People in Design — Obituary: Klaus Jürgen Maack Dies Aged 81
For Klaus Jürgen Maack, becoming managing director of ERCO, the company founded by his stepfather Arnold Reininghaus in 1934, was no easy task – especially at the age of 25. Yet the company Maack took over in 1963 would go on to become the world market leader, not least thanks to his approach based on the attitude “light not lights”. To this day, this has remained Maack’s motto. And it was Maack, too, who in 1974 contacted graphic designer Otl Aicher and asked him to help develop the company’s unmistakable corporate identity. Maack consistently pushed contemporary design in ERCO products, whether they were produced by the company’s own design department or in collaboration with renowned designers and architects. The same was true of the company’s modern architecture, brought to life by international architects under Maack’s leadership. Klaus Jürgen Maack was a popular adjudicator, author and speaker at business and design-related events. In Germany, he was considered an entrepreneur who took a responsible, holistic approach to promoting the development of his company, placing the central focus on design. Maack was honoured many times for his achievements. His accolades included the German Federal Award for Promoting Design (“Bundespreis Förderer des Design”). In 2003 he retired from the company’s operations. On 30 June 2019, Klaus Jürgen Maack passed away at the age of 81 in Lüdenscheid, Germany.