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Mid-Century Modern: International Typographic Style Posters

Vintage Typographic Posters

Vintage Typographic Posters  Muller-Brockmann, Josef.
Akari (Lamp Exhibit), 1975 

Vintage Typographic Posters Hofmann, Armin.
Die Gute Form, 1954 

Vintage Typographic Posters
Nitsche, Erik.
General Dynamics - Atoms for Peace, 1955

Vintage Typographic Posters
Lohse, Richard P.
Funftes Junifest Konzert der Tonhalle, 1958

Vintage Typographic Posters
Gerstner, Karl.
auch Du bist liberal, 1959 

View all International Typographic Style posters 

Explore our world-leading International Typographic Style collection, consisting of nearly 200 original vintage posters from the '50s, '60s, '70s & beyond from around the globe. Most popular searches: 

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   1950s
   1960s
   1970s

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    General Dynamics
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International Typographic Style Primer: 

A new graphic design style emerged in Switzerland in the 1950s that would become the predominant graphic style in the world by the '70s. Because of its strong reliance on typographic elements, the new style came to be known as the International Typographic Style. 

The style was marked by: 1) the use of a mathematical grid to provide an overall orderly and unified structure; 2) sans serif typefaces (especially Helvetica, introduced in 1961) in a flush left and ragged right format; and 3) black and white photography in place of drawn illustration. The overall impression was simple and rational, tightly structured and serious, clear and objective, and harmonious.

The style was refined at two design schools in Switzerland, one in Basel led by Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder, and the other in Zurich under the leadership of Josef Muller-Brockmann. All had studied with Ernst Keller at the Zurich School of Design before WWII, where the principles of the Bauhaus and Jan Tschichold's New Typography were taught.

The new style became widely synonymous with the "look" of many Swiss cultural institutions which used posters as advertising vehicles. Hofmann's series for the Basel State Theater and Muller-Brockmann's for Zurich's Tonhalle are two of the most famous. Hofmann's accentuation of contrasts between various design elements and Muller-Brockmann's exploration of rhythm and tempo in visual form are high notes in the evolution of the style. 

In addition, the new style was perfectly suited to the increasingly global postwar marketplace. Corporations needed international identification and global events such as the Olympics called for universal solutions which the Typographic Style could provide. With such good teachers and proselytizers, the use of the International Typographic Style spread rapidly throughout the world. In the U.S., Hofmann's Basel design school established a link with the Yale School of Design, which became the leading American center for the new style.

Leading Artists:  Muller-Brockmann, Hofmann, Nitsche, Lohse, Ruder, Poretti, Aicher, Bill


For more, visit our past gallery exhibitions:
   Mid-Century Modern - The Posters of Armin Hofmann
   Mid-Century Modern - The Posters of Josef Muller-Brockmann

View all International Typographic Style posters

Vintage Typographic Posters Muller-Brockmann, Josef.
Der Film, 1960

Vintage Typographic Posters
  Graf, Carl B.
Architecture en France,
1963

 Vintage Typographic Posters
 Poretti, Aldo.
La vie est un songe,
1961

  Vintage Typographic Posters
Barth, Ruedi.
Zoologischer Garten Basel, 1953

Vintage Typographic Posters
  Neuberg, Hans.
  Konstruktive Grafik,
1958

 Vintage Typographic Posters
 Pintori, Giovanni.
  Olivetti (numbers),
1953 

Vintage Typographic Posters
Muller-Brockmann, Josef.
Musica Viva, 1956 

 

Vintage Typographic Posters
 Hofmann, Armin.
  Giselle, 1959 

 

 Vintage Typographic Posters
  Muller-Brockmann, 
Josef.
Opernhaus Zurich -
Ballett, 1970

  Vintage Typographic Posters
Muller-Brockmann, Josef.
Musica Viva, 1972  

Vintage Typographic Posters
 Lohse, Richard P.
Kartographie in der
Schweiz, 1952 

Vintage Typographic Posters
 Bill, Max.
  Max Bill - Galerie du
Perron, 1961