Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1908. After an apprenticeship between 1924 and 1927 in Zurich, Max Bill studied at Bauhaus under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Initially, he worked mainly as a painter, however, after 1929 he became a sculptor, graphic designer, and architect, as well as an industrial design. Max Bill among others is known as one one of the Swiss designers to start experimenting with typography and photo-montage
After the second world war the Swiss Grid Style, also known as the International Typographic Style was developed by Swiss designers, such as Armin Hofmann, Josef Müller Brockmann, Max Bill, Richard P Lohse, Hans Neuberg, and Carlo Vivarelli who began to experiment with typography and photo-montage. Characterized by a cold, emotionally sterile grid style; they used structured layout, and unjustified type, that became very influential in the mid twentieth century and influenced a vast audience. These pioneering graphic artists saw design as part of industrial production and searched for anonymous, objective visual communication. They chose photographic images rather than illustration, and typefaces that were industrial-looking rather than those designed for books.
Bill is widely considered the single most decisive influence on Swiss graphic design beginning in the 1950s with his theoretical writing and progressive work. His connection to the days of the Modern Movement gave him special authority. As an industrial designer, his work is characterized by a clarity of design and precise proportions. Examples are the elegant clocks and watches designed for Junghans , a long-term client. Among Bill’s most notable product designs is the “Ulmer Hocker” of 1954, a stool that can also be used as a shelf element or a side table. Although the stool was a creation of Bill and Ulm school designer Hans Gugelot, it is often called “Bill Hocker” because the first sketch on a cocktail napkin was Bill’s work.