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Late Modern's Second Phase, Swiss International Style
 
     
 

Swiss International Style was also called the International Typographic Style.
This style period has its roots back in 1918, and continues to the present. In 1918, the designer/teacher Ernst Keller from the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts experimented and created a design system. This system was characterized by a rigid grid format, structured layout and unjustified type. In the 1940s the designs schools in Zurich and Basel Switzerland (which at the time became the center of growth for design), played with the ideas of Keller's and placed high importance on objective photography and sans serif type. Although this "system" stressed order and precision, lending itself to discourage individuality, artist such as; Hofmann, Brockmann, and Bill proved this wrong.

After World War II, the Swiss International Style began to revolutionize graphic design, becoming Switzerland's answer for the Bauhaus. This
style merged bits and pieces of New Typography, Bauhaus, and De Stijl. By the 1950s this style emerged full-force to the world. Because of the design clarity in this style, it won converts throughout the world. Work from 1927-1930 that proceeded the work classified as Swiss International Style.

This style emerged in the 1950's and remained a major design movement for more than 2 decades, with still influence on graphic design today. It was a style concerned with communication, and one where the designers believed that their design was socially useful.

Characteristics of this style include; objective, clear photography, with most photographs in black and white, sans serif typefaces that it asymmetrical and set flush left rag right, elimination of ornamentation, with the composition based on a grid.

Josef Müller-Brockmann was based out of Zurich where he worked as a designer and illustrator. Was appointed graphic design teacher at Zurich School of Arts and Krafts, successor to Ernst Keller.Worked for IBM Europe, and founded his own agency; Muller-Brockmann & Co. Published books on design as well as winning many awards for his work.


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Armin Hofmann was born in 1920 in Switzerland. He is still alive today. Hofmann began his career in graphics with an apprecrenticeship in lithography. Hofmann began teaching in 1947 at the Basel School of Design – he also taught at Yale, the Philedelphia Museum School of Art. In 1965 Hofmann wrote his first book entitled Graphic Design Manual, which is regarded as a fundamental piece in the field of graphic design.

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