The German Illustrators' Organization - WHO WE ARE

The Illustratoren Organisation e.V. (IO), founded in 2002 in Hamburg, is the sole professional association of German-speaking illustrators from every area of professional illustration. The registered association represents illustrators’ artistic, political and economic interests in Germany. Roughly 1,900 members are interconnected through the IO.

Promoting societal respect for creative occupations and protecting the interests of copyright holders is both the task and objective of this professional association. The IO achieves both through consistent organizational action on two fronts: Internally, it strengthens each of its individual members so they can optimally pursue their own interests. Externally, the IO is well-connected with national and international creative associations. It has strengthened its position in politics and in the public sphere and applies its weight accordingly.


The IO supports its members in all artistic, legal and economic issues related to illustration. From providing a general overview of the terms and conditions of the profession to showing model contracts or examples of compensation, etc., it offers individuals protection and orientation, cost-free advice through the IO’s legal adviser and professional legal insurance accompanying membership.

In the long term, talks with representatives in politics and negotiations with associations that use illustrations (and individual users of illustrations) will further disseminate this model and ensure better cooperation between client and illustrator. In addition, the IO promotes the setup  and expansion of regional, national and international networks that facilitate the exchange of professional advice and experience, open up new areas of illustration activity and reinforce individuals in their daily work. The IO’s website, beyond promoting regional meetings and events and exhibitions, has a lively web forum that gives users a fast and direct means of information exchange, so that they can profit from mutual advice and critique.


The IO’s site, however, serves not only to ease communication but also to present one’s work, with prestigious illustrators as well as new talent using the IO’s online portfolio. Clients utilize the "image and illustrator" search function and have the ability to research and find the right illustrator.

Externally, the IO enjoys a close relationship with various bodies relevant to copyright holders. The IO has a delegate on the supervisory board of the VG Bild-Kunst, which supports image-based copyright holders, and also on the VG Bild-Kunst’s charity committee. The IO is also, through the umbrella association Deutscher Designertag, a member of the German Cultural Council; it is also member of the Initiative Urheberrecht, the umbrella organization for professional German copyright associations. As a member of the European Illustrators Forum (EIF), the IO supports the long-term aims of reasonable pay for illustrators and an agreement on copyright law that is not only state-wide but Europe-wide.

The IO regularly showcases itself and its members at important events, such as the book fairs in Frankfurt, Bologna and Spielwarenmesse Nuremberg.


Stefanie Weiffenbach
Director of the IO e.V.
Phone: +49 – 69 – 97 69 16 16