Otto Baumberger (1889–1961) was one of the first Swiss graphic artists to have a career that responds to the occupational title of “poster designer”. However, his desire to be recognized as an artist as well went unfulfilled. Early on, as an employee of Wolfensberger AG in Zurich, he acquired a thorough knowledge of lithographic technique. He designed more than two hundred posters, which helped to modernize the medium. Baumberger was far ahead of his time in recognizing fundamental aspects of consumer goods advertising. Although he did not create an actual style, he always sought the most adequate approach to conveying the message at hand. His original graphic creations led to a reduction bordering on abstraction, in which graphic and textual elements underwent an increasingly potent synthesis. Thus, in its variety, Baumberger’s work embodies and exemplifies the history of Swiss poster art in the first half of the twentieth century, as the painterly artist poster gradually evolved toward graphically oriented corporate design.
Edited by Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
With an essay by Martin Heller
Design: Integral Lars Müller