Typographische Monatsblätter cover

Cover of Swiss typographic magazine “Typographische Monatsblätter”

Emil Ruder fervently believed that typography should prioritize communication through the written word above any other principle of design. Although graphic design is largely based on aesthetic elements, the motivation behind the aesthetic choices comes down to one purpose: to share and spread ideas. For this book cover design, Ruder chose to disregard the complexities that usually go into designing a cover in favor of a more simplistic approach. Rather than using visuals on the cover to emphasize the focus of the book, Ruder decided to let the content speak for itself by picking a solid but vibrant red to take up the whole front of the publication. This particular design was created for the Typographic, a publication that Ruder regularly contributed to. Designed in 1953, the vibrant red cover is accompanied by an off-white panel down the left side that features the name of the publication, the date, and the issue number. This cover aligns with Ruder’s principles of design because it follows a strict grid layout and utilizes the technique of asymmetry. 

This issue of Typographische Monatsblätter was dedicated to proofing in the print industry. The simplicity of this cover clearly demonstrated the principles of simplicity, asymmetry, and clear communication that Ruder himself valued so deeply. Each of these design elements became an integral part of the style that Ruder had a heavy hand in developing- The Swiss Style. Book covers such as this one allowed for this style to be seen and spread outside of Switzerland. The style gained much traction in the 1950s and was internationally acclaimed by the 1960s. 


TypeRoom. (2020, March 13). In grid WE Trust: Emil Ruder aka the ICONIC pioneer of Swiss style. Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://www.typeroom.eu/in-grid-we-trust-emil-ruder-aka-the-iconic-pioneer-of-swiss-style