running words around
design education and visual communication
authored by chris m hughes

Modernism for Slackers

Friday, 20 January 2012

I recently came across swissted.com - a gallery of posters displaying punk, grunge, slacker and lo-fi rock concerts over the past thirty years, worked in the Swiss Style of Muller-Brockmann, Karl Gerstner and Armin Hofmann.

The designer, Mike Joyce, of Stereotype, has replicated dozens of classic grid, diagonal and pattern layouts, using authentic colour palettes and the ubiquitous typeface of the international style - lowercase bold Aksidenz Grotesk.

The results inspiring to look at, and totally convincing, showing the versatility of a style which is the complete antithesis of the subject matter.

Many of the acts in this collection were synonymous with important graphic designers like Malcolm Garrett, Vaughan Oliver and Raymond Pettibon, and had album artwork that defined a creative era where lo-fi photography, handwritten fonts, cut & paste, messed-up legibility and a general DIY anti-commercial approach to graphics and video was rampant. And if you know how some of these bands sound, the layouts Joyce has chosen do occasionally create a connection between geometry, typography and the music.

This collection is ongoing, and there are still plenty of acts to be given the swissted treatment - how about Pere Ubu, the Feelies, Moving Targets, the Meat Puppets, and Screaming Trees?