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In the years following the end of World War II, a newgraphic design style was created in Germany and Switzerland that would becomeworld renown for its far-reaching impact, longevity and the range ofapplications it can be used for. While it is also known as Swiss Style, it ismore formally known as International Typographic Style. While the International Typography Style we all know andlove was created in the 1950s, its origin goes all the back to 1918, after theevents of World War I, where a professor called Ernst Keller, a teacher at theKunstgewerbeschule Zurich, wanted to find a way to teach his students to notfollow a strict set of rules regarding graphic style, rather that the solutionshould come from the content they themselves created. What resulted from thiscould be seen as an early form of Modern principal of form following function. During the 1950s, after World War II ended, the style wasrefined by Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder, who went to a design school in Basel,Switzerland and by Josef Muller-Brockmann of a design school based in Zurich,Switzerland, all of whom where students of Ernst Keller before the outbreak of WorldWar II. This style of typography was dominate from the 50s all the way to the80s, and is still beloved to this day, especially in corporate communications. Itbecame widely synonymous with the look of many Swiss cultural institutionswhere they used posters as advertisement vehicles.

It was also used by a widevariety of post-war marketplaces, where an international identification andglobal events, such as the Olympics, called for international solutions, forwhich International Typography Style was perfectly suited for. International Typography Style is known for its simplicity,readability and objectivity. It follows Sans-Serif typography, grids andasymmetrical layouts, typography and photography all combined together tocreate a sense of visual uniformity. People who criticize the style point outhow it is very formulaic and therefore results in sameness, while advocates forthe style argue that perfection can be achieved for this style because of itssimple legibility.

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 While International Typography Style may not be as popularor as widely used as it once was in our modern world, it is still a respectabletypographic style that is still in use to this very day. Will it still have aplace among graphic design as it advances into the future? Only time will tell.


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