Graphis, The International Journal of Visual Communication, was first published in 1944 by Walter Herdeg and Dr. Walter Amstutz in Zurich, Switzerland. Graphis presented the work of fine artists and illustrators, and gradually presented the formative years of graphic design as we know it today. Advertising and photography were also featured, and Walter selectively chose what he felt to be the best talent of the time. Walter was invited into the Alliance Graphique International in 1952 and, that same year, introduced the Graphis Annual. In 1964, following a split from Dr. Walter Amstutz, Walter Herdeg officially became the sole publisher of Graphis. In 1966, he introduced the Graphis Photo Annual, followed in 1973 by the Graphis Poster Annual. During Walter’s reign, Graphis became one of the classiest publications available, as a result of his impeccable care and good taste.
Walter was also joined by his son, Marcel Herdeg, who successfully took over the business aspect of Graphis so that Walter could concentrate on the design and production of the magazine and books. In 1986, with the help of Marcel, Walter sold the company to B. Martin Pedersen. A few years later, the Graphis headquarters were relocated from Zurich to New York City. The Annuals were redefined and new books were added to the Graphis roster.