Discovery of Swiss

Swiss Graphic DesignCharacterized by many, many lines

Swiss Graphic Design
Characterized by many, many lines

While reading through the chapters of Graphic Design School by Dabner, Calvert & Casey, I came to the realization that there were certain images that really jumped out at me while others I didn’t care for. Talking to a friend of mine who’s in school for graphic design, I learned that the images I liked the most were labeled as being swiss graphic design. It became a fascination that I could google “swiss graphic design” and find image after image that looked so clean, arranged and yet so simple.

An example where the design is made up of only text

An example where the design is made up of only text

Many of the images that I see use just a few colours and makes incredible use of lines, visible or not, over the imaginary grid. The arrangement of text aligned with the few lines or shapes always work powerfully for the image. Often times, the letters themselves make up the design, as with the image to the right. One of the aspects I don’t care for, however, is that it tends to have a very industrial early 20th century look. While it’s classic, I’d probably remedy this by fusing it with a more modern chic design. Use softer typeface, for example. Replace the helvetica with optima, perhaps, and pay close attention to the colours to keep it vibrant.

The Swiss graphic design style was developed in the 1950s

The most important thing I’ve noticed with swiss graphic design is the white space. There’s a lot of it. I’ve heard the phrase “white space is your friend” before but now I’ve seen it in action and believe it. Like Lisa Simpson once said about a performance, “You have to listen to the notes she’s not playing,” I’ll reiterate for design. You have to look for the space that’s not used.