Armin Hofmann

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Armin Hofmann (HonRDI) is a graphic and logo designer from Switzerland, born on June 29, 1920. In 1947 he commenced his career as a teacher at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel School of Art and Crafts at the age of twenty-six.

At 27, Hoffman had finished his position as apprentice in lithography and had started to teach at the Basel School of Design in typography. Many of his colleagues and pupils were quite essential in adding theories that had been surrounding the Swiss International Style, in which this emphasised belief in the general approach with graphic design.

Hofmann followed Emil Ruder as head of the graphic design department at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel (Basel School of Design) and was instrumental in developing the graphic design style known as the Swiss Style. His teaching methods were unorthodox and broad based, setting new standards that became widely known in design education institutions throughout the world. His independent insights as an educator, married with his rich and innovative powers of visual expression, created a body of work enormously varied – books, exhibitions, stage sets, logotypes, symbols, typography, posters, sign systems, and environmental graphics.

His work is recognized for its reliance on the fundamental elements of graphic form – point, line, and shape – while subtly conveying simplicity, complexity, representation, and abstraction. Originating in Russia, Germany and The Netherlands in the 1920s, stimulated by the artistic avant-garde and alongside the International Style in architecture. He is well known for his posters, which emphasized economical use of colour and fonts, in reaction to what Hofmann regarded as the “trivialization of color.” His posters have been widely exhibited as works of art in major galleries, such as the New York Museum of Modern Art.

He was also an influential educator who retired as of 1987. In 1965 he wrote a popular textbook in the field, titled The Graphic Design Manual.

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