Gebrauchsgraphik, 5, 1961 copy 3

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The selected posters for the Swiss Posters of 1960 award

Most design historians will recognise the name of Swiss designers such as Josef Müller-Brockmann, Karl Gerstner and Emil Ruder. Swiss design remains a major influence in both the teachings and practice of graphic designs. The International Typographic Style which pioneered the modernist movement, utilising sans serif typeface and defined grids is evident in the selected posters from the Swiss Posters of 1960 award.

The Best Swiss Posters Award was an annual competition, judged by a Swiss Jury. They selected a range of posters, showcasing a range of poster styles from completely typographic designs such as the work of Robert Büchler, to the illustrated posters of Donald Brun.

Erich Pfeiffer-Belli reviewed the selected posters in Gebauchsgraphik 5, 1961. He stated:
‘Contrary to the custom of preceding years, the jury this time decided to award prizes to 30 posters instead of the customary 24. This addition would seem to indicate that it was difficult to choose the best from an abundance of good posters. But when one considers the quality of the prizewinning posters, this new policy would rather seem to be the result of certain indecision which has spread among the jurors and which has also affected the creative idiom and the poster style that Swiss graphic artists have hitherto cultivated. The little country used to be regarded as the home of the artistic poster. Above all post-war Germany looked across at the Swiss Confederation with a certain feeling of envy: the large sizes, the excellent print, the carefree gaiety, the naturalness and assuredness with which Swiss artists freely and gracefully treated the most modern concepts and techniques of contemporary art, all of these qualities were at the same time gratifying and unlikely ever to be equalled in Germany. This situation has manifestly changed in recent years. Also in our country, we have had the occasion to welcome many eminently accomplished (and prize-winning) posters, and this shows that the German artists have successfully re-established a connection with their great artistic tradition, while Switzerland has fallen prey to certain sterility. This stagnation tends to impair the former audaciousness and fertility of imagination which used to make many a city’s billboards a welcome open-air exhibition. The photomontage, the drawn and the painted poster seem to be forced to retreat.’

Poster for a Film Exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann
Poster for a Film Exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann

 

Poster for the exhibition, Non-Objective Photography at the Gewerbemuseum, Basel designed by Email Ruder
Poster for the exhibition, Non-Objective Photography at the Gewerbemuseum, Basel designed by Email Ruder

 

Poster for a Typographical Exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum, Basel designed by Robert Büchler
Poster for a Typographical Exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum, Basel designed by Robert Büchler

 

Poster for Bally Men's Shoes designed by Pierre Augsburger
Poster for Bally Men’s Shoes designed by Pierre Augsburger

 

Poster for the 30th International Automobile Salon in Geneva designed by Georges Calame
Poster for the 30th International Automobile Salon in Geneva designed by Georges Calame

 

Poster for the Confederate Sports School, Magglingen designed by Carl B. Graf
Poster for the Confederate Sports School, Magglingen designed by Carl B. Graf

 

Poster for the Exhibition Willhelm Wagenfeld at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann
Poster for the Exhibition Willhelm Wagenfeld at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann

 

Poster for the Municipal Theater of Basel designed by Armin Hofmann
Poster for the Municipal Theater of Basel designed by Armin Hofmann

 

Poster for the National Zeitung, Basel designed by Gerstner & Kutter
Poster for the National Zeitung, Basel designed by Gerstner & Kutter

 

Poster for the Textile Factory Leonhard Kost & Co, Basel deigned by Hans-Peter Hort
Poster for the Textile Factory Leonhard Kost & Co, Basel deigned by Hans-Peter Hort

 

Poster, Less Noise Swiss Police Head-Quarters, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann
Poster, Less Noise Swiss Police Head-Quarters, Zürich designed by Josef Müller-Brockmann

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