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Armin Hofmann - Design Is History.png
Armin Hofmann

Armin Hofmann was a Swiss graphic designer. He began his career in 1947 as a teacher at the Basel School of Art and Crafts at the age of twenty-six, his career there would span 4 decades and  shortly after he began there he succeeded Emil Ruder as Head of School.

In 1965 he wrote the Graphic Design Manual, a textbook which was, and still is, considered an essential an excellent reference for graphic designers. Hofmann died in December 2020 at the age of 100 in Lucerne


Hofmann, thought that one of the most efficient forms of communications was the poster and Hofmann spent much of his career designing posters, in particular for the Basel Stadt Theater. 

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Armin Hofmann, Box for insecticide.jpg

Hofmann, doesn't use colour, it's all about the placement of simple shapes in a monochrome palette, relying on the suggestion of idea, the movement  created within the carefully considered placement doing most of the work.

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Hofmann helped shape modernist-inspired graphic design beyond recognition. Without ‘The International Typographic Style’, also known as the Swiss Style of design, contemporary graphic design would be almost unrecognisable. The readability and cleanliness of the style as well as its asymmetric layouts, use of a grids and sans-serif typefaces have helped define how we design today. 

 The style of design they created had a goal of communication above all else, practiced new techniques of photo-typesetting, photo-montage and experimental composition and heavily favored sans-serif typography.

Herbaforce page - Armin Hofmann.jpg
Herbaforce - Armin Hofmann.jpg

Hofmann's extensive work in product packaging is of particular interest to me and my current area of study. Using minimal information to convey clearly what is contained within the box, tube or carton. 

The Swiss designer was dedicated to searching for the best way to graphically represent something complex and do so in a simple, direct way. These designs for Screw boxes and pesticides beautifully illustrate this technique.

Armin Hofmann, Box for fly-killer.jpg
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Graphic Design Manual - Armin Hofmann

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design - Lars Muller

Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design

Armin Hofmann Graphic Design Visionar - Caroline Roberts

Heroes – Armin Hofmann | Designers Journal › jottings › designheroes

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