Artist Research – Josef Muller-Brockmann

Part of the Swiss International Style, Josef Muller-Brockmann was influenced by the ideas of several art and design movements, including De Stijl, Constructivism, Suprematism and The Bauhaus. Perhaps the most well-known Swiss designer, his most decisive work was done for the Zurich Town Hall, as poster advertisements for its theatre productions.

He is recognised for his simple designs, and his clean use of typography (most notably Akzidenz Grotesk), shapes and colours, which inspire many graphic designers in the 21st century. He developed a grid system for producing his designs, one which is still used in some regards to this day. josef-mueller-brockman-1975The design above is an advertising poster for an exhibition in Germany in 1975, for a Japanese lighting company called ‘Akari’. What strikes me most about this piece is how simple it is. The vibrant, glowing colours draw the eye into the centre of the design, and the dark background makes the design stand out even more. The piece itself is elegant, crisp and formal, with the symmetry and clean typography complimenting one another very well. Muller-Brockmann uses shape and typographic elements to great effect in the vast majority of his pieces, which makes him my go-to designer when considering layouts/spreads. 

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