At YouWorkForThem, we appreciate the impact Swiss Style has had on design, modern font design and typography. To celebrate its enduring influence, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand and embrace the principles of Swiss Style in your own creative work. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, key features, and contemporary applications of Swiss Style, while showcasing a selection of our meticulously crafted font designs that embody its core values.
Introduction to Swiss Style
Swiss Style, also known as the International Typographic Style, is perhaps the most important design style to come out of the 20th century. Known for its clean, minimalist architecture and high legibility, Swiss Style is virtually everywhere you look, from street signs to website designs and modern fonts, and every place in between.
The idea behind Swiss Style, much like its architecture, is simple: type should carry itself with clarity and neutrality, and have an emphasis on function over form. A perfect example of this can be seen in Helvetica, one of the most well known type designs of our modern world. In fact, the term, “helvetica,” actually means “Swiss,” based on the Latin translation for the word, “Switzerland.”
The Birth of Helvetica
Designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann, Helvetica was designed to be clean, neutral, and highly legible, a type design that could be used on a wide range of signage and displays, and one that would enable every message to be conveyed completely unhindered by unnecessary ornamentation. And that was kind of the whole point of the Swiss Style: the meaning comes not from a font’s design or architecture, but from the content of its message alone.
The Origins and Evolution of Swiss Style
Slideshow: New Highway by Samuel Powell
The Swiss Style really took off during the 1950s, although its roots actually date back to the late 1890s when Berthold Type Foundry released Akzidenz Grotesk. That design sort of set the standard for conveying a message directly and without flourish or superfluous personality that might tip the mood in one direction or another.
Swiss Style favors asymmetric layouts and sans serif character structure built around a mathematically designed grid. The Swiss Style movement really began to pick up speed under the leadership of Josef Müller-Brockmann and Armin Hofmann, instructors at two of Switzerland’s most prestigious art schools, the Zurich School of Arts and Krafts and the Basel School of Design, respectively.
Influential Figures in Swiss Style
Both men studied under Ernst Keller in Zurich, a typographer and teacher who was considered to be at the forefront of the International Typographic Style. Ernst was of the opinion that any design solution should remain respectful of its content, embracing the modernist standard that function should always come before form. Design should be “invisible,” at least in the sense that the designer’s own artistry is held in check, ensuring that the content – and only the content – receives the spotlight.
Many of the features of Swiss Style are commonly used in contemporary design applications, particularly because of their clean, no-nonsense aesthetic. Type designs crafted in the Swiss Style are of particularly smart use in modern design projects like corporate communications that require a neutral tone, and website designs or mobile applications that require legibility on smaller displays.
Discover Swiss Style Fonts at YouWorkForThem
YouWorkForThem offers a wide variety of beautifully crafted font designs that embrace the Swiss Style typography mantra. Explore our collection and bring the timeless elegance of Swiss Style to your next design project.
If your project calls for a ridiculously strong sans serif designed in the Swiss style, Connary Fagen’s Integral CF is the perfect solution. Integral CF was designed to create a visual impact, featuring robust all-caps lettering that gets noticed. This type design is available in six weights with matching obliques and is well suited to displays, signage, titling, headlines, book covers, posters, product packaging, logos, branding, and identity projects.
Hando is a versatile Neo Grotesk typeface that offers a wide range of design possibilities. Its low x-height and light size options make it a great choice for reading, while its legibility is enhanced by the tenuous white spaces in the counter letterforms. The curve tensions on the circular letterforms give it a futuristic impression, while its sleek and simple strokes make it perfect for a broad range of design purposes. Hando consists of 10 styles from Hairline to Black, each with a matching oblique, and includes over 440 glyphs that support a broad range of Latin languages. It also includes several OpenType features such as stylistic alternates and variations of figures.
Eloquia is a neo-grotesque, geometric sans serif typeface that embodies the principles of Swiss Style design. With its 34 distinct fonts, Eloquia offers both Text and Display styles, ensuring high legibility in various applications, from headlines to smaller text. The typeface masterfully balances neutrality and modernism, making it a versatile choice for various design projects. Eloquia’s extensive OpenType features and support for over 88 languages, including all major Latin languages, further solidify its position as a Swiss Style-inspired font perfect for contemporary use.
Akwe Pro from Roch Modrzejewski is a professional, ultra versatile sans serif typeface that pairs the excellent legibility of traditional Swiss Style with a modern architecture that’s perfect for design projects of all kinds. Akwe Pro is a superfamily of 164 fonts in Akwe Pro, Extended, Narrow, and Condensed widths. Each weight is available in upright, true italic, and small caps variations. Akwe Pro is ideal for just about any graphic design project you can dream up, including headlines, editorials, web copy, traditional and digital publishing, mobile app design, logos, corporate communications, white papers, infographics, presentations, product packaging and informational inserts, branding, and identity.
Harnessing Swiss Style Principles with YouWorkForThem Fonts
The Swiss Style has had a profound influence on the world of typography and graphic design. Its minimalist, functional approach has paved the way for a plethora of versatile fonts, each carrying the essence of Swiss Style principles. YouWorkForThem, a trusted source for graphic design resources since 2001, offers a remarkable selection of Swiss-inspired typefaces to help you make a lasting impression with your creative work. With corporate clients like Apple, Amazon, and Nike, we are committed to providing the most usable and affordable fonts and stock art in the world.
Explore our extensive collection of Swiss-inspired type designs by visiting our fonts section. By understanding and embracing the Swiss Style’s rich history and design ideology, you can enhance your design projects with fonts that embody clarity, legibility, and timeless sophistication. YouWorkForThem is dedicated to making sure you have the best experience possible with our fonts and stock art, and our team is available anytime to assist with your questions or needs. Discover the perfect font to capture the essence of Swiss Style in your designs by browsing YouWorkForThem’s diverse selection today.