The Swiss Object Poster Style sought to create unforgettable icons out of everyday objects through breathtaking graphics and printing. No one artist knew how to accomplish this better than Peter Birkhauser, who created more than 50 Object Poster masterpieces during the Thirties, Forties and Fifties.
This elegant poster featuring a simple box is a perfect illustration of Birkhauser’s magic – the crisp folds of the wrapping paper, the trompe l’oeil affect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.
For more Swiss posters, click here!
Stan Galli created some of the best travel posters of the Fifties and Sixties for United Airlines. This sun-dappled poster is one of his finest – the perfect evocation of the hedonistic lifestyle of Southern California in the mid-60s. Our beach blonde in shades could be fresh from a cover shoot for a Beach Boys album or from a present day TV set for MadMen.
Galli passed away in 2009, signaling an end to the golden age of American illustration in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties. Posters from this era have become increasingly collectible and more difficult to find in fine condition.
For more Mid-Century Modern classics, check out our exhibitions entitled – Baby Boom and Global Persuasion!
Erik Nitsche was a promising young Swiss graphic designer who moved to the US in 1934, making his name designing hundreds of album covers for Decca. In 1955 he became the Art Director for General Dynamics, a leading multi-division technology firm most famous for building the first nuclear submarine. There, Nitsche created several spectacular series of posters promoting the conglomerate’s various disciplines.
This design of a whirling propeller is from a series done in 1959 and 1960 promoting the company’s energy and industrial products at the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva in 1960. His inventive International Style designs were unlike anything ever created and stand among the best corporate advertising campaigns of the era.
Also by Erik Nitsche, this design of a pyramid made of flags is one of the earliest, produced for the first international “Atoms for Peace” conference in 1955.
A Touch of the French Riviera!
This vibrant scene of the Riviera coast, created in a style reminiscent of Matisse, is the work of a Russian artist who left for France after the Russian Revolution. Terechkovitch was trained in the acclaimed School of Art, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow and immediately felt comfortable in the Russian ex-patriot community in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris.
There he became friendly with Chaim Soutine, an Expressionist painter close to Modigliani, and Mikhail Larionov and his wife Natalia Goncharova, avant-garde Russian artists. After WWII Terechkovitch moved to Menton on the French Riviera.
The main characteristic of Terechkovitch’s work is stunning color, as is abundantly clear in this sun-dappled poster of his wife on a seaside porch. Beautifully printed in 1960 by Mourlot, the leading fine art printer in Paris, it is in perfect condition.
View more more French Travel posters here!
The Gallery is alive with Campari!
This new discovery is irresistible, playful, charming, seductive, hip, fresh and stylish, all rolled in one. You think Audrey Hepburn, Donald Draper & friends, La Dolce Vita and Twiggy. The long green stockinged legs, the stylish shoes, the tip of the cap to both modern art and hieroglyphics in the painted almond shaped eye…it is unbearably clever and fun…just what an ad should be.
Campari soda was first produced in 1930 and became the first pre-mixed drink sold world-wide. Its famous bottle was designed by none other than Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero and described as an upside down goblet. Surrealist fashion illustrator Franz Marangolo created an image that would position it solidly in the minds of a new generation: “It runs (keeps up) with the times (corre col tempo!)” His superb ads for the Fiat 500 and 600 were equally successful.
This handsome Object Poster by Mingozzi smartly plays on this theme, focusing only on the bottle and its interplay with a goblet in front of it. No tagline is necessary.
View more Campari Posters here!
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!