Helmut Schmid: Gestaltung ist Haltung / Design is attitude


Gejko, Fjodor – Malsy, Victor – Teufel, Philipp (eds.)


Birkhäuser Verlag AG, Basel. 2007. 344 pages. Square 4to (24 x 24 cm). Stiff, printed wrapper with deep folding flaps. Extensively illustrated in colour and b/w. English and German text. Loosely inserted a business card (Robert Steiger) and a hand written correspondence card: ”13/3/2007 Dear Henrik [Nygren], May I hope that this Sample of Birkhäuser’s recent production will find your interest… With my best regards! Robert [Steiger]”.

A typographer and graphic designer, Helmut Schmid has gained a reputation for an important body of work which he created in Japan predominantly. Having trained with Swiss typographer Emil Ruder at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, the influence of Ruder and the school has been evident in Schmid’s work, including acknowledgement in many of his publications.

Schmid attended the Schule für Gestaltung Basel on two separate occasions. During his second period of study, between 1964 and 65, he was admitted to an exclusive, small class lead by Emil Ruder and Robert Büchler, where he developed a unique personal approach. Following his studies, he became a successful exponent of Swiss typography, sharing his expertise readily with an international audience.

Having worked extensively around the world, predominantly in Germany, Sweden, Canada, and Japan, Schmid established himself in Osaka in 1977, where he worked with and collaborated with numerous local designers and companies. His European design approach combined with the influence of Japanese culture lead to the creation of artworks of a harmonious cultural exchange—perhaps due to similar inclinations within the two cultures towards the use of space. However, it was during an earlier visit to Japan that Schmid created one of his most well known works: Katakana Eru, a syllabary face crafted in honor of Ruder between 1967 and 70.


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