“Armin Hofmann” (HonRDI) is a Swiss graphic designer. Hoffman followed Emil Ruder as head of the graphic design department at the Basel School of Design (Schule für Gestaltung Basel) and was instrumental in developing the graphic design style known as the Swiss Style. Armin Hofmann is well known for his posters, which emphasised economical use of colour and fonts, in reaction to what Hofmann regarded as the “trivialization of colour”. His posters have been widely exhibited as works of art in major galleries, such as the New York Museum of Modern Art.”
Hofmann wrote a book outlining his philosophies and practices. His Graphic Design Manual was, and still is, a reference book for all graphic designers.
Armin Hofmann is one of the most significant Swiss designers of the last century. As the owner of his own studio and especially as a teacher in Switzerland, the United States and during a short time in India, he has influenced a whole generation of young international artist and contribute significantly to the reputation of Swiss graphic design. With solo exhibitions e.g. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the State Museum for Applied Art in Munich and the German Poster Museum, Essen, Armin Hofmann has also received due attention and honor.
Armin Hofmann to his appointment to India “In the early summer of 1964 I was at the suggestion of the Ford Foundation asked the Directorate of National Design Institute of India, if I could participate in building the school.
The idea was to structure the new visual communication, what interested me as a task. Through the benevolent kindness of Education Department Basel-City, I was released for the 1964/65 winter semester of my teaching Basler.
Together with a former student from the area typesetting and my wife, who also took magisterial functions, we traveled to our new job in late 1964 to Ahmadabad, a major city in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Apart from the purely academic tasks I tried in the leisure, the arts and art-historical peculiarities of the trace object, because an expanded field of view seemed to me essential to be able to afford the comprehensive educational tasks.
The photographs presented in this exhibition are part of this exploration work. They give insight into the working and living environment of the population.
Today these former guest students fulfill duties as teachers and principals of Indian design schools. They then pass on the insights gained, and thus also a piece of the Basel school culture. ”
Armin Hofmann – Biography
1920 Born in Winterthur, Switzerland
1938-1943 Studies at Kunstgewerbeschule, Zuerich
1943-1948 Works as lithographer in Basel and Bern
1948 Opens his own studio in Basel
1946-1986 Teaching at Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel (later Schule fuer Gestaltung)
1955-1956 Teaching at Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts, Philadelphia PA (USA)
1956-1991 Teaching at Yale University, New Haven CT (USA)
1956 Lecturer, Intl. Design Conference, Aspen CO (USA)
1965 Consultant to National Design Institute Ahmedabad, India
1967 Director of the undergraduate program at Schule fuer Gestaltung, Basel
1968 Founder and Director of advanced program for visual communication, Schule fuer Gestaltung, Basel
1970 Member of Letragraphica Panel in London, together with Lubalin, Forbes, Minale
1972-1996 Director of Yale Summer Program in Graphic Design, Brissago, Switzerland
1973 Head of Graphics Department, Schule fuer Gestaltung, Basel
1977 Appointed Visiting Professor, Yale University
1948 – 1969 Numerous posters selected as “Best Swiss Posters of the Year”
1964 First prize for logo of Swiss National Exhibition, Lausanne
1966 1. International Poster Biennale, Warsaw; Honorable mention
1971 Honorary member, British Typographic Association
1973 Honorary member, Royal Society of Arts, London
1987 Honorary PhD, Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts
1997 Art Prize, City of Basel