Ulm und Basel | Dan Friedman

Dan Friedman had his postgraduate education split between too very different graphic design schools, Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm and Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel.[1] Ulm was a high modernist institution while Basel was more intuitive and exuberant.[2] While teaching at Yale, Friedman used his knowledge of the two extremes of design to help formulate projects for his students that helped them breakdown the boundaries between the Ulm style and the Basel style and create something new.[1] Since his time at both schools was instrumental in forming his design philosophies, its important to look at an example from each half of this era to get the whole idea of the foundation for his design.

Ulm Influence


Dan Friedman | Die Normannen Kommen (1968)

Die Normannen Kommen (The Normans are Coming) was a poster made by Friedman, presumably for the showing of a film of the same name that was screening in Ulm.[3] The poster shows the kind of design that Friedman was producing during his time at Ulm with it’s sharp lines, high contrast, and symbolic nature. The words on the poster loosely translate to “The Normans are Coming. Director: Giuseppe Vari, USA 1965. Film Document Registered Association. Friday, 16 February 1968, Auditorium HfG.

Basel Influence


Dan Friedman | Poster (1971)

Friedman’s 1971 poster from his time at Basel shows him shift across the spectrum into a more fantastical, less readable style. While it keeps some of the same ideas of symbolism, it lays the letts over a messy background, orients them in all kinds of ways, and doesn’t have the logical left-to-right top-to-bottom style from Ulm, with its letters scattered all about.


  1. “Die Normannen Kommen (1968) | Poster (1971).” Christopherpullman.com, AIGA, http://christopherpullman.com/home/dan-friedman-radical-modernist/.
  2. Friedman, Dan. “Artsy.” Artsy, AIGA, https://www.artsy.net/artwork/dan-friedman-die-normannen-kommen.
  3. Friedman, Dan. “Artsy.” Artsy, AIGA, https://www.artsy.net/artwork/dan-friedman-typografie.


  1. Dan Friedman.” AIGA. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  2. Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist.” Christopher Pullman. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  3. Dan Friedman | Die Normannen Kommen (1968).” Artsy. AIGA. Retrieved 10 April 2020.

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