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Lectures on Crafts & Industry | Conference of the Swiss Werkbund


Creator Walter Käch
Printing year 1928
Sheet size (cm) 128.5×90.5
Printing technique Lithograph
Printer Art. Institut Orell Füssli
Condition A
Asking price 9'600 CHF
Categories Design & Architecture

Founded in 1913 as an association of art, industry and crafts, the Swiss Werkbund was a reaction to the increasing mass production of everyday goods and the associated – and not unfounded – fear of poorly made and (yes, that was an argument at the time) soulless products, as well as the social upheaval that industrial work was causing. Accordingly, the aim of the SWB was the “artistic refinement” and the promotion of the appreciation of well-made products, regardless of whether they were crafted or produced industrially. The Werkbund sought to achieve this enlightenment and communication of “good form” with actual public relations work: Exhibitions, publications (“Das Werk”, today “werk, bauen+wohnen”), conferences and even rallies.

For his poster designed to announce the 1928 conference in Bern, Walter Käch chose an approach that was just beginning to become a topic in Switzerland at the time: a typographical one, in which the typeface and size of the letters became a pictorial element – always in an effort to achieve maximum impact through functional simplicity. How else could you attract the attention of hurried passers-by with dry information?

This – at least in terms of poster history – important avant-garde poster is such a rare example of the implementation of typographic principles aimed at the general public that, as far as we know, it has never been on the market before.

more on the Swiss Werkbund:

Werkbundarbeit 1938 | Gewerbemuseum Basel

more on Walter Käch:

International Poster Exhibition