“Are you actually trying to sell us Picasso furniture?” This is how customers used to the heavy dark furniture of the 30s and 40s reacted to the new “planmöbel” furniture with its clear, bight, light and simple design at the end of the 1950s.
The foundation for the development of the modern office furnishing systems of today was laid in 1958 within a far-reaching entrepreneurial vision: the German designer Robert Gutmann, who was living in London, had the idea of designing furniture which was very different to the usual office furniture of the time, and gave his blueprints the working title “planmöbel” (“Plan” can mean plan, design, concept, plain, idea or scheme in German, “Möbel is the German word for furniture). In order to introduce the planned product palate as a new development onto the market completely independently, “planmöbel” became the official company name in 1958 – with the name “planmöbel” the brand name.
Gutmann later became a leading member of the legendary “Rat für Formgebung” (now known as the German Design Council) and was a joint founder of “Design Report” in 1972, still the leading magazine for product design.
During the course of the years the “planmöbel” trademark became a mirror of its time, because it was always one step ahead. The brand was relaunched in 1969, 1982 and 1996, and in 2007 a black-white-grey version of the blue-yellow logo of the 90s was introduced.
In 2012 a change of shareholder took place and the brand was successfully realigned; a decision was also made to modernise the trademark.
The concept “back to the future” builds on the planmöbel brand’s most successful time. The logo’s writing style recalls its predecessor, in its simplicity more streamlined and more modern it invokes the 1982 logo. The striking full stop after the name “planmöbel” is now replaced by the ® which protects the brand from imitators.
The launch of the new website in October 2012 will be followed by new print advertising material in a new design. And even the newest product series by planmöbel continues where the brand’s most successful programme in its history left off: the series will be coming new onto the market in 2014/2015 – as always, one step ahead of the times.
The collaboration with selected designers goes back to Siegfried Bich. He was "Mr. Planmöbel" in the 60s, 70s and 80s, who managed the company and the brand together with Lore Eggersmann after the sudden death of the company founder Hans-Gunther Eggersmann. The "Eggersmann KG", originally especially known for its legendary "variable tables", became "planmöbel Eggersmann" with the introduction of the brand "planmöbel" and, after the departure of successor Rolf-Bernd Eggersmann, "planmöbel. GmbH & Co. KG".
In March 2014, a new chapter in planmöbel's history began. The Austrian Austro Holding with its office furniture manufacturer Neudoerfler Office Systems took over the planmöbel brand and product series and continued a cooperation which had already existed in the past. In 2015, KINZO Architekten successfully continued the successful tradition of cooperation with architects and designers with the UNIT product series. Today UNIT is used in many projects.
In 2017 the office furniture brands of Austro Holding were bundled in the newly founded BGO Holding.
In January 2019, the planmöbel office in Minden will be joined by the office and showroom in the heart of Berlin. Close to important specialist trade partners, architects and reference projects, visitors and partners can find inspiration from many well-thought-out solutions.