Being that Switzerland was always a neutral country during World War II, they were able to move forward with their stable economy, and were therefore very design-conscious and innovative. They are the originators of International Typographic Style, a.k.a. International Modernism.
Herbert Matter photomontage tourism poster
Artists like Herbert Matter in Switzerland tried to create a modern, universal form of communication through design. Everything about what they created was meant to be highly structured, rational, objective, precise, and timeless. Matter was responsible for Swiss tourism posters.
Brockmann poster speaking against noise pollution
A lot of photography and symbols were used, because they were the most fact-based and functional graphics. There was no illustration or decoration. Individualism in art was no longer important. Instead, designers wanted to be socially responsible for global unification through their designs. Their goal was to use minimal means for a maximal message.
Hofmann's ballet photomontage poster
Other designers involved in this movement included Joseph Muller-Brochmann, and Armin Hofmann. Muller-Brockmann was “The Theorist,” saying that there was more to life than making money from art. He often made posters for social justice and human welfare purposes. He was one of the first to use a flush left/ragged right justification to create a grid-like poster.
Hofmann used a lot of black and white to create striking positive and negative space. He used cropping to add drama and make posters less personal. For example, in his ballet advertising poster, he cropped out he ballerina’s head to highlight ballet in general, and not that particular ballerina. His son, Mattias Hofmann, is a modern graphic designer who has also put out a lot of interesting work.