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Shoulder bag, Freitag retour, 1993
Daniel FreitagMarkus Freitag
Shoulder bag, Freitag retour,
Daniel Freitag, Markus Freitag,

Shoulder bag, Freitag retour,

Daniel FreitagMarkus Freitag
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Freitag retour Daniel Freitag Markus Freitag Shoulder bag
  • Freitag retour Daniel Freitag Markus Freitag Shoulder bag
  • Freitag retour Daniel Freitag Markus Freitag Shoulder bag
  • Freitag retour Daniel Freitag Markus Freitag Shoulder bag
Listen to the text
Interview mit Daniel Freitag

The company Freitag was built up over twenty years—all starting with a messenger bag made of used truck tarps. How two designers from Zurich developed a good product into a whole factory, a logo into a brand, and a concept into a design approach, has for some time been the stuff of textbooks for entrepreneurs wishing to develop their creative design thinking.

Daniel (b. 1971) and Markus (b. 1970) Freitag sewed their first messenger bags from recycled truck tarps, bicycle tubes, and seat belts for their own personal use. Their chosen mode of urban transport was the bicycle, and they always had rolls of paper with design drawings in tow. As members of a shared apartment with views of the truck traffic on Zurich’s Hardbrücke bridge, they came up with the idea of transferring the tarps from the heavy delivery vehicles to their bikes. With a design borrowed from the bags used by American bicycle messengers, the first Freitag bags were sold to the public in 1994 on the same bridge that inspired them. The brothers took orders for custom color combinations and then cut, sewed, and delivered the bags themselves. In principle, this business model has changed little over the past twenty years, but the bags are now a globally recognized brand. The entrepreneurially industrious and creatively talented brothers set up their own production site in Zurich, where the tarps are cleaned, taken apart, and cut into designs betraying a flair for color and typography before being sewn together and photographed. The departments for tarp acquisition, product development, sales, and marketing are all located under one roof, ideal for driving the company’s iterative process. Via online shops, the company’s own stores, and distributors, the unique Freitag products reach customers and fans, who then present their impressive bag collections on Facebook. Freitag is regarded today as a prime example of creative industry and proof that thinking in terms of design can yield economic success. (Renate Menzi)

Umhängetasche, Freitag retour, 1993
Entwurf: Daniel Freitag, Markus Freitag
Herstellung: Freitag Retour Gebr. Zürich, CH
Material/Technik: Polyestergewebe, PVC-beschichtet; Siebdruck (Logo); Textilgurte
54 × 45 cm
Donation: Christian Waldvogel
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Design, Zürich 2014, S. 314.

Esther Müller, «Das Geschenk des Mauritius Ehrlich», [2.10.2013], verfasst 25.2.2011.

Anna Schindler, «Freitag», in: Ernst, Meret / Christian Eggenberger (Hg.), Design Suisse, Zürich 2006, S. 222–232.

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), Freitag. Ein Taschenbuch, Zürich 2012.

Image creditso

Umhängetasche, Freitag retour, 1993, Entwurf: Daniel Freitag, Markus Freitag, Donation: Christian Waldvogel
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Umhängetasche, Prototyp Freitag-Tasche, 1993, Entwurf: Daniel Freitag, Markus Freitag
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Zuschnitt der gebrauchten Lastwagenplanen in der Produktionshalle von Freitag, 2013, Fotografie: Joël Tettamanti
Abbildung: Freitag lab. AG

Schachtel für Umhängetasche, Freitag F TV – More than a Bag. this Box is your free TV set!, 1997, Auftrag: Freitag lab. AG, Zürich, CH, Donation: Freitag lab. AG, Zürich, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Innenraum Freitag Flagship-Store Zürich von Spillmann Echsle Architekten, 2006, Fotografie: Roland Tännler
Abbildung: Freitag lab. AG