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Social Democrats – Against Crisis and Need


Creator Paul Senn (photo)
Printing year 1931
Sheet size (cm) 128×90.5
Printing technique Heliograph & Letterpress
Printer Conzett & Huber
Condition A
Asking price 1'700 CHF
Categories Plebiscites & Campaigns

Voilà the first Swiss political photographic poster, using a picture by Paul Senn (1901-1953), a representative of the young Swiss photographers who, from the early 1930s onwards, developed an own visual language by making people’s everyday lives their subject.
Since Senn had opened a graphic design and advertising studio in Berne in 1928 and had a special affinity with the peasant population and the workers anyway, he was more than receptive when the Social Democrats asked him for help in creating a poster on the occasion of the parliamentary elections in 1931.
His (of course posed) shot of a serious-looking couple with their hands held high in unity, the catchy slogan (Against Crisis and Need – For Work and Bread; catchier in German than in English…) and the restrained design (both possibly also by Senn) make for a poster that still looks powerful today – and that is an early witness to the development in Swiss graphic design around 1930 towards more objectivity and less artistic distinctiveness.