otto baumberger – swiss graphic designer and advertising pioneer
‘wer rechnet kauft im globus’ / educated shoppers go to globus poster design by otto baumberger, 1934
otto baumberger (1889 – 1961) was one of the first swiss who can be correctly described as a poster designer, even though his personal desire for artistic recognition would remain unfulfilled. as an employee of the wolfensberger AG in zürich he acquired a sound knowledge of lithography techniques, and used this knowledge to advance and renew the medium, designing over 200 posters. baumberger was ahead of his time in recognizing important aspects of consumer advertising. without creating a style of his own, he sought the most appropriate way of conveying a message. his original, inventive images led to a reduction that reached towards abstraction, as image and lettering elements gradually formed an increasingly striking synthesis. the diversity of baumberger’s work exemplarily embodies the history of swiss poster art in the first half of the twentieth century, showing the development from the painterly artist’s poster to corporate design shaped by graphic art.
motor comptoir, 1932 qualité, 1932
swan, 1919 neue zürcher zeitung, 1928
airshows zürich, 1932 and 1937
200 of otto baumberger’s posters, made during 40 years of his career, are currently shown in the exhibition ‘otto baumberger – advertising pioneer’ at the museum of design zürich, plakatraum. the exhibition runs only until sunday february 1st, 2009.
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