The iF Opening Story

1953: Germany was still struggling to overcome the impact of the Second World War, at home and abroad. Six years after the British occupying forces selected Hannover as a venue for trade fairs, efforts were made to complement the fair with an institution that would foster and support the “formal design of industrial products” in Germany.

The Hannover Messegesellschaft was inspired by the ideas of the visionary entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal, who also played a key role in the Federation of German Industry (BDI), where he was committed to bringing together the worlds of culture and business. This concept was also adopted for the foundation of the new institution. Together with the Messegesellschaft and the Federation of German Industry, Rosenthal created this unique institution: iF e.V.

This was the start of a symbol of design excellence that is recognized to this day – the iF logo.

The aim was to draw attention to particularly well-designed industrial products. In doing so, they wanted to communicate the importance of design and all it can achieve: for users, for brands and for societies. A new image for German products began to take shape. Fitting then that the resulting association was first known as 'Die gute Industrieform e.V.' (Good Industrial Form). The name Industrie Forum (or iF for short) came later.