Most people are surprised to learn that there are more 20th century poster masterpieces from Switzerland than any other country. There are many reasons: an international tradition which absorbed and often mimicked the best of its neighbors; a vigorous national program to promote the poster and its printers; and a series of great teachers who advanced the art of the poster. The Swiss poster had its roots in the travel poster as it became a popular travel destination at the turn of the century. Characteristic Swiss poster styles are the Sachplakat, or Object Poster, as well as the International Typographic Style which became the predominant graphic design style in the world from the Fifties into the Seventies and continues to exert its influence today.
Influential by Design: The Swiss Poster’s Impact on the Modern World explores Swiss design’s leadership in creating a graphic vocabulary for the complex, global realities of modern society. The exhibition begins with a backdrop of early Swiss posters, including ski, travel, transportation and product posters by leading Swiss poster designers Otto Baumberger, Emil Cardinaux, Herbert Leupin, and Niklaus Stoecklin.
The show then focuses on the remarkable flowering of Swiss graphic design in the Fifties – a new style heavily reliant on typography to create a universal language of design. Simple, clear and harmonious, it would become the leading language of the increasingly global postwar marketplace, from institutions and international exhibitions to packaging and traffic design.
As part of Boston Design Week, International Poster Gallery is hosting an event on March 26 in collaboration with swissnex Boston, including a gallery tour with Chris Pullman, artist, designer, poster collector and former Vice President for Design and Branding for WGBH. The program accompanies a one-day exhibition and sale of poster masterpieces drawn from the Gallery’s world-leading Swiss collection.
Browse all of our Swiss posters here and browse more of our Swiss poster favorites on Pinterest.
Poster Mystery #1 – How did a department store in Italy start selling iPads in 1904?
| Leopoldo Metlicovitz, E. & A. Mele & Ci., 1904 |
Wishing you and yours a happy, prosperous 2013!
We love the simplicity and winter whimsy of this Mid-Century Swiss poster. The price – just $375 – makes it twice as nice and perhaps the perfect holiday gift for the design lover on your list.
Looking for even more gift giving inspiration? Visit our Tumblr gift guide, where we’re posting ideas under $1000 daily throughout the holidays.
Do you have Winter Wanderlust?
Vintage posters for exotic vacation destinations and a selection of general works are on display at International Poster Gallery just in time for the holidays! From the sun-drenched French Riviera to the icy peaks of the Alps, there’s something for everyone in the gallery’s 19th annual holiday poster exhibition.
Winter Wanderlust is free and open to the public, and is on view December 1 – January 30 at our Newbury Street Gallery. We hope to see you there!
Artist Unknown, "Let Us Be Thankful!" (Mather Work Incentive), 1929
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving from Interntional Poster Gallery!
| View all Mather Work Incentive posters here. |
International Poster Gallery wishes to express its deep concern for all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with you in the days and weeks of rebuilding ahead.
To show our support, 10% of the proceeds* from gallery-owned merchandise purchased from now until next Tuesday, November 6th will be donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.
*For consigned items, 10% of the gallery’s commission will be donated. This cannot be combined with other offers.
View all Red Cross posters here.
The liberation of fashion in the early Sixties is clear in this vibrant poster by leading Swiss poster artist Fritz Buhler. His poster for a Basel clothier’s 40th anniversary is emphatic in announcing a new age of bold patterns and technicolor tones, a rich symphony of shapes and color that would go fully psychedelic three years later during the Summer of Love. But for now, the grace and elegance of Jackie Kennedy is still strongly present, making this a true Mad Men “Swinging Sixties” fashion statement. The color is not to be believed!
The Merrent has quickly become a staff favorite and is currently on display in the gallery’s Mid-Century Modern exhibit: Global Persuasion.
Looking for some Halloween inspiration? We’ve gathered together some of our favorite scary posters over on Pinterest. From Cappiello’s ghouls and goblins to sophisticated masquerade balls, there’s something for everyone!
D. Ambrose, Vespa - Ca c'est formidable, c. 1955
In 1955, the high-energy French actor and singer Gilbert Becaud released the hit song titled C’est Formidable! (That’s Great!). It was a perfect marketing opportunity for Vespa to create a hip poster campaign. The poster shows the singer nimbly mounting the scooter as if it were a skateboard (a recently minted pastime itself, at the publication of this poster). The background was equally hip, with Vespa’s patented pastel colors in asymmetrical, intersecting shapes that echo Mid-Century furniture design. Fantastique!
Vespa, or Wasp in English, was named in 1946 for its narrow waist, high-pitched engine and antenna-like handlebar. The product was perfectly suited for the war-torn country, where consumer budgets and poor roads made larger vehicles impractical.
In 1952, the vehicle’s popularity skyrocketed when Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck teamed up on a Vespa in Roman Holiday. By 1956, 1 million Vespas had been sold. The Vespa survives today as one of the most fun products on two wheels.
This poster is available in two sizes.