“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Armin Hofmann, (1920-present) followed Emil Ruder as head of the graphic design department at the Basel School of Design. He was instrumental in developing the graphic design style known as the Swiss Style. His work is especially noted for his economical use of colour and fonts, in reaction to what Hofmann regarded as the “trivialization of colour.”
Hofmann used and perfected new techniques of photo-typesetting, photo-montage and experimental composition, favouring sans-serif typography. He was looking for a visual language that would be appropriate for a complex technological world.
Hofmanns work shows a Keen attention to detail, precision, and craft skills. What is more, the system of education and technical training, a high standard of printing as well as a clear refined and inventive lettering and typography laid out a foundation for this new movement.
This Swiss style became famous through the art of very talented Swiss graphic designers, such as Hofmann, and became an ‘international’ style in style in art, architecture and culture after the 1950’s.
Swiss International Style, stressed a belief in an absolute and universal style of graphic design, and communication above all else. This style had its roots in the modernist and constructivist art movement which was committed to complete abstraction with a devotion to modernity, where themes are geometric, experimental and un-emotional.
“There should be no separation between spontaneous work with an emotional tone and work directed by the intellect. Both are supplementary to each other and must be regarded as intimately connected. Discipline and freedom are thus to be seen as elements of equal weight, each partaking of the other.”
― Armin Hofmann