The design studio of J. R. Geigy AG was the launching pad for one of the great periods of Swiss graphic design in the 1950s and 1960s. The open corporate culture of the Geigy chemical company in Basel combined product and company advertising in an exemplary way. The resulting works reveal a modernist formal vocabulary without being committed to a specific formulaic look. There was room for visual symbolism as well as the appropriation of nonrepresentational art, with which some of the graphic designers were connected. Directed by Max Schmid for many years, the studio employed, among others, Roland Aeschlimann, Karl Gerstner, Jörg Hamburger, Steff Geissbuhler, Andreas His, Toshihiro Katayama, and Nelly Rudin. Freelance designers such as Michael Engelmann, Gottfried Honegger, Armin Hofmann, Herbert Leupin, Warja Lavater, Numa Rick, and Niklaus Stoecklin were also hired. In the 1960s, members of the Basel office, especially George Giusti and Fred Troller, were involved in developing the studios of subsidiaries in the United States and the United Kingdom, where they increasingly focused on advertising. Geigy design made an important Swiss contribution to the international history of design, and this is the first comprehensive introduction showing its full impact and independent spirit.
Texts by Karin Gimmi, Andres Janser, Barbara Junod, R. Roger Remington, and Yvonne Zimmermann.