Armin Hofmann : Poster Collection 7
The poster collection of Armin Hofmann is the seventh title in a series of poster books from the publisher. I believe twenty-two titles have so far been published. The sixty-seven posters in the book cover Hofmann's career and I thought it was interesting that his design principles have stayed constant over several decades. One word perhaps sums it up: simplicity.
Look at any of these designs and you'll see striking typography, sparse and careful use of color and graphics all carefully blended to create an instant statement. They are, of course, incredibly central European looking, helped perhaps because they are for non-commercial concerns like cultural institutions in Basel. Though many of these designs are from past decades they still look fresh today.
Hoffmann has spent a lifetime teaching and six pages in the book show forty-two large thumbnails of past students work, some of going back to the late 1950s. Karl Gerstner, Nelly Rudin are a couple of names I recognize. You can see the Hofmann approach in some of this student work though other designs seem overly complex. Hofmann's wonderful Giselle poster is included, where he playfully turns the Standard Medium square dot on the i into a circle and you can compare the clarity of this poster with a student's work for the same ballet, a rather fussy type and graphic design.
The book has two essays (in English and German) and the posters are well reproduced with a 175 screen on a good matt art. Overall I thought was an excellent coverage of the poster work by one of the founders of Swiss modernism.