Georg Staehelin was born September 13, 1942 in Basel, Switzerland. He studied under Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder at the Allegemeine Gewerbeschule Basel from 1958 to 1963 in the “Fachklasse fuer Grafik” (Basel School of Design, Class for Graphic Design). Armin Hofmann once said, “the intelligence and accurateness of his dealing with letter forms indicates his knowledge of the laws of typography without losing the creative freedom attached to the choice and the creation of words.” After graduation he worked with Gérard Ifert in Paris and Basel, 1963 to 1964. He moved to Amsterdam to work from 1964 to 1966 for Total Design, which had just been founded by Wim Crouwel, Benno Wissing, Friso Kramer and Dick Schwarz and Paul Schwarz. Between 1966 and 1969 worked with Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes in London and later became a designer and partner at Pentagram. In 1977 he established his own studio and has received various design awards for his work. He taught at the Zurich School of Design, “Fachklasse für Fotografie” (Class for Photography), 1977 to 1990. He lives and works in Ottenbach near Zurich.
Below from Playfully Rigid: Swiss Architecture, Graphic Design, Product Design 1950-2006 by Claude Lichtenstein
Georg Staehelin is an eminent conceptualist. He pursues the form to fit the content, that is to say: the form of the content. What the content is becomes completely clear only after its form has been found. The poster for the 1998 exhibit "Netto. Nlchts als lnhalt" (Museum fOr Gestaltung, Basel) is a literally striking example of this maxim. Staehelin again and again creates both a riddle and its answer. His works are an expression of essentialization, manifestations of the search for personal realization - the process of realization itself and an overture of communication to the public. The impatient sometimes say one must be able to grasp a poster in the space of two seconds. Dear people, Staehelin requires more of your time, but it is overtime that is well invested (to stay with the terminology); Staehelin draws the observer into the image creation process, where one forgets to count the seconds. As a designer, he searches for the key to unlock the contents of a topic and leaves it within the observer's reach. It is the observer's job to take this key, put it in the lock and turn lt.
Staehelin is a student of Armin Hofmann - one of those students who does not formally or stylistically continue Hofmann's approach, but rather carries on his manner of thinking. Whether one comes across Staehelin's work for the furniture manufacturer Lehni, for Wohnbedarf Zurich, or for the St. Gallon fashion label Akris - his prints always encompass the utmost of exactitude. They have enormous powers of persuasion, are printed on heavy quality paper, are rhythmically structured, accentuated by a clear arrangement of form, color, and space, boasting white whites, red reds, and black blacks.