International Typographic Style

The International Typographic Style, also known as the Swiss Style, is a graphic design style developed in Switzerland in the 1950s that emphasizes cleanliness, readability and objectivity. Hallmarks of the style are asymmetric layouts, use of a grid, sans-serif typefaces and flush left, ragged right text. The style has a preference for photography. Many of the early International Typographic Style works featured typography as a primary design element and it is for this that the style is named.

This timeline demonstrates key events and people that helped develope the style.

Akzidenz Grotesk

Akzidenz-Grotesk is a realist
sans-serif typeface originally released by the H. Berthold AG type foundry
in 1896 under the title
Akzidenz-Grotesk. It was the first sans serif typeface to be widely used and influenced many later neo-grotesque typefaces.
Max Miedinger
at the Haas Foundry used it as a model for the typeface Neue Haas Grotesk released in 1957, renamed Helvetica in 1960.
Miedinger sought to refine the typeface making it more even and unified. Two other releases from 1957, Adrian Frutiger's Univers & Bauer and Baum's Folio, take inspiration from Akzidenz-Grotesk.

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De Stijl {1917 - 1931}

De Stijl, also known as neoplasticism, was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917.Proponents of De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order.

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They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour;they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white. Key figures in this movement were; Theo van Doesburg painters Piet Mondrian,Vilmos Huszàr and Bart van der Leck and architects Gerrit Rietveld, Robert van 't Hoff, and J.J.P. Oud.

Bauhaus {1919-1933}

Bauhaus was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.

The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

the Bauhaus style, also known as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornamentation and by harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design.

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Müller-Brockman

Josef Müller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. He studied architecture, design and history of art at both the University and Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich.

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In 1936 he opened his Zurich studio specialising in graphic design, exhibition design and photography.

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Müller-Brockman was author of "The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems", "Grid Systems in Graphic Design" , the publications "History of the Poster" and "A History of Visual Communication".

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He is recognised for his simple designs and his clean use of typography, notably Helvetica, shapes and colours which inspires many graphic designers in the 21st century.

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Graphis #1

Graphis, The International Journal of Visual Communication, was first published in 1944 by Walter Herdeg in Zurich, Switzerland. Graphis Inc. is the international publisher of books and magazines on communication design, advertising, photography, annual reports, posters, logos, packaging, book design, brochures, corporate identity, letterhead, interactive design and other design associated with graphic arts. Graphis was (and still is) one of the most important and influential European graphic design publication.

Over 350 issues of Graphis magazine have been published. Graphis also publishes hardback annuals including: Graphis Design Annual, Graphis Advertising Annual, Graphis Photography Annual, Graphis Annual Reports Annual, and Graphis Poster Annual.

007

Max Bill

Max Bill was a Swiss architect, artist, painter, typeface designer, and graphic designer. After an apprenticeship as a silversmith during 1924-1927. Bill took up studies at the Bauhaus in Dessau. From 1937 onwards he was a prime mover behind the Allianz group of Swiss artists.

In 1944, he became a professor at the school of arts in Zurich. In 1953, he, Inge Aicher-Scholl and Otl Aicher founded the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany, a design school in the tradition of the Bauhaus. The school is notable for its inclusion of semiotics as a field of study. The school closed in 1968.

Among Bill's most famous designs is the "Ulmer Hocker", a stool that can also be used as a shelf or a side table. The stool was a creation of Bill and Ulm school designer, Hans Gugelot.

Emil Ruder

Emil Ruder played a key part in the development of the Swiss Style. Ruder began his design education at the age of fifteen when he took a compositor’s apprenticeship. By his late twenties Ruder began attending the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts where the principles of Bauhaus and Tschichold’s New Typography were taught, leaving an indelible impression on Ruder. In 1947 he helped found the Basel School.

Ruder published a basic grammar of typography titled "Emil Ruder: Typography". The book helped spread and propagate the Swiss Style, and became a basic text for graphic design and typography programs in Europe and North America. In 1962 he helped to found the International Center for the Typographic Arts in New York.

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Armin Hofmann

Armin Hofmann is a Swiss graphic designer. Hoffman followed Emil Ruder as head of the graphic design department at the Basel School of Art and was instrumental in developing the graphic design style known as the Swiss Style. He is well known for his posters, which emphasised economical use of colour and fonts, in reaction to what Hofmann regarded as the "trivialization of colour". He was an influential educator, retiring in 1987. In 1965 he wrote the "Graphic Design Manual", a popular textbook in the field.

Univers

In 1954 the French type foundry Deberny & Peignot wanted to add a linear sans serif type in several weights to the range of the Lumitype fonts. Adrian Frutiger, the foundry’s art director, suggested refraining from adapting an existing alphabet. He wanted to instead make a new font that would, above all, be suitable for the typesetting of longer texts — quite an exciting challenge for a sans-serif font at that time.

Starting with his old sketches from his student days at the School for the Applied Arts in Zurich, he created the Univers type family. In 1957, the family was released by Deberny & Peignot, and afterwards, it was produced by Linotype.

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Helvetica

Helvetica was developed in 1957 by Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas foundry in Switzerland. Haas set out to design a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with Akzidenz-Grotesk in the Swiss market. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, it was created based on Schelter-Grotesk. The aim of the new design was to create a neutral typeface that had great clarity,
had no intrinsic meaning in its form,
and could be used on a wide variety
of signage.

In 1960, the typeface's name was changed by Haas' German parent company Stempel to Helvetica — derived from Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin name for Switzerland —
in order to make it more
marketable internationally.

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Die Neue Grafik

In 1959 four zürich-based graphic designers launched the first issue of Neue Grafik magazine. A Magazine devoted to the Swiss style of design and typography. The team of editors constisted of Richard Paul Lohse, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Hans Neuburg and Carlo Vivarelli. The team signed some of their jointly written articles with the acronym "lmnv", formed from their initials."Neue Grafik" epitomizes Swiss typography of the 1950s. It was the new age manifesto for the design world and it was seminal in its influence on international graphic design after WWII. The publication of the magazine proved an international success making the Swiss Style the International Typographic Style.

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