Making an Impression
Helvetica? International Style? For a small country Switzerland punches above its weight in graphic design and visual communication.
Trace the origins of this phenomenon (linked to a penchant for maths and grids or a super-tidy streak?) at Zurich’s Museum of Gestaltung. With 500,000+ posters, design manuals, models and objects – collected since 1875 – this is Swiss design in all its glory. There’s perfectly executed technical printed matter, plus quirky product design and iconic posters. And until March 2017 see special exhibition The Swiss in Paris – Graphic Design and Typography. The focus here is the outreach of Switzerland’s skill and precision with graphics since the 1950s, impacting across Europe and in particular in Paris. There’s photography, film, advertising, corporate design, signage and type design. The Gestaltung collection is currently housed at the cool Schaudepot (the Depot) design centre in Zurich West, which shares a vast industrial-art house location with Zurich University and ZHdK Academy of the Arts. It’s actually the redundant Toni milk processing factory - converted into a CHF170m “flexible space” for alternative arts and culture, plus apartments, shops and a café. Worth a visit for the location alone!
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