Graphic design history through its magazine’s issue 1

Graphic design publication were, during a century, the only source of information available for the professionnals. Based on issue 1 of a wide selection of the most important worldwide publication, we can understand how graphic design history was build month after month. Issues 1 of magazines should be concidered as a maniphesto by the editorial team: a magazine out of the publication time.

Various topics can be proposed :

  • Early Modernism publication (1924-1944)
  • Modernism publications (1944-1965)
  • House organs publications
  • Type design publications
  • Japanese graphic design magazines
  • Swiss graphic design magazines
  • Graphic design school publications


  • Wendingen, Netherlands, 1918 (architecture, decoration, graphic design)
  • Gebrauchsgraphik, Germany, 1924 (graphic design, type design, advertising)
  • Arts et métiers graphiques, France, 1927 (graphic design, type design, bibliophily, illustration, bookbinding, photography, etc.)
  • Graphis, Switzerland, 1944 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Open oog, Netherlands, 1946 (fine art)
  • Caractères, France, 1949 (graphic design, type design, advertising)
  • Portfolio, USA, 1950 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Caractères noël, France, 1951 (graphic design, type design, advertising)
  • Idea, Japan, 1953 (graphic design, type design, advertising)
  • Neue Grafik, Switzerland, 1958 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Graphic design, Japan, 1959 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography, illustration)
  • Pagina, Italy, 1962 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Dot Zero, USA, 1966 (graphic design, semiotic)
  • 2dimensioni, Italy, 1967 (graphic design, advertising, photography)
  • Baseline, UK, 1977 ( type design)
  • Typomondo, France, 1980 (type design, lettering)
  • Octavo 86.1, UK, 1986 (graphic design, type design)
  • Eye, UK, 1990 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Étapes graphiques, France, 1994 (graphic design, type design, advertising, photography)
  • Ink, France, 2006 (graphic design, type design)
  • Back cover, France, 2008 (graphic design, type design, scholar studies)
  • Optical sound, France, 2009 (fine art, music)
  • The Shelf Journal, France, 2012 (edition)
  • Apres/avant, France, 2013 (type design)
  • Pli, France, 2015 (architecture & edition)
  • La Perruque, France, 2016 (type design)
  • Back office, France, 2017 (digital design, scholar studies)

ABC Verlag, Zurich: swiss graphic design books collection

ABC Verlag (1963-1989) was a Zurich based publisher. Its main collection, edited by Konrad Baumann, is composed of 25 books that gathered the most important graphic designers as authors and contributors. During more than 30 years, ABC Verlag give us a good panorama of the evolution of the philosophy & style of swiss graphic design, from a the legacy of avant-garde to the postmodernism of the end of the century.

  • Graphic Art of a Swiss TownArmin Tschanen, 1963
  • Official Graphic Art in Switzerland, Walter Bangerter & Armin Tschanen, 1964
  • Graphic Design in Swiss IndustryHans Neuburg, 1965
  • Publicity and Graphic Design in the Chemical IndustryHans Neuburg, 1967
  • Conceptions of International ExhibitionsHans Neuburg – 1969
  • Color Sells Your PackageJean-Paul Favre, 1969
  • History of the PosterJoseph & Shizuko Müller-Brockmann, 1971
  • Basic Typography: Handbook of Technique and Design, Ruedi Rüegg & Godi Fröhlich, 1972
  • Drawing, A Creative ProcessKurt Wirth, 1974
  • Form + communicationWalter Diethelm, 1974
  • Design Concept RealisationWolfgang Schmittel, 1975
  • Signet Signal SymbolWalter Diethelm, 1976
  • Graphic Design International: Creative Work of Selected Colleges of Design from 12 Countries, Igildo G. Biesele, 1977
  • Process Visual: Development of a Corporate Identity, Wolfgang Schmittel, 1978
  • Color and CommunicationJean-Paul Favre & André November, 1979
  • Type Sign SymbolAdrian Frutiger, 1980
  • Graphic Design EducationIgildo G. Biesele, 1981
  • Visual TransformationWalter Diethelm, 1982
  • Top Graphic DesignF.H.K. Henrion, 1983
  • Swiss Sport PostersKarl Wobmann & Max Triet, 1983
  • Corporate Design International: Definition and Benefit of a Consistent Corporate Appearance, Wolfgang Schmittel – 1984
  • Political and Social Posters of SwitzerlandKarl Wobmann & Willy Rotzler, 1985
  • Experiment Design: More Creativity through Experimental Design Work — Case Studies from Practice and Training, Igildo G. Biesele 1986
  • Art & graphicsWilly Rotzler & Nathan Garamond, 1989
  • Typography: Design with LettersRuedi Rüegg, 1989

History of square books

Square books are now quite common in today’s edition industry. But this format should be analysed as a deep evolution of the human mind. Starting from the antiquity and the birth of the codex, we will focus on the meanings and the reasons why the square format was rejected but also adored by architects, artists and graphic designers. This study, still in its writing, cross the path of the early bibles, some medieval conciderations, the blooming of the paper industry, books from the romantic era, avant-garde publication from Viennese Secession to Futurist, Swiss Graphic design books, art books, children books and more.

Modernism & its conflicts

Modernism is a way of thinking art & design. Focusing on three major pamphlets, we can enlighted a moderate vision of, what is new a day, can become a tradition.

  • Loos Adolf, “Ornement et crime”, Paris : L’Architecture Vivante, 1926 (première version, 1908).
  • Bosshard Hans Rudolf, Max Bill / Jan Tschichold. La querelle typographiques des modernes, Paris : B42, Paris, 2014.
  • Huygen Frederike, The debate: the legendary contest of two giants of Graphic Design, New York : The Monacelli Press, 2015.

History of Logos

Graphic design history is segmented into specific topics, edition history, type design history, history of posters, digital history, etc. A more obscure topic is the history of Logo as identity marks to commercial marks. From the antiquity, marks were the signs that permit to identify a person, a clan or family, a whole city, a nation, but mainly a producer, an owner, a distributor, etc.
We analyse how logos are the direct legacy of other non-writing sign systems from the antiquity, and how story-telling, spatial environnement and social hierarchy are the main caracteristics of what is a logo.

AG Fronzoni (1923-2002), graphic designer, product designer, architect & teacher

Fronzoni is the maestro of Minimal design in all its forms. But, more that the man who shape objects and signs, he was a design philosopher, the Socrates of Design. This panorama show the historical and geographical environnment, and the evolution during half of a century of a man who never stopped to experiment in a sctrict, personnal and poetical vision.

Velvetyne Type Foundry

We, VTF, dauntless offspring of the Postscript generation, we chase at the speed of the electron, the course of typography and its attendant of wrestling writing warriors. Like Spartacus, we unchain glyphs from unfair laws and arbitrary conventions, like Ben Hur on a gigantic tank, we welcome script horsewomen and type charioteers and all tremendous, armed with bulletpoint pen and bold crossbows, wearing draw hats, we challenge here and now the tantalizing palimpsest of today.

VTF has been created in 2010 by Frank Adebiaye as a logic continuation as his blog about typography and type design. If he began alone, he quickly invited Jérémy Landes-Nones and Sébastien Hayez to join him in the adventure. VTF provide free & libre fonts for personnal & commercial use.