Attempting International Typographic Style

This semester, one of the classes I was enrolled in was History and Principles of Graphic Design, which I generally shortened to Design History because that’s such a long title. We began with 20,000 BCE and learned up to almost the present day.

One of the more recent topics was the International Typographic Style, also known as Swiss Style. This came out of Switzerland in the 1950s and generally uses grids, sans-serif typefaces (most notably, Helvetica), and flush-left ragged-right text. I am all for Helvetica all the time, and I love typography of course, so I think it may be safe to say that this was my favorite topic from the whole semester.

Created by Gottschalk+Ash, this catalogue incorporates French and English. Click the photo for the original source.

Click the photo for the original source.

Throughout the semester, we were able to make a design based on any topic we covered, whether it be a parody or just something in that style. Of course I took the opportunity to focus on the International Typographic Style.

Instead of starting completely from scratch, I decided to recreate a particular specimen, which was created in 1972 in Canada as a catalogue cover. It was meant to incorporate two languages—French and English—into one cover.

I loved the idea of the change in stroke thickness, so I decided to try it with my university’s name, in Helvetica Neue, of which I have five different weights. I also gave myself a bit more creative freedom, and included the university’s founding date, 1865.

Rider University, founded in 1865: now in Helvetica.

Rider University, founded in 1865: now in Helvetica.

What do you think? Please let me know! If you have any other project ideas for me to try, I’m all for suggestions!

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2 thoughts on “Attempting International Typographic Style

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