Max Bill + Karl Gerstner,

Swiss graphics led the international scene after the Second World War. In the 1950s and 1960s the Swiss style, a refined version of the New Typography, had become the universal solution to any visual communication need from book design to poster design to advertising and corporate image. Max Bill and Karl Gerstner, among many others, created a sophisticated language rooted in the avant-garde to communicate with the consumer society.

Modernism and Postmodernism are the driving forces that have shaped 20th century architecture, art and design.

The Modern Movement began at the end of the 19th century, ran vigorously through the century and began to be questioned at the beginning of the 1960s, before finally fading away in the 1990s with the advent of the Internet and the paradigm shift it brought with it.

The book has been the medium and the message of the diverse movements in the arts during the last century. The book, with its emphatic material presence, takes on a special value now that we are witnessing its dematerialization, reduced to digital data in electronic format.

Over the Bookworm sessions we will explore several iconic books that capture the spirit of the era in which they were designed. We will place the books in their context and try to define what makes them relevant in the history of 20th century book design. The Bookworm sessions are guided by Andreu Jansà, librarian and curator of the Enric Bricall Reserve Fund. The books that make up the collection are documented in the main accounts of the history of 20th century graphic design.

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