About the Exhibition
“Swiss Style Now,” curated by Swiss Graphic designers Noël Leu, Erich Brechbühl, and Xavier Erni, presents an overview of the last five years in Swiss graphic design with approximatively 150 works from 100 Swiss graphic designers from different generations, with various motivations and influences. The aesthetic of Swiss style is the famous model of graphic design of the 1950s and 1960s, best known for its use of minimal grid-based systems and its cold, impersonal approach. It was born during an era of heavy industrialization when there was a need for a simple visual language that could be understood by many within international trades. Today, design and advertising have changed but Swiss graphic design, with its important role in design history, is still often reduced to those clichés. The philosophy of the pioneers obviously had an influence on contemporary Swiss designers, but “Swiss Style Now” wants to present a diverse, emotional, and fun Swiss style.
For the exhibition, the curators teamed up with American graphic designer, typographer, and curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, Alexander Tochilovsky, to include new projects created between 2015 and 2016. “Swiss Style Now” will be showcased at the 41 Cooper Gallery from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in New York City, which is adjacent to the Herb Lubalin Center. Cooper Union is one of the most prestigious art and design universities in the country, attracting a broad audience in the design community. The Herb Lubalin Center has staged over 70 exhibitions over the last 30 years, and is recognized for putting graphic design ‘on the map’.
Exhibition Hours | Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 7:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Opening Reception | Tuesday, September 6, 2016; 6:30pm – 9:00pm; free and open to public
A one-day symposium with leading Swiss graphic designer Robert Lzicar of the Bern University of the Arts and graphic designers / curators Noël Leu, Erich Brechbühl, Xavier Erni, and Alexander Tochilovsky will take place on Saturday, September 10. The discussion will focus on what characteristics link the exhibited works, as well as if and how today’s designers deal with the legacy of the Swiss Style. Learn more here!
Exhibited Studios and Designers
Affolter / Savolainen
B&R Graphic Design
Bänziger / Hug
Cécile + Roger
Demian Conrad Design
Gavillet & Cie
Johnson / Kingston
Ludovic Balland Typography Cabinet
Notter + Vigne
Prill Vieceli Cremers
Raffinerie AG für Gestaltung
Izet Sheshivari (Boabooks)
TM (Todeschini + Mamie)
Rob Van Leijsen
Noël Leu was born 1984 in Lucerne, Switzerland. In 2010 he graduated with a Bachelor in Visual Communication from the Bern University of Arts. He now lives and works around the world as a graphic designer, teacher, and curator. He co-founded Edition Grilli, an independent publishing house and Grilli Type GmbH, a digital type foundry.
Erich Brechbühl was born 1977 and grew up in Sempach, Switzerland. After an apprenticeship in graphic design at the studio of Niklaus Troxler in Willisau (1998-2002), Erich Brechbühl founded his own graphic design studio, Mixer, in Lucerne. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). In 2009 he was co-founder of the poster festival Weltformat in Lucerne and started the exchange meetings for graphic designers Show & Tell in 2012.
Xavier Erni was born in 1983 in Geneva, Switzerland. He graduated with a bachelor in visual communication from The University of Arts and Design Geneva (HEAD). In 2010 he co-founded the graphic design studio Neo Neo with Thuy-An Hoang. He is the editor of Poster tribune, a poster and graphic design magazine published twice a year. He is the owner of la Fonderie gallery and the curator of Print Program, an exhibition and archive program dedicated to graphic design and printed matter. He also teaches graphic design at the University of Art and design, Geneva (HEAD).
Alexander Tochilovsky is a graphic designer, typographer, curator and educator, with nearly 20 years of professional design experience, and 10 years of experience teaching typography. He graduated with a BFA from The Cooper Union, and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is currently the Curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography. In 2009 he co-curated the exhibition Lubalin Now, and since 2010 he has curated five other exhibitions: Appetite (2010), Pharma (2011), Type@Cooper (2012), Image of the Studio (2013) & Thirty (2015). Since 2007 he has taught typography and design at the Cooper Union School of Art, and also teaches the history of typeface design at Type@Cooper, the postgraduate certificate program he co-founded in 2010.
Event photos below are used courtesy of The Cooper Union / Marget Long, Neo Neo, or Juan Kafka respectively (check individual photos in our Flickr album for details.)