The Magic of Things explores a former advertising strategy of Swiss product posters in which banal, everyday objects—butter, a sewing machine, or shoes—are presented as desirable objects enticing us to buy. Free from any further contextualization, the objects acquire a sensual presence and magical aura. The product poster had its heyday in Switzerland in the 1940s with designers such as Niklaus Stoecklin, Peter Birkhäuser, or Otto Baumberger. As consumer society developed, however, the exclusive focus on the product and the brand name was no longer enough—in advertising, the feelings associated with the object as it related to life grew increasingly important. Today it is in the cultural poster that the magical depiction of things is experiencing a kind of renaissance.
Edited by Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Bettina Richter
With an essay by Gerda Breuer
Design: Integral Lars Müller