Dynamic, Rational Style Characterizes Max Huber’s Designs
Around 1936, at the age of seventeen, Mr. Max Huber began attending Zurich’s Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) and studying under notable graphic designers such as Mr. Alfred Willimann, who simply suggested that Huber visit the school’s library to familiarize himself with the Bauhaus’s experiments and treatments as well as other European abstract artists and the earlier Russian Constructivists (wouldn’t you love to know the context for this “suggestion”?).
At the time Zurich’s art and design scenes were bristling due in part to the German intelligentsia’s exodus from the Nazi-controlled country. It was in this environment that Huber and his contemporaries helped lay the foundations of the Swiss school of graphic design, also known as the International Typographic Style.
When Huber arrived in Milan in December 1940, he could barely speak Italian. But upon examining Huber’s business card, designer Antonio Boggeri discovered that while the elegant card appeared to be printed it was actually meticulously hand-lettered and precisely spaced. Boggeri immediately hired the young upstart.
Due to the war, Huber returned to Switzerland but made Milan his permanent home when the war ended. In the war’s aftermath, people were alienated and shocked by the carnage, destruction, and loss of faith. For Huber this represented a design challenge, an opportunity to restore human faith and values.
Moving forward, Huber integrated photography, painting, illustration, and printing in his work. Lending his work a dynamic, movement-filled quality by mixing typographic elements with photos and color. It also maintains an experimental quality due to his use of colored and geometric shapes.
A freelancer throughout his career he was always able to collaborate with the best due to his unyielding fundamental ideas and consistent execution. He never bowed to fleeting fashion and in retrospect, Huber’s work always utilized strong grids and clear hierarchies to maintain its clear, rhythmic, rational construction.
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