Hubert Hartmann's mainstay for decades were cheap, small, drugstore quality pipes with nylon stems. Called "Mutzenpfeifen" in German, they were mainly used to smoke shag tobaccos. This slowly changed for the better after pipe maker and designer Lothar Schirwitz, who had joined Hartmann in 1954, became the head manager of pipe production. Thanks to Schirwitz' efforts, Hartmann pipes adopted more modern designs orientated to Danish pipe making. Around 1975 the brand name, Design Berlin, was adopted to underline the new image. In the early 1980s DB was taken over by the Dr. Manfred Obermann Company from Berlin, and afterwards administrated by Planta Tabak-Manufaktur - one of Germany's biggest tobacco companies. Planta's international business contacts helped a lot to increase exports to England and the United States. Design Berlin is eager to create fresh and modern shapes that are considerably popular among younger smokers.