Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920-1965

ISBN: 0300106769
ISBN 13: 9780300106763
By: Richard Hollis

Check Price Now


Art Books To Buy Currently Reading Design Grafica Graphic Design Learning And Technology Library Prismatic Library To Read

About this book

Swiss graphic design and “the Swiss Style” are crucial elements in the history of modernism. During the 1920s and ’30s, skills traditionally associated with Swiss industry, particularly pharmaceuticals and mechanical engineering, were matched by those of the country’s graphic designers, who produced their advertising and technical literature. These pioneering graphic artists saw design as part of industrial production and searched for anonymous, objective visual communication. They chose photographic images rather than illustration, and typefaces that were industrial-looking rather than those designed for books.Written by noted design authority Richard Hollis, this lavishly illustrated volume looks at the uniquely clear graphic language developed by such Swiss designers as Theo Ballmer, Max Bill, Adrian Frutiger, Karl Gerstner, Armin Hoffman, Ernst Keller, Herbert Matter, Josef Müller-Brockmann, and Jan Tschichold. The style of these artists received worldwide admiration for its formal discipline: images and text were organized by geometrical grids. Adopted internationally, the grid and sans serif typefaces such as Helvetica became the classic emblems of Swiss graphic design.Showcasing design work across a range of media, including posters, magazines, exhibition displays, brochures, advertisements, books, and film, this essential book shows how many of the Swiss designers’ modernist elements remain an indispensable part of today’s graphic language.

Reader's Thoughts


Thoroughly excellent. Impeccably researched, written and designed, Hollis' book is a must-have for any graphic designer's library.

Spyros Proimakis

great book

Lesley Ann Malapit

More of a reference book really, but great to read up on theory and history of Swiss Graphic Design. Images are spectacular, and content totally comprehensive.


Very very useful.

Donny Truong

“Out went symmetry, ornament and drawn illustration; in came white space, plain letterforms and photographs,” Richard Hollis writes in his insightful book that examines the progression of Swiss style dating from 1920s. Many theories (honest representation) and principles (grid systems) are still applicable to today’s design. With extensive documentation and visual presentation, I had to read it twice in a row to soak in all the information.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *