Swiss Poster Award
Back in 1930, Swiss graphic design was threatened, on the one hand, by the dictatorship of Hitler and the imposing Heimatstil and on the other hand, by the prevailing American advertising style illustrating American girls with a smile promoting a product.
Hence, Switzerland was seeking a way to move away from the above mentioning influences and to boost the quality of the Swiss poster design.
The answer came from the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, which in collaboration with the General Poster Company, decided to run for the first time in 1941 the Best Poster Award. The grant would be given under the aegis of the Federal Council; the most iconic and awarded posters would be publicly exhibited in all the Swiss large cities. They should, however, fulfill the following criteria: artistic value, effective advertising techniques and quality of printing techniques.
The selected posters satisfied the needs of commerce as well as exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and other cultural events. Their artistic value concerned typography design, realistic representation of products, symbols and abstract photographic representations.
From this very first competition in 1941 up to now, more than approximately 1500 Swiss posters have been awarded for their high quality design and remarkable craftsmanship.