This style originated in Russia, Germany and the Netherlands during the 1920’s and it spread to Switzerland after the World War II. The world-class Swiss designers improvised this design and came out with a new wave of graphic language. This was evident in not only the posters, but also was prevalent in designing train tickets, travel pamphlets, drug labels and even bank notes.
Often referred to as the International Typographic Style or the International Style, the style of design that originated in Switzerland in the 1940s and 50s was the basis of much of the development of graphic design during the mid 20th century. Led by designers Josef Müller-Brockmann at the Zurich School of Arts and Krafts and Armin Hofmann at the Basel School of Design, the style favored simplicity, legibility and objectivity.
Of the many contributions to develop from the two schools were the use of, sans-serif typography, grids and asymmetrical layouts. Also stressed was the combination of typography and photography as a means of visual communication. The primary influential works were developed as posters, which were seen to be the most effective means of communication. This style, otherwise known as, “Neue Grafik” encompassed a formal discipline and had a profound impact on the world of graphic design for the next three decades. It continues to inspire graphic designers even today.
Design Elements & the Web
Early Swiss style artists used this form of design to capture the attention of users for posters and brochures. In the process, they had created the basic forms of user interface and it is only logical that Swiss design is extended to the web. The central element of Swiss style design is uniformity. All design elements adhere to geometric shapes and grid lines. This has been interspersed with text, patterns, colors and photographs to create abstract and unusual images. Some of the Swiss style elements that can be used to design a web page to look attractive are grids, white spaces, a defined structure and sans-serif fonts.