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Gebrauchsgraphik – Almost a Century of Design Reference

The dedication of Gebrauchsgraphiks editors and publishers significantly influenced the spread and impact of graphic design, documenting countless designers who might otherwise have been forgotten over the last century since its first issue hit newsstands. Design magazines play a crucial role in supporting the design profession and remain vital resources for designers and historians alike.

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Franco Grignani (1908-1999) was one of the twentieth century’s most important Italian graphic designers. Scanning the inner pages of Gebrauchsgraphik 04, 1962, I have managed to collate a selection of the advertisements created in the 1950s and early 1960s, showcasing his groundbreaking design work.

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As part of an ongoing series showcasing Swiss poster designs from the 1950s and 1960s, this article features 1961 poster entries of Die besten Plakate des Jahres (The Best Posters of the Year) 1961. Originating in 1941, Die besten Plakate des Jahres initially served as a platform for the evaluation and showcase of Swiss posters.

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The 1960 awards presented 420 poster entries from Swiss designers. Notable winners included Robert Büchler's typographic poster for the Museum of Applied Arts Basel and J. Müller-Brockmann’s Der Film poster for the Museum of Applied Arts and Gerstner + Kutter's asymmetric typographic poster for National-Zeitung SA Basel.

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Advertisements from post-World War II Britain for British Aluminium Company. Designs by Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, FHK Henrion, Pat Keely, and James Hart, who collectively crafted over 100 four-color and 300 black-and-white advertisements.