08 April 2010

[design] Helveticards - What We Mean When We Say "Swiss Design"

Occasionally the term Swiss design is bandied about, and people who aren't designers feel a bit of eye-glazing coming on. It's kind of like designer cant. And it is, in as much as cant is a way of economizing language and using one apt term to cover a whole school of thought. But it's hardly occult or incomprehensible.

Swiss design is actually best exemplified by the Helvetica font – just enough art, just enough design, not too much and definitely not too little, but certainly the minimum needed to accomplish the design while still having a cool, subtle sense of style and mode. Swiss design is cool without quite being cold, efficient without being inhuman, minimal, airy, straightforward and refreshing.

If you know what Victorian-era design is, in which there was a tinged attenuation in every color, and every embellishment had its own embellishment, then Swiss design is the anit-Victorian. No better example of the moment demonstrates this than the soon-to-be-released Helveticards, by the Gingko studio. Pictured right, the 5 of clubs is the epitome of Swiss design – simple forms, bare but still somehow enaging. Even the club-symbols have gotten a Swiss-style remodel.

The Helveticard deck is available for pre-order at:
… and it'll cost you $10. For art like this – such a deal!

(via Twitterer Jeff Patterson)

No comments: