July 9, 2015
Aiga Rasch’s 74th Birthday
Happy Birthday Aiga Rasch!
Aiga Rasch was a German illustrator, graphic designer and painter. Though her best-known work covered the youth mystery book series Die drei ??? (The Three Investigators), it doesn't take a detective to identify Aiga Rasch's signature style. In Germany, the book series gained a wide following, with Rasch's cover art propelling the books into unmistakeable icons. Her illustrations are concise and powerful, and the colorful covers impeccably translate the stories within.
From the very beginning of the Doodle, I worked with a team of German Googlers to learn more about Rasch’s work and her place in popular culture. We thought most people would recognize Rasch’s illustrations from Die drei ???, but we weren’t sure how best to present her work.
Initially, I thought showing two books could help visually link her art and her most well-known subject: Die drei ???. The illustrations are homages to her style and the relatively simple and plain "Ggle" letters are a nod to the stark simplicity of the typography used on the book covers.
As the idea began to develop, it felt a bit too far removed from Rasch’s actual illustrations. Also, I learned that Rasch and the publishers never actually depicted the three boy detectives from the books in the cover art. So we abandoned this approach.
In my next concept, I referenced Rasch's more popular illustrations for die Drei ??? without making exact copies. I wanted to provide a recognizable sense of her style without relying on the visual cue of books. In the sketch below, I noted which book covers were my inspiration. I deliberately chose ones that were mysterious and intriguing, but not too threatening or violent.
At this point, the team felt we had the right approach. From here I continued to refine the illustration and did my best to approximate Rasch’s methods for drawing and using color.
In this near final illustration, we swapped out some of the inspiration for the covers, and I replaced the first ‘G’ with a reference to Der Super-Papagei/The Stuttering Parrot and the second ‘O’ with Der Rasende Löwe/The Nervous Lion. We chose a dark background to mimic the iconic style of the books without replicating the designs literally.
Hopefully everyone who sees today's doodle is reminded of Aiga Rasch’s talent and skill in encapsulating their favorite mystery adventure in die Drei ???.
Posted by Brian Kaas, Doodler