“1938 Projekt” focuses on individual stories by presenting documents from LBI’s own archives and those of numerous partner institutions. Every day in 2018, a new document — a handwritten letter, a diary entry, a photo — is posted to the website and social media channels, reflecting the experiences and intimate impressions of its former owners as they grappled at the time with the loss of their rights, livelihoods, homes and personal safety. The documents are gripping to read today, since they portray daily life in the buildup to what we now know will be the coming violence of Kristallnacht, after which all hope was lost.
The project’s graphic design reflects the modernist, Bauhaus style of the late 1930s. In the visual identity, the numeral 8 in the year and letter O in “Projekt” are aligned and highlighted with a vertical red gesture, to commemorate 80 years since 1938. The website closely resembles an old-fashioned daily calendar, which was the organizing principle of this project. The design approach, with strong, easily recognizable branding across all channels, conveys the story of 1938 by "dating" each document in chronological order as it is posted. The strength of the project is in how the calendar concept draws the public in by building suspense in small daily doses. The daily drip of documents provides an eerie build-up, drawing in readers and sustaining their interest in a way that’s similar to that of reading a Holocaust-era diary today.