Paul Brühwiler (1939)

Paul Brühwiler was born in Lucerne, where he learned the graphic design trade under Werner Hofmann at Werner Küng’s studio. In 1960 he moved to Paris, where he continued to develop his career under Albert Hollenstein, at the Dorland & Grey advertising agency and at the publishing house Condé Nast. He moved to the USA in 1965, working for Saul Bass in Los Angeles and later in the studio of Charles and Ray Eames, before going on to open his own design studio. In 1973 he returned to Switzerland, where, from his studio in Küsnacht, he created art for Schweizer Fernsehen and various museums, as well as designing an outstanding series of posters for the Filmpodium in Zurich. After spending some more time in Los Angeles, studying filming there from 1976 to 1978, he returned to Switzerland to take up a position as a lecturer at the university of art and design in Lucerne, a post he held for many years. In 1984 he moved away from commercial graphic design, turning instead to freelance drawing and painting.

Brühwiler was a prolific poster designer during the time he spent in Switzerland – this medium dominated his work, but his designs were always highly individual and no two pieces were the same. The spontaneity of his painting style is a common thread through his work, characterising many of his posters. In contrast, his work with photography and typography was always incredibly diverse. With his unconventional, often audacious artistic form of expression, Paul Brühwiler is one of the most important Swiss poster designers of recent decades.