We encounter graphic design every day – whether in magazines and books, on posters or on the internet. From 22 October 2016 to 8 January 2017, Vitra Design Museum shows the exhibition »ECAL Graphic Design. Type, Print, Digital, Stories« at the Gallery. The ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne has long been recognised as a world reference in terms of graphic design. Be it the design of books, catalogues, magazines or posters – ECAL students are able to embrace all facets of the discipline.
This success is largely based on a unique framework of workshops allowing students to learn directly from leading Swiss or international graphic designers such as Ludovic Balland, Bibliothèque, Mirko Borsche, Veronica Ditting and NORM. The exhibition and accompanying book »ECAL Graphic Design« look at projects developed in the Graphic Design Bachelor’s and the Art Direction Master’s programmes at ECAL over the course of five years.
At the centre of the exhibition are typographical works. They show the various ways in which type can be used as an independent tool in visual designs. Full-tone colour fields, geometrical forms, patterns and symbols as well as grids also figure in the canon of traditional basics in graphic design. These typical features are transformed by the students using multimedia and digital technology. Discourses in current design are shown in their different facets and interpreted – an approach that results in expressive visual storytelling.
In addition to the students’ output, the exhibition shows the context in which ECAL designers work. Swiss education in graphic design is internationally renowned and builds on a long tradition. In interviews, professors and lecturers speak about this heritage and demonstrate the stance the school and teachers take on history and on current tendencies. A selection of ECAL publications, design compendiums, and introductory volumes on the topic of Swiss graphic design facilitate an understanding of the environment the students work in and from which they develop their own individual stances.