Masters Series: Helmut Krone

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Helmut Krone — The Elegant Solution

He was one of advertising’s most respected innovators. Helmut’s best work — VW, Polaroid, Avis — would remain relevant for decades to follow. His ads would be spread across the pages of magazines and billboards across the nation, gaining unprecedented popularity. While much work often goes behind a good idea, Helmut’s ads were founded upon one notion: simplicity. Said BBDO’s Donna Weinheim of Krone in Magazine Issue 307:

“There’s reverence in advertising for what scientists and mathematicians call The Elegant Solution. This is the ultimate paradigm that persists in the arts throughout the ages, and it refers to a solution (ad, design, photo, whatever) that distills all the elements into a single clear, concise, coherent whole.

This has nothing to do with empty minimalism. Reduced to its basics, every element contributes to the whole. No redundancy. No fragments. No “unresolved” leftovers. The essence of Helmut’s work is a single word: Purity.

Helmut’s great ads avoid the decorative, the superfluous, the repetitious. What you get is the core message stripped down, lean and mean, clear and unmistakable. Often unforgettable. Helmut’s work is cool, direct, simple, clear. And elegant.”

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Helmut is a Graphis Master, whose work has been represented in Graphis Magazine Issues 307 and 305. Krone launched his career on the news side of Esquire and Collier’s, before joining Doyle Dane (later DDB Needham), where he would eventually become executive vice president. He would receive numerous awards for his work, and be inducted in the One Club’s Creative Hall of Fame, as well as the Art of Directors Hall of Fame. Krone passed away in 1996, being survived by his wife, five children and two grandchildren.

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