Max Huber

Max Huber was an influential Swiss twentieth century graphic designer.

Max Huber was born in Baar, Switzerland in 1919. He graduates from Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich under Hans Williman. In his formative years he meets Werner Bischof, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Carlo Vivarelli and Hans Falk.

Max Huber

 

Max Huber

 

Max Huber

His career begins in 1935 in Zurich where he works for an advertising agency and later with Emil Schultness at Conzett&Huber. He meets Max Bill and Hans Neuburg.

With the beginning of the World War II – in order to avoid being drafted in the Swiss army – he moves to Milan to join the Studio Boggeri. But Italy enters the war in 1941 and Huber is forced back to Switzerland where he begins a collaboration with Werner Bischof and Emil Schultness for the influential art magazine Du.

Max Huber

He joins the group Allianz and, in 1942, he exhibits his abstract work at the Kunsthaus Zurich with Max Bill, Leo Leuppi, Richard Lohse and Camille Graeser.

With the end of the war is back in Milan. The Italian publisher Einaudi appoints him to creative director for the publishing house. The job puts him in contact with the post-war Italian intelligentsia: Cesare Pavese, Natalia Ginzburg, Elio Vittorini, Franco Fortini, Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni and Albe Steiner.

The following years are marked by some of his most iconic and influential designs. With Albe Steiner he works for the VIII Triennale di Milano. A keen jazz fan himself, he designs a series of stunning records covers, music magazines and the set stage for a jazz festival. He meets Louis Armstrong. In 1948 he designs the seminal poster for the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza Grand Prix and two years later the corporate identity for the supermarket chain La Rinascente. With Achille Castiglioni he designs large-scale installations for RAI, Eni and Montecatini.

In 1954 is awarded the prestigious Compasso d’oro and in 1958 he travels to the US as a speaker to the First International Seminar on Typography (New York Art Directors Club).

In 1965 the Nippon Design Committee organised an exhibition of his work at Matsuya Design Gallery in Tokyo. This trip is the beginning of the designer close tie with Japan that will culminate with marrying the artist and illustrator Aoi Kono.

Max Huber

In his later years he alternates commercial commissions, personal visual experimentation with teaching graphic design at Scuola Umanitaria in Milan, at Scuola Politecnica di Design also in Milan and finally at CSIA (Centro Scolastico Industrie Artistiche) in Lugano.

He died in Sagno, a small village on the Swiss-Italian border, in 1992.

m.a.x.museo, a museum dedicated to his name and preserving his personal archive, is opened in Chiasso in 2005.


RECOMMENDED READING

 

 Max Huber Paperback – March 30, 2011
 

Max Huber by Stanislaus von Moos (Author), Mara Campana (Contributor), Giampiero Bosoni (Contributor) //ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=historygraphi-20&l=am2&o=1&a=0714861103

"Max Huber (1919-92) is one of the most significant graphic designers of the twentieth century. In this comprehensive monograph, the first to be published on this major figure, the authors trace and illustrate Huber's entire career, from his early years in Switzerland to his more mature work in Italy." "Huber's style assimilated the teachings of the early modern masters, such as Max Bill and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, combining their principles with the enormous variety of cultural influences present in vibrantpost-war Milan. This fully illustrated survey of his work demonstrates that Huber was among the first to apply the aesthetics of the avant garde to a corporate and commercial environment, creating formal solutions that he would go on to use throughout his life. Among the 450 illustrations in this book (the majority of which were never published before) are examples of his celebrated posters for the Monza races, his jazz record covers and book series for major Italian publishers, which remain appreciated today as superb examples of their genres." "Some of Huber's most enduring achievements were on a completely different scale and remain in the collective memory of generations and on the streets of Italy: his logo design for the department store La Rinascente and the supermarket chain Esselunga, were so influential as to change the public's perception of these two popular stores and, moreover, the visual landscape of Milan itself." "The three expert authors of this book (Stanislaus von Moos, Mara Campana and Giampiero Bosoni) were privileged to have the full support of Huber's widow, Aoi Kona, who granted them unrestricted access to the renowned archive of Huber's work that is now housed in the m.a.x.Museo, in Chiasso, Switzerland. This wide-ranging and exhaustively researched book demonstrates the importance of this fascinating and influential figure in the history of modern graphic design."--BOOK JACKET.

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