Research object 04_ Josef Muller-Brockmann

According to previous practical works, my concerns were how the possibility to merge graphic design into interactive ways with my audiences in order to discuss my concept. I changed it from the forms of illustration and a box game to a series of posters. However, I had forgotten that I could understand deeply on a certain form in graphic design in this master degree until my third tutorial in this semester. I got an advice to build up this possibility on poster design that refers to my third practical works. In my experience of a street experiment for this work in last semester, I realized it not only can deliver the information of some Eastern values but also can bring interactive reaction with the viewers. Therefore, I accepted this suggestion. Focusing on poster design would enable me to understand deeply its limitation and make my breakthrough in my master degree.

Thus, I still spent my time on doing my works and partly on exploration of poster design providing its knowledge to advance my creations.

Josef Muller-Brockmann

In the beginning to understand poster design, I took a look at “History of the poster”. (Muller-Brockmann, J. & S., 2004) It describes two importances in poster. Firstly, every poster is based on a message that be noticed by the viewers. As my works, they are those who show information about Eastern values I found in my interview. In addition, no matter what kinds of styles a poster employs, there are three important concerns including lettering, shape and colour. This book gives a variety of classic posters to understand these compositions. Part of those from Josef Muller-Brockmann, one of authors in this book, attracts my attentions. He is one of pioneers showing his influence on Swiss graphic design. ( Catherine et al., 2013) I like his approach to design pictures and sans-serif typography. (Figure 01) The proportions of photographs are measurable. The word descriptions around the edge doesn’t interfere visual domination in black-white images but are still obvious by the utilization of color. The space between captions and a picture strengthens the facial expression. (Figure 02)

As for the figure 03, special effect on image results in interesting arrangement and main visual attraction in words. These collections all remind me how to display the relationship between photos and words, particularly the improvements in first and second posters.

His poster design also influences me on thinking about geometric shapes in my practical works. In the work “Tonhalle/Beethoven”, they play roles in assembling viewer’s sight in words. (Figure 04) As to a series of posters for music viva, Muller-Brockmann employs geometry as the implication of music. (Figure 05) There is also an example how to balance descriptions and graphs. During the research, I try to involve geometric forms instead of pictures into some of my practical works, which become an invisible message.


Catherine, D. S., Muller L., Bettina, R. (2013) Josef Muller-Brockmann. Baden: Lars Muller Publishers.

Diogo Terror (2009) In Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 11 Oct 2016 from

Muller-Brockmann, J. and S. (2004) History of the poster. London: Phaidon.


Figure 01 Automobile-Club. From Poster Collection 25: Josef Muller-Brockmann. pp.41–43.

Figure 02, 03 & 04. Retrieved 11 Oct. 2016 from

Figure 05. Music Viva. From Poster Collection 25: Josef Muller-Brockmann. pp.51–53.