In 2014 Image Now Gallery celebrated the reprint of the iconic Swiss graphic design magazine Neue Grafik by Lars Müller Publishers.
Image Now Gallery hosted its first design exhibition back in 2004: forty-eight posters, josef müller-brockmann. Over the course of its curation we became intrigued by the magazine Neue Grafik, arguably the most important design journal of its day. Published in Zürich between 1958–65, the magazine ran for eighteen issues only, the last of which, was produced nearly fifty years ago.
The work that featured in the pages of Neue Grafik signalled something of a ‘year zero’ for graphic design. This was more than just logical progression, this was a forceful reaction to what the editors perceived to be poor standards of quality. Through their own tenacity and deftness, they demonstrated that this new attitude had endless possibilities and universal applications. The attitudes that united the magazine’s four editors (Richard Lohse, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Hans Neuburg and Carlo Vivarelli) back in the Fifties have been apparent in every era since: a striving for products and communications that are pure in form and void of all decoration.
The ‘mathematical clarity’ Hans Neuburg claimed characterised their work could be used to describe so much good design today, not in a retro way, but in a vital, progressive way. This is just one form of design, however, and a reaction against this form was inevitable, given that new forms will always emerge. But what the editors of Neue Grafik believed in was more than a movement: it was, and is, a valid form of design. And one that will endure for centuries to come.