Internnational Style

Design Friday, Jost Holuchi

This Friday I wanted to focus on the work of brilliant Swiss Typographer Jost Holuchi. Well known, both as a typographer and as a writer. Holuchi has come to represent what is called the “Third Way” in Swiss typography: neither purely “Constructive” – in the grid structural manner popularised by designers like Joseph Müller-Brockmann – nor symmetric and traditional, like the late work of Jan Tschichold, his work engaged both and added an organic quality that tended to soften what is sometimes considered harsh and sterile with Swiss typographic design.

Hochuli’s training was eccentric. Many of Switzerland’s most brilliant designers began their working life in the printing industry. Hochuli did the opposite, studying graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule St. Gallen. Holuchi completed his education in 1958–9 in Adrian Frutiger’s class at the Ecole Estienne. After graduating Holuchi then qualified as a designer before training as a compositor with the printer Zollikofer and at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich.

American Club cigarettes, 1961, Jost Hochuli

Since the mid 1960’s Holuchi has practised as a freelance graphic designer, eventually specializing in book design. In 1979 he co-founded the co-operatively run publishing company VGS Verlagsgemeinschaft St. Gallen, for which much of his book design work has been done.

Holuchi has taught at the design universities in Zurich and then St. Gallen since 1967. As writer and editor, Holuchi’s books include Das Detail in der Typografie (1987, revised edition 2005; an English-language edition, Bücher machen (1989), Buchgestaltung in der Schweiz (1993), Designing books: practice and theory (1996), _Jost Hochuli: Drucksachen, vor allem Bücher_ (2002).

Holuchi has edited and designed the annually published ‘Typotron’ series of booklets (1983–98) and the Edition ‘Ostschweiz’ (from 2000 to present).

The images from “Typotron 15. Typografisches Allerlei”, below represent a fine example of his design style and Asthetic.

Additional examples of Jost Hochuli’s work.