Die Brücke (the Bridge) was an institute founded in Munich, Germany in 1911. The official name was Internationales Institut zur Organisierung der geistigen Arbeit Die Brücke (International institute to organise creative works Die Brücke).
It is not very clear what the institute actually did or planned to do, as historical evidence is very scarce. The following tasks were mentioned and (partially) carried out :
The archive seems to have existed, but what happened to the archives after Die Brucke went bankrupt is not known. The collge never started, the journal was published and a world standard was set.
The standards were named World Standards (Weltformat) I-XVI and had the following sizes:
I : 1 x 1.41 cm
II : 1.41 x 2 cm
III : 2 x 2.83 cm
IV : 2.83 x 4 cm
V : 4 x 5.66 cm
VI : 5.66 x 8 cm
VII : 8 x 11.3 cm The standards I-VI were meant for labels, tickets, stamps, ex-libris and similar small items
VIII : 11.3 x 16 cm
IX : 16 x 22.6 cm
X : 22.6 x 32 cm The standards VIII-X were meant for small books, leaflets and similar publications
XI : 32 x 45.3 cm
XII : 45.3 x 64 cm
XIII : 64 x 90.5 cm
XIV : 90.5 x 128 cm
XV : 128 x 181 cm
XVI : 181 x 256 cm
The institute wanted to promote their new standard by having advertisements and other items being printed in their format. They thus approached influential bussinessmen to adopt their standard. One of these was Ludwig Roselius, founder of the Coffee Hag company. Roselius approached the heraldic artist Otto Hupp and together they started a large publication on German (and later foreign) arms of towns, cities and villages (known as the Coffee Hag albums). In the Coffee Hag packages coupons were added, for which one could obtain stamps with the arms of a town or city. These stamps could be glued in the albums. The stamps were printed in Weltformat V, the albums in Weltformat IX. These standards were also mentioned on the stamps and in the books to promote the idea. The series were issued long after the Brücke was abolished, and in the second edition of the German albums the referral to the Weltformat was removed. The size of the stamps, however, remained identical in all Europan albums until the 1950s. The Swiss stamps wtill used the text Weltformat V until the mid 1920s.
The Brücke went bankrupt in 1913 and was abolished in 1914. The idea for a world standard was taken over by the DIN institute in 1922 and the present A1-A6 standard paper sizes are based on the same idea as the World standards of Die Brücke.