Martin Peikert was born in Zug in Switzerland, and graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva in 1921. After travelling to Paris, Stuttgart and Hamburg, he settled in Geneva, where he became a freelance graphic artist and painter in 1927.
Peikert’s tourism posters of the 1920s had a clear, memorable style that was greatly influenced by Art Deco — his cow logo for Villars chocolate became famous. In the 1940s he created images that were notable for their playful tone, promoting winter sports in the Valais and the Bernese Oberland.
Legendary graphic designer Walter Herdeg is best remembered as the founder of Graphis — the international magazine widely credited with shaping contemporary design culture. Launched in 1944, the publication provided a forum for new ideas and techniques, featuring contributions from designers across the globe. The feat was remarkable, not least because Herdeg trained before the establishment of formal design schools.
Herdeg’s own designs were notable for the innovative techniques they employed, combining photographic images with typefaces inspired by handwriting. His travel posters advertising the luxury resort of St. Moritz became particularly well known — many featuring a burst of sun still used as the resort’s logo today.
Like Herdeg and the influential Herbert Matter, Alex Walter Diggelmann was born in Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1902. An adept orienteer, balloonist and crossbowman, he was also one of the country’s most celebrate graphic designers, creating striking posters that advertised resorts across the country.
Diggelmann was the official designer for the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, creating the event’s poster and special celebratory stamps. His artwork won no fewer than three Olympic Gold medals, which until 1952 were also awarded for paintings, sculpture, architecture, literature and music inspired by sport. Diggelmann is also the designer of the UEFA Cup trophy, now awarded to the winners of the UEFA Europa League, which weighs 15kg and, unusually, has no handles.
Otto Baumberger, who was born in 1889, was one of the first Swiss artists to work as a full-time poster designer, creating more than 200 designs from the beginning of his career, in 1911. Often referred to as the ‘spiritual father’ of the Swiss poster, he produced some of the earliest examples of tourism-focused posters in the country.
Baumberger is also credited with sparking the rise of the Sachplakat, or object poster. Primarily used in advertising, the simplified design tended to focus on a single object shown in realistic detail; Baumberger’s precise rendering of a herringbone winter coat for PKZ became an instant classic.
Although he initially studied law at university in his native Bern, Emil Cardinaux had shown a talent for drawing from a young age, and left for Munich in 1898 to pursue artistic training. There he studied under the influential German Symbolist painter Franz von Stuck, whose other students included Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.
Cardinaux travelled widely, touring Italy and France, where he discovered the work of avant-garde and Impressionist painters. Switzerland, however, remained close to his heart, and he returned to the county regularly, building a studio overlooking the Bernese Alps. Having mastered lithography in Munich, Cardinaux turned to poster design, creating striking designs notable for their style and simplicity.
Born in Munich in 1878, Carl Moos moved to Zurich in 1916, creating striking posters that advertised resorts ranging from Davos to St. Moritz. In 1928 his work promoting the country’s winter Olympics received a silver medal.
Moos’s influence on graphic design was significant: prior to leaving his native Germany, he became a founding member of ‘Die Sechs’, a German association of artists dedicated to the promotion of commercial art.
Paris-born Roger Broders became one of the most prolific poster designers of the 1930s, creating sun-soaked advertisements for French resorts including Marseille and Cannes, as well as posters aimed at luring the viewer farther afield, to locations including Rome, Tunis and Florence.
His depictions of Swiss ski resorts are no less celebrated. ‘Roger Broders stands out from the crowd,’ notes French art critic Alain Weill. ‘His rich palette is just as capable of capturing the midday sun (Côte d’Azur, Saint Maxime, etc) as it is the chill of mountain peaks (Chamonix, Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse) and doesn’t shy away from boldness in its layout (Tour du Mont-Blanc).'