Posted in Learning Activity GRA 2

Week 27 – Research on Late Modernism

Consider what we have discussed regarding Late Modernism in the USA and The Swiss International Style. Do additional research on the Swiss International Style – it may be a good idea to study some of the known designers of this style and period. As a guide, visit designishistory.com, which gives a brief outline of specific designers and styles – take note that here the Swiss International Style is listed under 1940, which is not incorrect as the style was developed in the late 40s, but flourished in the 50s. Also use additional reference sources of your own and do a write-up of the following:

  • Research on the Swiss International Style
  • Influences on Swiss International Style
  • Analysis of the Swiss International Style

Swiss International Style also known as International Typographic Style, was a graphic design style with roots in Russia, Germany and Netherlands in the 1920s. It was developed in Switzerland in late 40s, with its best years in 50s.  Led by designers Josef Müller-Brockmann at the Zurich School of Arts and Krafts and Armin Hofmann at the Basel School of Design. Clean, simple and objective design, without any unnecessary decorative elements, and flush left, ragged right text – were main characteristics of this style. All designs were based on grid, what helps to keep them clean and interesting at the same time. Different combinations, diagonal and asymmetrical grids, made the viewer interested. Use of white space was also important to maintenance cleanness. Text was written in sans-serif fonts, this is when Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers and Neue Haas Grotesk (Helvetica) were created. Another important element of Swiss International Style was use of photography. Often black and white, or red and white photos were main elements of the design. Their role was to illustrate a problem objectively, that is why photography worked much better than any illustration. Strong feature of this style was bold use of color. Often colors from opposite site of the color wheel, which usually would not be use together. Colors that overlap each other, creating new colors. Designers were not afraid to use colors in order to create very interesting work. Designers role were not to be artist, but rather objective messenger who deliver the important information to the society. The best medium to deliver the informations were posters.

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