Examining Swiss Style Typography Art Essay
What is it a good graphic design? Good graphic design or typography is like a taste. Hallmark of the taste rests in sensitivity, from feelings. Every one has a different taste, but it is indispensable for everyone. Graphic design works on an equal basis. We are not born with the right taste as well as there are no born masters of graphic design. All of them have to be every of them self educated. Perfect graphic consist of many elements, as a result of harmony.
This magazine traces the growth of the good graphic design. It depicts not only the growth, but also a designers who formed the style, the people and ideas that influenced them and the following generations who were attracted to Swiss graphic design.
This progressive, radical movement - Swiss style also known as an International style, was originated in Switzerland in the 1920s . This style became famous because of very talented Swiss graphic designers. It emerged from Russian s Constructivism, Germany s De Stijl and Dadaism.
The International Typographic Style, or Swiss Style, refers to the graphic design movement that evolved in Switzerland during the 1950s. Emphasizing clarity of information, the International Style propagated an aesthetic of objective photography in place of illustration; asymmetrical arrangement of elements on a modular grid system; sans-serif typography such as Akzidenz Grotesk; and flush left, ragged right configuration of text. Admired for its simple, clean, factual, and highly structured approach to organizing and presenting information.
The magazine is divided into three parts. Part One shows the origins of the Swiss style, general information about the style, political and social influences. The following part represents the central figures in this movement and the New typography.6 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1930) Fototek [Book cover]
origins of the swiss style7 swiss style
In the post war period, modern design began more significant with development of industrialized society. Switzerland bacame an appropriate site for growth of an International style, by means of the country s position in the centre of Europe and its political neutrality.
However, Swiss style started to grow in after the First World War in Europe. Henry van de Velde (1863 1957) was a famous Belgian architect and designer. He was also one of the most successful and important practitioners of the Art Nouveau style. He was known as the first Art Nouveau artist to work in an abstract style and developed the concept of the union of form and function. His idea was to bring art to industry. Van de Velde was the main graphic designer who influenced young Swiss designers. He was one of the founders of the decorative arts school of Weimar. This school was later called the "Bauhaus". In 1907 he designed the new building of The School of Arts and Crafts and became the first director of this school. Among the teachers there were Russian, Wassily Kandinsky, Swiss Paul Klee and Johannes Itten. Young Swiss graphic designers attracted the school and many of them studied at the Bauhaus. The influence from the Bauhaus was apparent in Max Bill (1908 1994) and Theo Ballmer (1902 1965) works. Max Bill, a painter belonging to the Concrete Art movement in Z rich applied mathematical systems for the organization of space to his graphic design work. Another style which had an effect for the growth of an International style was Constructivism. Constructivism art refers to the optimistic, non-representational relief construction, sculpture, kinetics and painting. The artists did not believe in abstract ideas, rather they tried to link art with concrete and tangible ideas. Constructivist art is committed to complete abstraction with a devotion to modernity, where themes are often geometric, experimental and rarely emotional. El Lissitzky (1890 1941) was the main represetatives of Russian Constructivism. He brought a New Typography and photomontage to Switzerland. Lissitzky attended to the fundamental transformation of perception of literature. From acoustic percept of the past became visible words. Optical character of the new typography was defined in his book from 1923. His work greatly influenced the Swiss style. Not only Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klle who were teachers at Bauhaus, but also L szl Moholo Nagy (1895 1946) had notable position there. He had similar visual conception as Lissitzky. He was oriented in interaction of photography and text. Moholo Nagy perceived photography like an objective representation which can rescue obscurdity of words. He brought typography to question, he defined a new revolutionary idea - typofoto combination of typography and photographic images.It is an objective form of representation based at princip of communication.
Both of these movements influenced a new directions of art and development of graphic design.
A book of modern graphic design Gefesselter Blick (Captured Glance) was published in Stuttgard in 1930. It was Sponzored by the Swiss Werkbund s Advertising Designers Circle. Design from 1920s publications were displayed in the book.. The book was edited by architects Heinz Rasch and Bodo Rasch. They rounded up a work of twenty six artists of the avant garde. Most of them were Germans (Werner Graef), three Swiss (Otto Baumberger, Max Bill and Walter Cylian), two Dutch (Paul Schutema, Piet Zwart), Russian (El Lissitzky), and Czech (Karel Teige). Even though, the Swiss were influenced by many styles, their own style became unique.Gefesselter Blick displays the origins and growth of the Swiss style. 8 swiss style
Vivarelli, C. (1949) Fur Das Alter [Poster]
fig.39 swiss style
In the first part of the magazine we introduced the origins and problems of the Swiss style in Graphic design. In this part we will mention the main artists, designers and propagonists of this movement.
Ernst Keller (1931 2006) the father of Swiss design, was a graphic designer, artist and teacher. From 1918 and for four decades onward Keller taught a professional course in graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule Z rich (The Zurich School of Design) rejecting the notion of style in favor of design solutions derived from content. Keller was the most important single influence on the development of Swiss graphic design. The economically drawn images and inventive lettering of his posters designed in
9 swiss style10 swiss style
Matter, H. (1934) Switzerland: Winter Holidays - Double Holidays [Poster]
fig.511 swiss style
the 1920s and early 1930s made an important contribution to Modernism. He mentored Armin Hofmann (fig. 1), Emil Ruder, and Joseph-Muller Brockman, all of whom were important figures in what became the International Typographic Style. Significance of the International Typographic Style has been unfairly reduced to the aesthetic preferences evident in the outcomes of work by designers identified with the movement. To recognize its substance one needs to study the specifics of its origin rooted in the curriculum developed at the Basel School of Design.
One of the important figures of origins of the Swiss style was also Theo Ballmer (1902 1965). He was a designer, photographer and teacher. Ballmer studied at Bauhaus and at Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. He is known for his political posters and exhibitions, using only simple images and lettering (fig. 4).
Otto Baumberger (1889 1961) was one of the first Swiss who can be correctly described as a poster designer. He designed more than two hundred posters, which helped to modernize the style. In its variety, Baumberger s work embodies and exemplifies the history of Swiss poster art in the first half of the twentieth century, as the painterly artist poster gradually evolved toward graphically oriented corporate design.
Max Bill was another Swiss graphic artist, industrial designer, architect, sculptor, and painter, primarily important for his sophisticated, disciplined advertising designs. He studied at the Bauhaus until late 1920 s when he moved to Zurich where he became a teacher and prime member of the Allianz group of graphic designers. Max Bill belonging to the Concrete Art movement in Z rich applied mathematical systems for the organization of space to his graphic design work.
Herbert Matter was a pioneer in the use of photomontage. His talented use of type earned him great international acclamation (fig.5). After working for the Swiss National Tourist Office and Swiss resorts he moved to the United States in 1936 and started teaching Photography at Yale University in 1952.12 swiss style
was a leading German graphic designer who also exerted a strong influence on the Swiss school.
Johannes Tzschichhold (Jan Tschichold) was born as a son of a Leipzig lettering artist and sign printer Franz Tzschichhold and his wife Maria Zapff, in April 1902. His father s profession gave him an early introduction to the many forms of written scripts. Young Tschichold often helped his father and also attended a printing museum in the Buchgewerbehaus (Book Industry Building) which were in the town. Consequently he had knowledges of typography from early age. Despite of his parents ideas, to have their son a professional art teacher, he decided to be educated as a lettering artist. While he studied (from 1919 to 1921) with Walter Tiemann, director of the Staatliche Akademie fur graphische Kunste und Buchgewerbe (Academy for Graphic Arts and Book production), he also attended courses in printmaking and bookbinding. Tschichold supported his education of the books of Edward Johnston (Calligraphy, Ornamental Script and Applied Script) and Rudolf von Larisch (Study in Ornamental Writing) and created a number of calligraphic writings.
Before leaving for Bauhas from 1921 to 1923 he worked in Leipzig as an assistant in teaching courses of calligraphy at the Academy. In 1923 he became a freelance designer in Leipzig. In the same year he visited Bauhaus exhibition and influenced by the modern artists and designers Wassily Kandinsky (1866 1944) and L szl Moholo Nagy, he started to propagate a new visual thinking. It was an inversion in his actual life. Soon, he was also introduced to the work of the Dutch graphic designer Piet Zwart 13 swiss style
Exhibition poster, 1937 While getting acquainted with work we can fall into deluge of varied geometrics and simple effects. This poster looks like an absolutely pure example of New Typography. The design is simple and arithmetical.
fig.714 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1927) Napoleon [Poster]15 swiss style
(1885 1977), and the Russian constructivists El Lisstzky. He worked with an assymetric composition, geometric shapes, the use of photography instead of illustrations and sans serif typefaces (fig. 11).
In the light of my knowledge, it was a juvenile opinion to consider the sans serif as the most suitable or even the most contemporary typeface. Jan Tschichold (Jong, Purvis, Le Coultre, Doubleday and Reichardt, 2008 : 19)
Tschichold was so impressed by Soviet constructivism and Russian Revolution, that he changed his name to Iwan (or Ivan) Tschichold in 1923.
Tschichold became an important figure in the new movement known as the New Typography. A first spectacular publication of these views, Elementare typographie (Elementary Typography) , appeared in a special October 1925 issue of the German magazine Typographische Mitteilungen (Typographic News). This was a kind of typographic manifest and caused an uproar in the world of design. In the book Tschichold described the new ideas on typographic design.
Artists and designers had various opinion at the publication. Lissitzky was delighted at the beautiful brochure. The book was received well at the Bauhaus, but the German constructivis reacted critically. Nevertheless, the book had an impact on the future design. The second book
Tschichold, J. (1927) Napoleon [rough sketch for poster]
1. The purpose of the New Typography is functionality.
2. The purpose of any typography is communication (the means of which are visualized).This communication has to appear in the shortest, simplest and most compelling form.
3. For typography to serve social purposes, the inner form of the material employed must arrange the content whereas the outer form must establish a relantionship between the different typographic means.
4. Inner organization means using as few basic constituents as possible; typefaces, numbers, signs, l ines from the type cases, and the typessetter. In the modern world focused on optics, the precise picture, i.e. photography, must be considered as a basic constituent of the New Typography. (Jong, Purvis, Le Coultre, Doubleday and Reichardt, 2008 : 39)16 swiss style
was the most important, Die neue Typographie (The New Typography) was published in 1928. This book explained the function and communication of the New Typography. The book was used as a handbook for printers and publishers and even at the Bauhaus. In a small A5 format he described a modern typography in a short essay. Tschichold inspired by the functional determination of Bauhaus, formulated the basics of the modern visual communication in which aesthetics of modern abstract art were combined together with requirements for legibility, simplicity and subject information. His manifest the New Typography reflected the dynamism of life time, preferences of precision and clarity of sensatial visual. He preferred objective resources as the sans serif and geometric typeface (Grotesk), assymetric composition and whitespace. His book was widely read and highly influential as a major step in modern ideals. The book became the bible of every young typesetter.
From 1927 until 1933 Tschichold constituted the New Typography in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and France. Because of the influence of the Nazis in 1933 Tschichold submitted his registration to the Munich Meiterschule, to assume a teaching position at the new Hohere Graphische Fachschule der Stadt Berlin (Berlin Higher Vocanional School for Graphic Arts). Although Tschichold had a post in Berlin, he changed his mind and decided that he would rather stay in Munich. After the Nazi victory in March 1933, Tschichold and his wife Edith were arrested and they were denounced as a Kulturbolshewist (cultural Bolshevists). Shortly after their arrest, they were released. Tschichold with Edith and their four year son immediately left Munich and on July 28, 1933 went to Basel in Switzerland. Their friend Hermann Kienzle, the director of the Allgemeine Gererbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in Basel,
Poster for The Professional Photographer exhibition in Basel, 1938. A clear logic organization of the elements. The poster has geometrical structure, strict horizontal and vertical alignments. He used Akzidenz typeface (consended) and only lowercase.
fig.10 17 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1928, 1931) Sportpolitische Rundschau [Magazine cover]
fig.1118 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1927) Piquedame [rough sketch for poster]19 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1927) Piquedame [Poster]20 swiss style
recommended Tschichold for a teaching post at the School of Arts and Crafts. Between 1933 and 1946, Tschichold produced numerous journal articles, in part due to financial pressure.Two years after he had moved to Switzerland, he published the most important book Typographische Gestaltung (Typographic Design). At this time he began to work with more traditional typefaces and layout arrangements. This book was not only about the New Typography but also about use of photography as a design component. According to Eskilson (2007:302) In this new book, Tschichold reiterated his support for the New Typography but also suggested that the assymetric, flush left layout was not only suitable design formula.
Jan Tschichold was not only a typographer and a book designer. He was also poster designer. Before he left for Switzerland he had been makink posters for publishing houses or some film posters. But his first large commission was the poster for Phoebus Palast cinema in 1927. It was the largest cinema in Germany. He created for them posters, newspapers, advertisements and programs, we would called this as a corporate identity today. The other commisions were for the Volksverband fur Filmkunst (People s Association for Film Art), or The exhibition Das Internationale Plakat.
A poster is a relatively independent area of graphic design, which is the most similar to creative art by using means of expression. The large format increases the effectiveness of communication of the poster. Tschichold tried to complete the primary concept by using of the principles of the New Typography, minimalism and whitespace. His posters are organized into vertical and horizontal fields. He often worked with geometrical structure, each element is in plan type, spacing, colour, and even the meaning. In the organization of the elements, meanings are connected. Tschichold s poster designs rank among the finest in the history of graphic design. His background in typography permitted him to achieve preeminence with minimal means while consistently maintaining elegance and a maximum of expression.
In the post war period, Tschichold worked for Penguin Books in London (fig. 14, 15, 16). This London s publishing looked for the best typographer and offered designers from Europe. Penguin,
The New Typography, in its concern to satisfy the needs of our own period and to make sure that every single piece of printing is in harmony with the present ...
Jan Tschichold (Jong, Purvis, Le Coultre, Doubleday and Reichardt, 2008 : 133)
fig.1421 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1947) Penguin [Logos]
21 swiss style22 swiss style
founded in 1935, was the first commercially successful paperback book company in Britain. (Eskilson, 2007 : 314) Penguin Books publisher Allen Lane and the famous English book printer Oliver Simon were suprised by Jan Tschichold s work. Tschichold established a fixed set of typographic standards, the Penguin compositions rules. He installed strict typesetting rules and raised them to the formal level of the printing and publishing. These rules directed attention to next composition, indenting, punctuation marks, spelling, capitals, small capitals, italics, folios, figures, references, footnotes, make up, and the printing plays and poetry. (Jong, Purvis, Le Coultre, Doubleday and Reichardt, 2008 : 269 270) In the few years spent working in London, Tschichold gained much respect and was named an honorary member of the London Double Crown Club, a selective group of English typographers and printers.In 1949 Tschichold felt that his work in Penguin was completed, it was the reason why he returned back to Switzeland.
Between 1950 and 1954 he was an independent typographer in Basel. In 1955 Tschichold took a position as typographer at the Hoffmann-La Roche company in Basel.
Jan Tschichold died on August 11, 1974, in Locarno, Switzerland.
fig.1623 swiss style
Tschichold, J. (1931) Commercial Art [Magazine cover]24 swiss style
josef muller brockmann
Josef M ller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer. One of the leading graphic and typographic designer since the 1950s.
Josef Muller was born on 9 May, 1914, in Rapperswill, Switzerland. His father Christian M ller had a successful career. His company CH. M ller Baugeschaft (building firm), employed dozens of men from Rapperswill and workers from abroad. Unfortunately, Christiann died two yers after his son was born, on 24 August, 1916. Mother of Josef was Ida M ller Shmucki a strong, independent woman. After her husband s death she became a widow at the age of thirty two. She stayed alone with eight children. Josef s talent emerged at the age of fourteen when attending high school. His teacher recognized his natural 25 swiss style
fig.1826 swiss style
aptitude for drawing. Because of his mother s financial situation, Josef could not study at college. His older brother Paul (firstborn) was sent to university, although he was not as talented as his younger brother. Then Josef continued developing his illustration skills himself. Later an enthusiastic teacher at the Rapperswil Middle School recommended that Muller apply for an apprenticeship as a photographic retoucher. (Purcell, 2006 : 16) Muller spent only one month in a local printer s office than he left. He felt a need to continue with his artistic desires. The period between the world wars strongly influenced M ller s development of art Tschichold s The New Typography and also the work of El Lissitzky or Otto Baumberger. M ller even advocated the opinion that Baumberger was the ingenious, unsurpassed master of large, often monumental, picture language with the minimum of illustrative and chromatic means he was the first and unsurpassed master of the objective informative poster. (Purcell, 2006 : 21)
In 1931 M ller became an apprentice to the designer and advertising consultant of Alex Walter Diggelmann at Studio Diggelmann s Zurich offices.
Although Josef M ller had the financial problem, in 1932 he was registered as a student at the University of Zurich and at the city's Kunstegewerbeschule. Josef went to the Keller s graphic class to ask him for entrance to the class. Nevertheless, Ernst Keller had a full class and threw him out. M ller was relentless and went to the school every day, and finally Keller allowed him to the course. The young student was delighted at the studies. He was interested in studies of painting, sculpture and design, anatomy, experiments in perpective, and studies of typography. In spite of that he was still unsure about his future direction. At the age of twenty M ller deemed advisable to establish himself, he would need to find a future work. At this time he replied to an offer to work as a designer for Mauser Seeds Ltd. to create a series of shop windows decorations. Josef M ller was convinced that his teachers Ernst Keller and Alfred Willimann strongly influenced him.
In the era of World War II Josef M ller continued to work on the projects in Zurich, although he was a member of army. Because of the Switzerland position and its neutrality he was relatively calm. However, influenced by the anxienty about Naciz, influenced by the Swiss population isolated from the rest of the world he began to investigate his work in depth and sought of merits of the case. During this period M ller met the violinist Verena Brock
fig.2027 swiss style
mann, his future wife. Together with her father, Professor Dr. Heinrich Brockmann Jerosch and architect Johann Albert Freytag, he found a system of form and function. The products of graphic design are compromise between form and function, consequently analogous to architecture. The form would follows the function. So graphic design did not have only function to inform but also an education mission to cultivate an everyday life of person. During this period Josef married with Verena, he changed his name to M ller Brockmann. On 8 May 1945, M ller Brockmann, along with the rest of Europe, celebrated the end of war. (Purcell, 2006 : 51)
28 swiss style 29 swiss style
Swiss designers reputedly confused graphic design and advertisement. Despite of the visual communication is closely associated with advertisement. Graphic design and advertisement are components of general questions for common visual communication. In the post war period M ller Brockmann focused on visual identity. For the first time he used advertisement for propagation of Hermes typewriter. Josef M ller Brockmann worked for Hermes for six years. The work for Hermes was influenced by surreal aesthetics as most of his work from this period for example Die Kleine Freiheit (small Munich theatre).
As a young person I had no clear perception of my future I only knew that my professional career depended on my energy, self criticism, discipline, and permanent desire to learn.
Josef Muller Brockmann
(Purcell, 2006 : 11)
Afterwards he switched the direction of his work and began to think about constructivism and international language. Nevertheless, instead of abstraction M ller Brockmann used to work with simplicity, geometric forms and to create a harmony of space similar to music. This harmony between art and music he firstly used in commission for the poster for concert of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1950. The same principle was consequently used for Zurich Tonhalle posters. (fig. 23, 25). This transitional style - abstract shape or drawn illustration still evoked his influences than the international Swiss style. M ller Brockmann continued with work for Zurich Concert Hall for more than twenty - five years. He has modernized his style in 1953 for exhibition poster titled Das Plakat (fig. 24). The commission consists of six posters, each one was a single letter of the exhibition title P , L , A , K , A , T . Each letter was given to different designers such as Hans Falk, Adolf Fl ckiger, and Celestino Piatti. M ller Brockmann made T , he underlined his illustration by using light. The title of the exhibition is in Akzidenz Grotesk typeface, placed in the highlited T. He used capital letters for both words of Das Plakat. Information about the opening times and dates are vertically down the main stroke. M ller Brockmann did not use only illustrations but he exposed these two images (illustrations) in the darkroom, photo its and retouched the protography.
In 1952 he designed public signage for the Swiss Automobile Club Accidens Gauge. This Accident Gauge was installed on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, where it warned of the hazards of driving by presenting a numerical summary that highlighted each week s total automobile related accidents and deaths. It was designed and constructed in an abstract three dimensional designs influenced by Russian Constructivistics in the 1920s. (Eskilson S. J. , 2007 : 303) M ller Brockmann made also an excelent use of Akzidenz Grotesk. This typeface is actually appropriate for this kind of advertisement the numerical statistics without emotions. Josef M ller Brockmann also collaborated with Automobile club of Switzerland for a poster de
What you create can be stronger than yourself.
Josef Muller Brockmann
(Purcell, 2006 : 47)
M ller Brockmann, J. (1957) Zurich Tonhalle [Program cover]
30 swiss style31 swiss style
M ller Brockmann, J. (1953) Das Plakat [Poster]
fig.2432 swiss style
M ller Brockmann, J. (1955) Zurich Tonhalle [Program cover]
fig.2533 swiss style
sign that would refer to padestrians, cyclists and drivers in one traffic (fig. 18, 21). These posters have wonderful use of perspective, the yellow road urge the situation figured at the poster it made it effective. Brockmann worked with E. A. Heiniger on most of the Automobile Club of Switzerland posters. M ller Brockmann continued to create unconventional designs for them for several years.
M ller Brockmann s geniuses grew in and through the years he became a modernist. For the Zurich Concert Hall posters he used all lowercase for the text and geometric abstract forms instead of the illustrations. Beethoven poster (fig.26) for the Zurich Tonhalle represents the epitome of the Swiss style: curves and asymmetry. By the 1950s, he was established as the leading practitioner and theorist of the Swiss Style, which sought a universal graphic expression through a grid-based design purged of extraneous illustration and subjective feeling. His Musica viva (fig. 20, 27) poster series for the Zurich Tonhalle drew on the language of Constructivism to create a visual correlative to the structural harmonies of the music.
In 1960 M ller Brockmann designed a typographic poster for exhibition at the Zurich Kunstgewerbemuseum, der Film (fig. 28). It is perharps one of his most celebrated designs. The poster type and space communicate in an inventive and original manner.
Brockmann is the author of grid sys
The grid system is used by typographer, graphic designer, photographer and exhi
bition designer for solving visual problems in two and three dimensions.
(Brockmann, 2001 : 13)34 swiss style
One important part of the Swiss Style is its remarkable use of photography. Following the modernist ideas in which photography was a much better tool to portray reality than drawings and illustrations, the Neue grafik magazine, a very important Swiss graphic design publication at the time, dedicated a big part of its content to photography and its application in design.
M ller Brockmann, J. (1958) The family of Man [Poster]
fig.26 35 swiss style
M ller Brockmann, J. (1958) Zurich Tonhalle, Musica viva [Program cover]
fig.2736 swiss style
fig.2837 swiss style
tem. The grid system allowed him to organize his subject matter to create more effective design, not to be overwhelmed by the seeming chaos and complexity of design decisions. The predecessor of this system was Piet Mondrian, the grid is often recognized in his paintings. His compositions are composed of horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular planes. According to M ller Brockmann the grid system is about structure and mathematical thinking. This is the expression of a professional ethos: the designer s work should have the clearly intelligible, objective, functional and aesthetics quality of mathematical thinking. (Brockmann, 2001 : 10)
M ller Brockmann was a professor of graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich from 1957 to 1960. Later he was a design consultant to IBM Europe from 1967 1988. He published various books about his work and won a lot of awards. He is the author of The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems (1961), History of Visual Communication (1981) or A History of the Poster. He also founded the Muller-Brockmann & Co advertising agency in 1967, lasting until 1984.
Josef M ller Brockmann died in Zurich, August 30, 1996.
M ller Brockmann, J. (1962) Volg Traunbensaft [Poster]
fig.2938 swiss style
the new typography
The New Typography came about as a reaction to the communication credos of Modernism which called for designs to be timeless minimal and geometric.
The first principles of the New Typography appeared in Merz magazine in 1923. El Lissitzky promoted there more dynamic typography. In his work El Lissitzky pioneered a new approach to typographic art which had a huge impact upon graphic design. Lasl Moholo Nagy supported in addition typophoto, phototext too. At the same time as typophoto, Moholo Nagy introduced the idea of the photograph not only as illustration but, alternatively, as phototext , replacing words, as an unambiguous form of representation, which in its objectivity (Sachlichkeit) leaves no room for personal accidental interpretation. (Hollis, 2006 : 40) In both Lissitzky and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy we see emphasis placed upon the element of expression - the expression of content through form.
In contrast, Jan Tschichold was more concerned with order and organization. He used sans serif type, asymmetric compositions, the benefits of white space and the limiting of typefaces. Tschichold in his book, earlier mentioned, Die neue Typographie (The New Typography) formulated the basics of these rules and modern visual communication, influenced by functional trend of Bauhaus. Many of these principles of the New Typography are explained in this book. He introduced a theoretical look at typography devoid of concerns for printing practicality. These principles were also presented at the exhibitions in Switzerland, where it came to subconsciousness of audience. It was Tschichold who acted as a guide to a typographic practise which followed the demand for a new unity of art and technology. (Hollis, 2006 : 38) Tschichold advertised in his book a new sans-serif typeface as Akzidenz Grotesk (now known as Helvetica). Tschichold reiterates that clarity is the highest goal and Akzidenz Grotesk has this clarity. This typeface became the 39 swiss style
most common for the New Typography and later for Swiss graphic design and the International Style. In fact, when Jan Tschichold wrote Die neue Typographie, he ignored any use of non sans-serif typefaces. With this philosophy, graphic designers were aiming the clarity, simplicity and universality. The Swiss Style advocates that the typeface does not have to be expressive in itself, it must be an unobtrusive instrument of expression.
Helvetica was created in 1953 by Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas type foundry) of M nchenstein, Switzerland. Haas designed a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with Akzidenz Grotesk in the Swiss market. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface's name was changed by Haas' German parent company Stempel in 1960 to Helvetica derived from Confederatio Helvetica, the Latin name for Switzerland in order to make it more marketable internationally. Helvetica became the most widely used sans-serif typefaces ever. Akzidenz Grotesk was performed by Max Bill and Josef M ller Brockmann throughout their careers.
Designer Paul Renner, while designing his typeface Futura, relied heavily on precise drafting tools such as the compass, T-square and the triangle. This allowed Renner to escape the traditional methods of type design in favor of the rigidity of mechanical constructions. Geometrical Futura was the next popular choice for graphic designers.
The Swiss typographer Adrian Frutiger was one of the most prominent typeface designers ever mainly because of his famous typeface Univers. He studied calligraphy at the Z rich Kunstgewerbeschule. His interest in sculpture helped construct his style as a typeface designer. Frutiger created quite an extensive collection of typeface families, but Univers typeface was functional and logical, appropriate for the Swiss style. This typeface was created as a response to Futura. Frutiger disliked the form of Futura and thus created Univers as a competitor. The font is based on the face of Akzidenz Grotesk. Univers family was one of the first typefaces to give such a wide range of options to designers.
Jan Tschcichold designed a lot of typefaces, but Sabon was the most important. It was the first typeface that was produced with undifferentiated forms for the linotype, monotype and hand setting.Sabon was Tschichold s most important typeface creation. There were originally three weights: normal, italic and semibold. Linotype expanded the Sabon family in 1984 by adding a cursive semibold weight.
Swiss graphic designers used different font-size as a tool for readability and impact. Different font-sizes generate visual impact. Posters by designers such as Theo Ballmer depended on the effectivnes of the lettering alone to attract the eye and convey the message. For several years the New Typography followed the old in using capital letters for titles. But from 1925 they started to use only lowercase alphabet, it was easier to learn and to read. It took less space, and was more economical - typesetting was easier.40 swiss style
Ongaro, J,. (1959) Helvetia - Accidents [Poster]
fig.3141 swiss style
The International Typographic Style of the 1950s is largely the result of work and teaching at the Kunstgewerbeschule Basel. Pioneer s of the Swiss style as Jan Tschichold, or Josef M ller Brockmann who produced their work in Basel extended this style through the world. The Swiss style became International due to these designers. M ller Brockmann produced his work in New York in 1953. Consequently the Swiss graphic design influenced the American typographers and designers as Alvin Lustig (1915 1955), or Saul Bass (1920 1996). In the post war period the United States became the second site for development of geometric style. Americans were excited by this Swiss geometrical model. Around 1970s, becoming widely used in American corporate design in order to impart communicative clarity. American Armin Hoffman (fig.1) continued for many years to present the academic aspect of Swiss graphic culture at Yale.
The Swiss style was quickly extended even around the world, in England, Germany, or Netherlands. In the United Kingdom the International Style typographer and graphic designer Stanley Morison (1889 1967) was adopted.
This style in art, architecture and culture became the International style after 1950 s and it was produced by artists all around the globe.
Eskilson (2007 : 300) insist that The rise of the International Style directly paralells the development of corporate identity, the process whereby graphic designers created logos and other devices that established a set visual theme for a company. The development of International style was introduced at the Museum of Modern Art.42 swiss style
I consider the work of the Swiss graphic designers as a unique in terms of the graphic design. Despite of the variety of influences, and commissions the work of the Swiss graphic designers is coherent in question of approach in submissions. The range of examples used throughout this magazine has provided great insight into many of the principles of the Swiss graphic design. The main principle of the Swiss style is New typography and grid system. The grid system is a rigid framework that is supposed to help graphic designers in the meaningful, logical and consistent organization of information on a page. Josef M ller Brockmann firstly presented these ideas in the book of Grid Systems in Graphic design, he helped spread the knowledge about the grids through the world. Nowadays grid systems are an established tool that is often used by print and web designers to create well-structured and balanced designs. The work of the Swiss designers consists of keen attention to detail, precision, craft skills, clear typography, system of education and technical training, a high standard of printing as well as a clear refined and inventive lettering. The Swiss design does not only mean the values in relation to art and creativity, but more of its principles regarding to the audience and society. Accodring to M ller Brockmann Every visual work is a manifestation of the character of the designer. It is a reflection of his knowledge, his ability, and his mentality. (2001 : 10) This magazine evaluates the characteristic of Swiss style, characters of the designers and focuses on the evolutions of principles and forms of this style.
Characteristic of this design integrates into a functional design, which results in the emphasis accent of straight communication. Swiss graphic designers tried to aim the primary concept by the simpliest way. It depended on the graphic performance: complicated concept complicated form, simple concept simple form. In this respect Swiss graphic designers seem to be minimalists, but their work is completely sophisticated. All of the elements that they used have the right place.
Is the Swiss graphic design good? In my opinion, all of the principles and visual elements of the Swiss style are in harmony. The swiss style has a good taste mainly in pursue for simplicity the beauty in the underlines of a purpose, not beauty as a purpose in itself. And this kind of good graphic design Swiss style is a a result of harmony between all of its elements. My feelings from this style are calmness and clarity, because I can feel the harmony.
The Swiss graphic design influenced me in light of style to express the sence through simplicity. I like the development of this style and also the development of individual designers. Tschichold s sketches, strong geometric shapes, uncommon colour combinations and text manipulations inspired me as well as M ller Brockmann s ??????????????????????????????????grid system, well designed structure, simplicity, photography and use of white space. This minimal design is about removing the unnecessary and emphasizing the necessary, it is about a functional and simple use of fundamental elements of style for the purpose of the artists objectives. This unique style and graphic designers helped me to shape my own graphic style. 43 swiss style
M ller Brockmann, J. (1955) Zurich Tonhalle [Poster]
fig.3344 swiss style
M ller Brockmann, J. (1957) Zurich Tonhalle, June Festival [Poster]
fig.3445 swiss style
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