INFO > Biography in Brief
About the Artist
Oliver Weiss is a
working in mixed media for publishers and packaging producers
from Europe, North America, and Asia. Originally from Munich,
he divides his time between Berlin and New York City.
Some of his
Welt am Sonntag, Kiplinger's Magazine, AOK, Psychologie Heute, Rowohlt,
Crain, Gruner+Jahr, New Scientist, Scientific American, Die Zeit, Random House, Ritzenhoff,
Johns Hopkins, Focus, National Geographic, Ravensburger, CBS, The Christian Science Monitor,
Der Spiegel, Milken Institute, Tesa, Prospect Magazine,
and Deutsche Bank.
Oliver's work was chosen to
be included in Lürzer’s 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide book. In 2012,
his work won
him four awards of excellence in the
European Newspaper Award
contest for pieces he did for Germany’s largest newspaper,
Other recognitions include
Novum: World of Graphic Design
In 2011, Oliver was a judge
illustration annual; and in 2008, he won the grand prize in the Munich
Oktoberfest design competition.
Oliver has been among a
designer's pool of only 100 to get invited to create stamp designs for Germany. Further,
the jacket design for Random House's Who
am I - and if so, how many?, a nonfiction bestseller authored by Richard David Precht (over 1.3 mill.
Oliver designed his first mug design for
in 2011. In 2010, he created a range of
tin packaging product designs for Huber Decorative. Winning the grand prize (10,000 EUR)
in the closed competition for the official
Oktoberfest poster on behalf of the City of Munich
Oliver's design has been featured on a multitude of
merchandising products ranging from the official collector’s item beer stein
to t-shirts and mugs. This tops off a series of awards Oliver has received over time.
Other projects of Oliver's include
designs and illustrations for book publishers like dtv, Droemer Knaur, Carl Hanser, Random House,
and Campus. Oliver has created the design for
Wer bin ich? ("Who am I?") and
Liebe ("Love"), two Goldmann Verlag nonfiction titles on
philosophy authored by Richard David Precht that rank among the highest selling nonfiction books
within Europe (over 1.5 mill. copies sold, with sales ongoing).
Further books for which Oliver has created
artwork and jacket designs include Gregory David
Roberts' worldwide bestselling novel,
Shantaram, and nonfiction titles from
Tom Buhrow, and
recent clients include
Welt am Sonntag,
Focus, Crain, Kiplinger, AAA, Milken Institute, and The Christian Science Monitor. A
documentary of 2004 included footage of Oliver working on
a DER SPIEGEL cover design that was used for an international exhibition
tour showcasing the cover art of 50 years from Germany's largest news magazine.
Journalism to Corporate Design to Multimedia
Oliver is also engaged in
corporate design projects. Clients include publishers, universities, and
conference organizers. He has also been an expert reviewer
for design and multimedia engineering, and has worked on multimedia
ventures (including animation and soundtracks).
In 1999, Oliver launched LEGAmedia,
a self-owned online-only legal magazine that he edited for five years. Following
Oliver's three-month stint in New York City in 2001, LEGAmedia quickly evolved
into one of the world’s largest legal web sites, featuring multilingual articles
like former NYC mayor, Ed Koch, Harvard's strategic management guru, Michael
Porter, and hundreds of partners from major international law firms.
In 1996, while working as a freelance
journalist for a variety of magazines, he evolved into one of
the country's first web
site developers, working for large-scale clients
from publishing, and for
major law firms.
Oliver was also contracted by
AOL to edit a
legal online publication.
In 1999, Oliver's web site for
then among the country’s top-five law firms, was awarded the grand prize (3,500 EUR)
in recognition of what the jury at the German Bar Association
considered to be Germany's best web site for a law firm.
Oliver’s career as an artist is somewhat
unique in that he is self-taught in everything he has professionalized in. He
holds a master of science degree (Diplom-Ingenieur) in Information Technology from
Munich's elite University of Technology,
specializing in signal processing and speech analysis.
Oliver supported his university years
illustrations for some of Germany’s largest daily papers, including weekly
artwork for DIE
WELT, and assignments from Süddeutsche Zeitung
and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as hundreds of
special-interest publications from around the world. This is where his
profession as a self-taught illustrator and designer got initiated.
During graduation and after, while still
supporting himself entirely on artwork, Oliver was torn
between making a living as a professional artist and seeking a post-graduate
academic career in the fields of ethology (voice analysis in bonobos, cetaceans and
birds) and phonetics (speech analysis in humans).
To this end, he spent a total of over a
ethologist Konrad Lorenz’s Max Planck Institute for Behavioral
Physiology with human ethologist, Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, as well as at universities in
Germany and France.
Around 1996, with the Deutsche Bank
approaching him for a major illustration assignment, Oliver decided to take the
plunge and settle
for illustration, design and journalism.