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Happy 2023: our annual chocolate
Black and white – unambiguous or ambiguous?
On the one hand, the meaning of black and white is "to present an issue in an undifferentiated, one-sided positive or negative way". But also "now it is sealed black on white" which then again means to have definitively determined a fact. The same terms thus have a contrary meaning, on the one hand it means vague or undifferentiated, one-sided and on the other hand, clear, conclusive, definite. In terms of design, on the other hand, a black and white representation has the meaning of the essential, pure or forms reduced to the essential. We can see this particularly well in Asian ink painting or in woodcuts. Here reality is divided into light and shadow, the colorfulness is dissolved and the forms are reduced to their essence. After all, on the first day in a year, when it snows, we say that this is the graphic designer’s day, because then we experience the world in black and white. They also say that's when you should open a bottle of champagne. Cheers!
The woodcut (xylography) of Ruedi Peter, a designer and artist from the Appenzell in Switzerland region shows us exactly this differentiation and he has created a large number of these works in his life. He found the subjects for them all in his environment, the mountain landscape of Appenzell in the eastern part of Switzerland. Peter was a friend of our family and trained with my uncle Elias as a graphic designer and artist at the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in St. Gallen and that’s way a small but fine collection of works by Ruedi Peter has ended up with us.
Posters against the war (honorable mention)
At the invitation of B. Martin Pedersen of Graphis International, we decided to design posters against the war. Here is the argumentation of our proposal: We are convinced that in the 21st century war should not be an instrument to solve conflicts. At the same time, we realize that the Ukraine war is only one of many wars in the world. We in the Western world are more sensitive to this war because it affects us, but there are other equally brutal wars that we unfortunately do not pay adequate attention to: Syria, Armenia, Kurdistan, Congo, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and more. For this reason, we conceived our poster as a message against war in general and decided to create a series of posters in the 15-20 most important languages of the world. We have realized seven examples and all have the following claim: War destroys and must be destroyed.
Master Lecture at HKDI (Hong Kong Design Institute:
Made in Switzerland – a brand story,
by Peter Vetter
If we look at worldwide patent applications, Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries in the world with 969 applications per 1,000,000 inhabitants (for comparison USA 140 or Japan 172 or South Korea 183). These data confirm Switzerland's innovative strength, which has historically been an important part of Swiss industry. What is also interesting is the fact that Swiss products have been marketed very well, which in turn has led to the establishment of a number of strong, internationally known and still today existing brands. We can trace this development back to the middle of the 19th century, i.e. the founding of modern Switzerland in 1848.
We still are familiar with well-known brands such as Jäger-Le Coultre (1833), UBS (1862), Nestle (1866), Lindt & Sprüngli (1879), Victorinox (1884), Rolex (1905), Toblerone (1908), Caran d'Ache (1915) or Nescafé (1938) or more recent ones such as Mobatime (1944, Swiss railway clock), USM Haller (1963), Logitech (1981) or Swatch (1983), to name just a few examples.
The relationship between innovation and design, but also the longevity of brands is an interesting question that is still of great relevance today. We note that the famous Swiss graphics, or "Swiss Style" as it was later called, on the one hand was made possible by the successful industry but on the other hand is also to be understood as an important part of the market success. This interrelationship is examined in the present study and explained by means of contemporary as well as historical examples.
Link to the lecture:
Nicole Brandes Core Management
A strong symbol synonymous for top consulting. For Nicole Brandes, we designed a new look that underscores the exclusivity of her consulting services. An unique monogram accompanied by a characteristic color spectrum and a cultivated typography form the basis for this fresh appearance. The style of the different online and print media underlines the personal, exclusive form of consulting through clarity and elegance. The resulting visual identity reflects the philosophy that Nicole Brandes personifies and conveys in her consulting work.