The Swiss Grid

February 27, 2020–February 14, 2021
The Swiss Grid gallery viewing space with white and gray walls and black and white framed posters with clean, clear text.

The Swiss Grid explores the development and impact of the International Typographic Style, considered one of the most important movements in graphic design history, through a selection of posters and ephemera. Influenced by the Concrete art of the Bauhaus and Jan Tschichold’s The New Typography, the practitioners of this style streamlined compositions through an adherence to geometric grid structures. The results were pared down, harmonious, instantly comprehensible designs—masterpieces of communication—that have stood the test of time.

To complete the story of Swiss poster history, companion exhibitions in adjoining galleries will celebrate over 100 years of Swiss design, from illustrational posters of the prewar period up through the “Swiss punk” movement of the 1970s and beyond.

This collection comes to Poster House through a generous loan from Tom Strong. All ephemera is courtesy of Display, Graphic Design Collection.

Thank you for the support of the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

This exhibition is made possible with support from Vitra.


Selected Images

A photo offset poster of a large black circle on a white background with red text above it.
Schützenfest, 1963
Fridolin Müller
A photo offset poster of a birds eye view of a black and white typewriter with red and black text above it.
Olivetti, 1961
Ernst Hiestand
A type-based poster of the alphabet running down the page vertically.
Typographie, 1960
Robert Büchler
A black and white photomontage poster featuring a boot, cello, ballet slipper, and stone pillar.
Stadt Theater Basel, 1965
Armin Hofmann
A type-based poster of four black circles of various sizes on a gray background.
Musica Viva, 1958
Josef Müller-Brockmann
A photographic poster of a woman covering her ears with her hands and red text placed diagonally on the page.
Weniger Lärm, 1960
Josef Müller-Brockmann
A photomontage poster of a black and white image of a classic car and red text above it.
Citroën, 1958
Karl Gerstner & Markus Kutter
A photographic poster in a red hue featuring a person pointing their finger at the viewer.
Auch Du Bist Liberal, 1959
Karl Gerstner