The International Typographic Style, also known as the Swiss Style, emerged in Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany in the 1920s and was developed by designers in Switzerland during the 1950s. The Swiss Style has had profound influence on graphic design as a part of the modernist movement, impacting many design-related fields including architecture and art. It emphasizes cleanness, readability, and objectivity.
The Swiss Style is all about asymmetric layouts, use of a grid, sans-serif typefaces like Akzidenz Grotesk, and flush left, ragged right text. The style is also associated with a preference for photography in place of illustrations or drawings. Many of the early Swiss Style works featured typography as a primary design element in addition to its use in text, and it is for this that the style is named. The influences of this graphic movement can still be seen in design strategy and theory today.
Max Miedinger was a Swiss typeface designer. He was famous for creating the Neue Haas Grotesk typeface in 1957. That font was renamed «Helvetica» in 1960. Marketed as a symbol of cutting-edge Swiss technology, Helvetica achieved immediate global success.
Between 1926 and 1930 Miedinger trained as a typesetter in Zurich, after which he attended evening classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich.
At age sixteen Max became an apprentice typesetter for Jacques Bollmann at a book printing office in Zurich. After four years as an apprentice, Miedinger enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts.
Josef Müller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. He studied architecture, design and history of art at both the University and Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich. In 1936 he opened his Zurich studio specialising in graphic design, exhibition design and photography. From 1951 he produced concert posters for the Tonhalle in Zurich. In 1958 he became a founding editor of New Graphic Design along with R.P. Lohse, C. Vivarelli, and H. Neuburg. In 1966 he was appointed European design consultant to IBM.
Brockmann is recognised for his simple designs and his clean use of typography shapes and colors which inspire many graphic designers in the 21st century.