Otto Baumberger – Biography
Otto Baumberger (1889 – 1961) was one of the first Swiss who can be correctly described as a poster designer, even though his personal desire for artistic recognition would remain unfulfilled.
as an employee of the Wolfensberger AG in Zurich Otto Baumberger acquired a sound knowledge of lithography techniques, and used this knowledge to advance and renew the medium, designing over 200 posters.
Baumberger was ahead of his time in recognizing important aspects of consumer advertising. Without creating a style of his own, Otto Baumberger sought the most appropriate way of conveying a message.
His original, inventive images led to a reduction that reached towards abstraction, as image and lettering elements gradually formed an increasingly striking synthesis.
the diversity of baumberger’s work exemplarily embodies the history of Swiss poster art in the first half of the twentieth century, showing the development from the painterly artist’s poster to corporate design shaped by graphic art.
Otto Baumberger Poster Gallery
to as the “spiritual father of the Swiss poster”, Otto Baumberger helped to found the Swiss schools of graphic design in the early 1900’s. Otto Baumberger eventually spawned the style of the “Swiss object” art prints and posters in the 1930’s. Preceded and perhaps inspired by phenomenal Swiss poster designers Grasset and Steinlen, Baumberger made his first posters in 1911, at the age of 22.
Soon after, Otto Baumberger began doing important art, prints and posters for the Swiss theatre. He is said to have inspired the Swiss travel poster, and along with his colleagues, trademarked the new concepts of design simplicity and “Photographic Realism”. Education and learning played a large role in Baumberger’s life. he began by mastering the skill of lithography while attending a course with Eduard Stiefel at the Applied Arts School in Zurich. In 1908 Baumberger began design study at the Munich Academy, and in 1911, was employed as a lithographer by J.E. Wolfensberger, where he later became a partner.
From 1920-1932, at the height of his career, Baumberger became a professor of lithography and drawing at the Applied Arts School of Zurich, finishing his career in education as the faculty chairman and professor at the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich. Baumberger proved himself to be one of the true masters of “object identification” and typography as exemplified by his art, prints and posters, “PKZ” and “Brak Liquer”.