Friday, June 21, 2013

Matter of Style

Swiss-born designer and photographer Herbert Matter (1907-1984) had an envious and long career, working with such legendary designers and artists as A.M. Cassandre, Le Corbusier, Derberny & Peignot, Alexander Calder, Charles and Ray Eames, and Fernand Leger to name just a few. His brilliant photomontage poster work for the Swiss Tourist Office in the mid-1930s, helped chart the course for modernist design. They are still some of the most recognized posters ever printed and have influenced generations of young designers. Matter eventually made his way to the US and was hired as a freelance photographer for Harper's Bazaar by art director Alexey Brodovitch. He later designed covers for arts & architecture magazine, spent twenty-years as a design consultant for Knoll Associates, was appointed Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design and Photography at Yale University, and received countless prestigious design awards before his death in 1984. 
     This featured modernist collection of Matter's catalog work was produced when he was the design consultant to the Guggenheim Museum between 1958 to 1968Bodoni Poster Compressed appears to have been his adopted "house style" font of choice during this decade, which he applied with great restraint. I have to wonder if this wonderful 1940 Photographie cover design below was ever an influence on Matter for the Calder catalog cover design above. (Always attempting to connect the dots;) To learn more about the catalogs you can visit the Guggenheim Museum's online collection. All of Matters' catalogs are available at the Internet Archive. 

A trailer for The Visual Language of Herbert Matter.

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