication? We produced the sticker book #sticktogether as our 2016 Christmas gift. The medium reminds everyone to take a moment and slow down: ESC.

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Diakonie

Corporate Design

We were appointed to rework Diakonie’s image and to develop a new visual language. It was to be direct yet dignified, concrete yet playful and emotional.

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intive

Brand development, naming, corporate design

Three become one: Software companies BLStream and SMT Software as well as app agency Kupferwerk have merged to become a new global service provider for the development of digital products. This is where we come into play: We develop the new brand core, »Turning ideas into digital reality«. This is the starting point for the new brand values, corporate design and naming.

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Audi

Corporate Design

Our starting point for the new Audi corporate design was to take a truly holistic approach to creating design principles for analogue and digital applications. Our goal was to replace the complex system of CI rules with dynamic principles – allowing the brand to communicate quickly, flexibly and creatively with people across all touch points in the age of digital transformation.

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Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite

Canyon Bicycles

Brand development

We developed the »Pure Cycling« attitude for Canyon Bicycles, a company that produces high-quality sport bicycles and sells them to customers exclusively through the internet and catalogues. This mindset has helped the company become a successful global brand.

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One Gold Medal and one Finalist in Montreux

05/11/2016 | We have two reasons to celebrate! Our KMS TEAM calendar »I Shot the Serif« won a Gold medal in the Direct Marketing category and is a Finalist in the Poster category at the Golden Award of Montreux.

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Porsche Design

Brand development

Porsche Design enjoys worldwide success as an independent lifestyle brand. The luxury brand for exclusive technical products draws its design inspiration from the legendary Porsche automobile. Like the car, Porsche Design stands for outstanding design, technical superiority and exclusivity.

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Das Siegel der Universität und das Schriftzeichen »Universität Heidelberg« einschließlich des Claims »Zukunft seit 1386« bilden in Kombination das Logo. Das Siegel der Universität und das Schriftzeichen »Universität Heidelberg« einschließlich des Claims »Zukunft seit 1386« bilden in Kombination das Logo. Das Siegel der Universität und das Schriftzeichen »Universität Heidelberg« einschließlich des Claims »Zukunft seit 1386« bilden in Kombination das Logo.

University of Heidelberg

Corporate design

We developed the brand architecture for the departments at Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg. The solution strengthened the visual connection between the departments under the umbrella of the university while maintaining the individuality of the institutions. The university seal is the primary element.

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JINS

Brand development

JINS is a leading eyewear manufacturer with over 300 stores in Japan, China and the United States. We conducted an extensive relaunch to restructure and reposition the brand strategically, helping to promote the international expansion of this Japanese brand.

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A silver nail and two awards

04/28/2016 | We are thrilled about a silver nail we received at the 52nd ADC Festival. The ADC gave this honor to two issues of the University of Heidelberg’s Ruperto Carola research magazine, »Healthy & Sick« and »Shadow & Light«. Our three-color concept for the three Porsche 919 Hybrid race cars at Le Mans and KMS TEAM 2016 calendar »I shot the serif« also received awards.

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Canyon Bicycles

Brand book

The brand book for Canyon Bicycles, manufacturer of premium sport bicycles, features original parts of a Canyon shipping box to reflect the sport as well as the company’s direct sales model.

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All good things come in fours

Patrick Märki Managing Director at KMS TEAM

04/14/2016 | KMS TEAM announces the expansion of its Management Team to include Creative Director Patrick Märki (42). Germany’s largest owner-managed branding agency continues to grow, now with a strong four-person team at the helm: Knut Maierhofer, Alexandra Pfister, Simon Betsch and Patrick Märki.

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Bentley

Corporate design and typography

Bentley stands for a breathtaking driving experience, handcrafted luxury and an unmistakable design. The new corporate design and newly developed corporate typeface embody the exclusivity of the brand while enhancing Bentley’s brand profile.

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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

A new frame for 850 years of art

03/17/2016 | With artworks spanning nearly 850 years displayed over 9,000 m2 of exhibition space, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is one of Germany’s most important museums. It has always made a name for itself as a driver of innovation in the discussion surrounding the future of museums.

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Porsche Motorsport

Corporate design

Porsche has a motorsport division that organizes national and international competitions, but practically no one recognizes the brand in this role. The new corporate design combines a classic racing aesthetic with the charisma of the Porsche brand.

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JINS

Campaign

»What do you see?« The special view of the world through JINS glasses was our main idea to present the spring collection from Japan’s leading eyewear manufacturer. The focus of the first campaign launched in the new brand positioning is on six testimonials from around the world that embody the product and brand values of JINS.

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Schneider Schreibgeräte

Corporate design

We developed a modern visual identity for Schneider Schreibgeräte that reflects the brand identity while being more relevant to the target audiences. This is why all of the design elements were derived from the world of writing.

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Stemme

Brand development

»ABOVE IT ALL«: The new brand identity for Stemme, a manufacturer of premium motor gliders, stands for engineering skill, performance, freedom and individuality. It positions the venerable company as a premium brand.

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»Inside Space«

03/01/2016 | Over 150 guests joined us on a special journey: They experienced how brands fascinate us, and how we bring brands to life as a TEAM.

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Canyon Bicycles

Corporate design for the Canyon Factory Enduro team

In 2013, Canyon Bikes started its own Enduro racing team. The new team visual identity effectively positioned the Canyon brand within the Enduro scene: The 40° slant in the Canyon logo and the line create a grid that picks up on the sub-brand’s new colors.

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Jackpot

at the iF Design Award 2016

02/08/2016 | We are delighted to announce six nominations for the iF Design Award 2016:

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Villa Stuck

Brand development

Built as a »total artwork« at the end of the 19th century, Franz von Stuck’s villa in Munich now houses a museum designed to combine Art Nouveau with contemporary art. The program concept and communication pick up on this constellation and translate von Stuck’s progressive spirit into the modern day.

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I Shot the Serif

01/28/2016 | Accompanying us through the year 2016 are 12 »misspoken sayings« - intelligent, ironic, tongue-in-cheek.

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University of Heidelberg

Research magazines

The design and concept of University of Heidelberg’s semiannual research magazine, »Ruperto Carola«, was updated as part of the institution’s corporate design relaunch. The university tagline, »The future since 1386«, inspires the opposites chosen to shape the content and design of this publication. Each issue is dedicated to a different theme relevant to society today.

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Porsche Motorsport

Dempsey Proton Racing

Patrick Dempsey, American film star and passionate race driver, participates as part of the »Dempsey Proton Racing« team at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2015. The graphic design of the race car and equipment positions Dempsey as a strong, competitive driver while communicating Porsche Motorsport’s technical expertise.

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Canyon Bicycles

Corporate typeface

The new corporate typeface for Canyon Bicycles puts the finishing touch on the corporate design we developed for the company. Inspired by the world of cycling and the striking geometric design of the visual identity, it consistently transports the attitude of »Pure Cycling« in every medium.

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Porsche

Visual identity for Porsche Intelligent Performance

»Porsche Intelligent Performance« stands for the development of innovative vehicle concepts. The logo symbolizes the dynamic nature and speed of the vehicles while unifying two seeming opposites – namely efficiency and high performance.

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»Clear, strong and powerful«

03/10/2014 | Knut Maierhofer founded KMS TEAM in 1984. Today, 60 creative and strategic specialists in the Branding, Communication, Strategy and Interactive areas of expertise work at agency headquarters, located in a former machine shop in Munich. After a quick espresso, we sat down to talk about creativity and inspiration.

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Warendorf Küchen

Brand development

»Miele die Küche« has manufactured kitchens since 1973, and has operated under the »Warendorf« name since 2010. The new brand design transports the high quality and design standards as well as the company’s »Made in Germany« heritage.

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O2 Germany

Brand adaptation for Germany

With a suggestive symbolism that compares communication with air to breathe, o2 quickly established itself in Germany’s competitive telecommunications market after its launch in 2002. The company booth at CeBIT, the world’s leading telecommunications trade show, served as the starting point for the entire brand launch in Germany.

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Klöpfer

Brand development

Klöpfer is Germany’s largest wood wholesaler. The combination of retail expertise and outstanding customer orientation has made the company today’s market leader, known for quality and expert service in all wood-related areas involving wood and helping customers achieve success.

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Deutsche Rentenversicherung

Corporate design

In fall 2005, a reform united the various regional and industry-specific insurance organizations to create Deutsche Rentenversicherung. Today’s consistent and modern brand architecture replaces the confusing variety of earlier years.

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MAN Nutzfahrzeuge

Corporate design

The consistent and updated visual identity of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge creates a modern look. The reduced and precise use of design elements represents a strong, identity-shaping factor in MAN’s various activities and locations.

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Stiftung Warentest

Corporate design

Many consumers today consider the Stiftung Warentest seal to be an essential factor in making their purchase decisions. After increasing numbers of competitors tried to capitalize on the success of the original symbol by copying it, we developed a logo for the foundation that could be protected to strengthen and ensure its uniqueness.

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ARD

Mittagsmagazin

ARD’s Mittagsmagazin (Midday Magazine) is the first major news program shown on German public television every day. The new visual identity was developed as part of the switch to high-definition television. The design uses the progress of the day up to twelve noon to focus on the program’s content. The colors in the opening credits become increasingly lighter, imitating the transition from night to day.

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Saturn consumer electronics

Logo

Saturn, a retail chain for consumer electronics, adopted a new strategy to enhance its position among the competition. The updated logo combines continuity and clear regeneration with a modern, timeless symbol immediately recognized by retailers and customers alike.

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