Sunday, November 16, 2008

[Designer] Josef Müller-Brockmann

neue zucher zeitung, 1971

Born in 1914 in Rapperswill, Switzerland where had just suffered through the Great War, Josef Müller-Brockmann grew up in the time when people was trying to deny the old and establish something new. He early exposed his interest and ability in drawing and art. For a long time, Müller was influenced by Dada when working as an independent illustrator and Designer in his hometown. This can be seen clearly through Muller’s first works. After serving in army as a lieutenant in Swiss army throughout the Second World War, Müller continue his searching for knowledge of “the structure elements” which modify his works (Kerry, 2006). And like his statement,

“As a young person I had no clear perception of my future-I only knew that my professionnal career depended on my energy, self-criticism , discipline, and a permanent desire to learn”

Josef Müller-Brockmann

zurich tonhalle, poster, 1955

Müller began to change his idea and his perception of what he was doing; “from a parochial and provincial context to a radically constructivist and universal language” (Kerry, 2006). And this was the key element influencing on his works later and the concept of modernism as we know today.

musica viva, poster

Graduating from the university and Kunstgewerbeschule, the School of Applied Art, he is really an expert in architect, art, and especially design. Müller began to create his reputation by producing “functional, objective design and an influential figure for generations of designers around the world” (Kerry, 2007). Working with photography, poster, and advertising, establishing New Graphic Design, and being an owner of famous books, such as ‘The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems’ (1961), ‘Grid Systems in Graphic Design’ (1981), ‘History of the Poster and A History of Visual Communication’ (1971), Josef Müller-Brockmann left a large influence almost to designers around the world.

He died in 1996 in Zurich, Switzerland.

operhaus zurich, poster, 1967

.Filter Fine, ‘Biofraphy’: Josef Müller-Brockmann, available: [accessed 03 April 2008].

.Friedl, F., Ott, N. and Stein, B. (1998) Typography: An encyclopedic survey of type design and techniques through history, New York: Black Dog & Leventhal.

.Müller-Brockmann J. ( 1955), Zurich Tonhalle, Josef Müller-Brockmann, New York: Phaidon Press.

.Purcell, K.W. (2006) Josef Müller-Brockmann, New York: Phaidon Press.

.Purcell, K.W. (2007), ‘Book’: Josef Müller-Brockmann, available: [accessed 03 April 2008].

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