Clear shapes, easy readability, and the use of design grids: in the 1950s and ’60s, Swiss typography was ubiquitous and seminal. International trade relations required a globally understandable formal language: so-called “neutral” design principles supposedly devoid of cultural peculiarities attempted to respond to that need. The sans serif was the letter of the day. Max Miedinger’s Neue Haas Grotesk (later known as Helvetica) and Adrian Frutiger’s Univers became the dominant corporate typefaces of multinational companies and institutions. Gerstner-Programm, Karl Gerstner’s photo typeface, needs to be considered within this context.

Kristoffer Larberg