The Swiss poster: history

Jeanmaire Edouard, Panorama de Lucerne, passage de l'armée française aux Verrières-Suisse, 1891, Lithographie en couleurs, 95,5 x 74,5 cm


Swiss poster design enjoys an outstanding reputation internationally and has played a key role in the history of the poster around the world.
Hodler Ferdinand, Ferdinand Hodler, Kunsthaus Zürich, du 14 juin au 5 août 1917, 1917, Lithographie en couleurs, 132 x 92 cm


The development of lithography laid the foundations for producing colourful, artistic posters cheaply.
Langenthal - Huttwil – Wolhusen, 1897

The beginnings: tourism posters

Tourism came to Switzerland towards the end of the 19th century. The poster emerged as the ideal medium to convey the country’s appeal as a holiday destination.
Ruder Regatta Zürich 1968

The Zurich Concretists

Influenced by the theories of the Bauhaus, typography and Concrete Art defined the posters of the Zurich School in the 1920s and 1930s.
PKZ 1928

The object poster 1920-1950

The Basel School became especially famous for its Object Posters in the period between 1920 and 1950. These depicted objects in a simplified but realistic style together with slogans that were short and to the point.
Hofmann Armin, Construire avec le bois, exposition, Gewerbemuseum Basel, du 6 septembre au 5 octobre, 1952, Lithographie en couleurs, 128 x 90,5 cm

The International style 1950-1970

Elements of the Zurich and Basel Schools came together in the International Style. Favouring an orderly and unified structure, it led Swiss poster art to international acclaim.
Weingart Wolfgang, l’art d’écrire, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zürich, Museum für Gestaltung, du 13 juin au 30 août 1981, 1981, Offset, 125,5 x 88,5 cm

Postmodern posters, 1970 to today

Amid the Postmodernism of the 1970s and 1980s, the International Style gave way to new ideas, partly due to new technological advances such as phototypesetting.

Last modification 10.05.2021

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