Ceremony, Chronicle, Exhibition and Communication for the 100th Anniversary of Reich
- Consulting and conceptual design of anniversary activities
- Text and editing for various media channels and formats
- Art direction, design and layout
- Production of printed products, exhibition and giveaways, video production
- Event planning and management, event direction
Reich, based in Mellrichstadt, is one of Germany’s hidden champions when it comes to manufacturing complex turned parts for customers in the automotive industry. In 2019, the 100th anniversary of the family-owned company was coming up. This major anniversary was also to be celebrated in a major way. But not with the usual program: no boring speeches, no mind-numbing recitation of dry historical data. Our clients had clear expectations: “We are proud of what we have achieved. We want something bold and extraordinary, but at the same time down-to-earth and in line with who we are. We want to express appreciation and gratitude to all who are with us as part of our history.”
Approaching the anniversary year conceptionally by playing on words
Two years before the anniversary, we had already started with the first preparations. At DIE WORTWERKSTATT, we work with language every day. We liked our client’s company name – and the many ways its other meaning in German allowed us to combine it with positive statements: ErfolgREICH, FacettenREICH, TraditionsREICH, GenussREICH… (rich in success, rich in aspects, rich in tradition, rich in enjoyment…)
We chose this sequence of words as a guide for generating ideas about content and design for all anniversary activities. Based on that, we developed a key visual for the anniversary year, revised the company history on the website, wrote copy for the employee magazine and an extensive press kit for local media representatives. Three major anniversary projects took center stage:
SeitenREICH – the book
Instead of a “classic commemorative publication,” we designed a colorful, journalistic kaleidoscope. The focus lay on people, their memories, emotions and experiences, as well as insights into the company’s history, which is closely linked to East-West German history. We traveled to the Rhön region, scoured city and company archives, took photographs, conducted interviews, collected facts and snapshots. We wrote the copy, laid out the layout and ensured perfect technical execution during the on-site print approval.
TraditionsREICH – the exhibition
Working together with company management and an architectural firm, we planned the conversion of a historic brick building on the Reich company premises in Mellrichstadt into a modern, modular museum and showroom. We designed a two-part exhibition based on a flexible, mobile display system so that the whole structure could later be shown at different locations, supplemented by exhibits from 100 years of history.
ErlebnisREICH – the festive act
As the crowning highlight of Reich’s 100th anniversary, we designed a somewhat different festive evening. With a host, interviews and talk rounds. With a hip jazz quartet from the local high school. With video clip highlights from 100 years. With a live performance by an artist who painted a portrait of the senior boss (who happens to be a Lindenberg collector) set to a medley by German musician Udo Lindenberg. All this in the dignified town hall of Mellrichstadt – which we had already transformed the day before into an appropriate festive location with professional media, sound and lighting technology, appealing furniture and decoration. We also took over the invitation management, coordinated on-site technology and catering, and kept an eye on all processes and timing as part of event management. And at dawn, we personally chauffeured the last guests back to their hotel.
“We surprised people across the board, especially with the party and the book. As a family business, we did not expect to be able to do that in such a rather conservative environment.”