PRINT December 2015


Thierry Blancpain

Die Not hat ein Ende: The Swiss Art of Rock (Edition Patrick Frey), edited by Lurker Grand, explores the role of design in the country’s rock-music history. Taken from a 1962 music poster, the book’s German title (“Need comes to an end,” or, in my translation, “Misery comes to an end”) is fitting. Postwar Switzerland was a dull place for the country’s youth—bars closed early, and dancing was illegal in many establishments—but the rise of a rock underground changed that dire situation. Nearly five hundred pages strong, the book shows the ways in which design can play an integral role in music’s work as one of the main engines of culture. With cameos by H. R. Giger, Peter Fischli, and Düde Dürst, as well as a wealth of beautiful archival material (including color reproductions of posters, flyers, and bags) spanning more than fifty years of Swiss music design, this anthology is at its strongest exploring the small graphic moments that make larger historical movements tangible. A custom-designed typeface and robust layout frame and focus the raucously diverse artwork, making for a joyful read.

Thierry Blancpain is a Swiss graphic designer and the cofounder of Grilli Type, a type foundry based in Zurich.