Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited

Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited

The research project Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited is divided into three sub-projects: ‘Principles of Education’, ‘Networks of Practice’ and ‘Strategies of Dissemination’. This three-year project is the biggest research collaboration established in the design field since the SNSF began its activities.

Research project (2021)

Swiss graphic design and typography are representative of Swiss culture, but have themselves also had an impact on this country’s national identity. In the SNSF project Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited, seven universities engage in joint research into the status of Swiss graphic design from today’s perspective. Coordinated by the Bern University of the Arts, researchers of the universities of applied sciences from Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, and Zurich, as well as from the University of Bern are participating.
In the three sub-projects, mixed groups of researchers from the different institutions investigate into different aspects of Swiss graphic design – its teaching, its networks and its forms of publication.

The result is a critical contribution to our understanding of the emergence and current self-perception of Swiss graphic design and typography. Above and beyond this, the project helps to consolidate ‘design history’ as a field of research and practice in Switzerland, and provides new, relevant findings for the international scholarly discourse on visual communication.

Main applicants

HKB – Haute école des arts de Berne
Arne Scheuermann
Michael Renner
Sarah Owens
Peter J. Schneemann

Research team

Co-coordinators and researchers
Davide Fornari
Robert Lzicar

Chiara Barbieri
Rudolf Barmettler
Roland Früh
Jonas Niedermann
François Rappo

Doctoral students
Jonas Berthod
Sandra Bischler
Constance Delamadeleine
Ueli Kaufmann
Sarah Klein
Sara Zeller


FHNW HGK – Academy of Art and Design Basel
HKB – Berne University of the Arts (Main applicant)
University of Berne, Institute of Art History
HEAD – Genève – Geneva School of Art and Design
ECAL – Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne 
SUPSI – University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
ZHdK – Zurich University of the Arts


October 2016 – June 2021

Supported by

SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation)


Davide Fornari, Robert Lzicar, Sarah Owens, Michael Renner, Arne Scheuermann, Peter J. Schneemann (eds.), Swiss Graphic Design Histories, 4 volumes, Zurich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2021.

With contributions from Chiara Barbieri, Rudolf Barmettler, Jonas Berthod, Sandra Bischler, Constance Delamadeleine, Davide Fornari, Roland Früh, Ueli Kaufmann, Sarah Klein, Robert Lzicar, Jonas Niedermann, Sarah Owens, Michael Renner, Peter J. Schneemann, Arne Scheuermann and Sara Zeller.


© ECAL / Niccolò Quaresima
© ECAL / Niccolò Quaresima
© ECAL / Niccolò Quaresima
© ECAL / Niccolò Quaresima