Swiss Style

Swiss International Style

Also known as International Typographic Style, was a graphic design style with roots in Russia, Germany and Netherlands in the 1920s. It was developed in Switzerland in late 40s, with its best years in 50s. Led by designers Josef Müller-Brockmann at the Zurich School of Arts and Krafts and Armin Hofmann at the Basel School of Design. Strong feature of this style was bold use of color. Often colors from opposite site of the color wheel, which usually would not be use together. Colors that overlap each other, creating new colors. Designers were not afraid to use colors in order to create very interesting work. All designs were based on grid, what helps to keep them clean and interesting at the same time. Different combinations, diagonal and asymmetrical grids, made the viewer interested. Use of white space was also important to maintenance cleanness. Clean, simple and objective design, without any unnecessary decorative elements, and flush left, ragged right text - were main characteristics of this style. Text was written in sans-serif fonts, this is when Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers and Neue Haas Grotesk (Helvetica) were created. 
Another important element of Swiss International Style was use of photography. Often black and white, or red and white photos were main elements of the design. Their role was to illustrate a problem objectively, that is why photography worked much better than any illustration. Designers role were not to be artist, but rather objective messenger who deliver the important information to the society. The best medium to deliver the informations were posters.


Ernst Keller

Also known as the “father of Swiss design". Ernst Keller was born 1891 in Aarau. In 1918 Ernst Keller joined School of Arts and Crafts in Switzerland. He was teaching design and typography. Keller developed a design system characterized by a rigid grid format, structured layout and unjustified type - foundation of Swiss Style.

Max Miedinger

Max Miedinger was born in 1910 in Switzerland. Miedinger was student at School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich. He became famous for creating the Neue Haas Grotesk typeface in 1957 that was renamed Helvetica in 1960.