OK, I have to admit, being a graphic designer in Zurich, Josef Müller-Brockmann is probably the most obvious choice for a column about my design hero. But somehow he is also the right one. There are of course many other inspiring personalities who I would like to write about, but together with other brilliant Swiss designers of the ‘old generation’ (like Emil Ruder and Armin Hoffmann), Müller-Brockmann has always been a great reference in my own work.
Born in 1914, Müller-Brockmann was a leading theorist and practitioner of the renowned Swiss graphic design movement, also called ‘International Style’. He worked as a graphic designer from 1952 and taught between 1957 and 1960 at the Kunstgewerbeschule (the design and art school) in Zurich. In 1963, he also taught at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany. He influenced generations of subsequent designers and even today Swiss graphic design students still say his name in awe.