Mixed unframed flat photographic and typographic elements with strips of colour to convey a certain feeling of dynamism and speed. He used recognizable elements in his design, without having them tell a story. His work concentrated on photographic experiments and clear type combined with the use of bold shapes and primary colors.
Stankowski’s photographic and typographical work developed into a prototype for a contemporary advertising style, later called “constructive graphics.”
Armin Hofmann:Josef Muller-Brockmann: Order was always wishful thinking for me. For 60 years I have produced disorder in files, correspondence and books. In my work, however, I have always aspired to a distinct arrangement of typographic and pictorial elements, the clear identification of priorities. The formal organization of the surface by means of the grid, a knowledge of the rules that govern legibility (lines length, word and letter spacing and so on) and the meaningful use of color are among the tools a designer must master in order to complete his or her task in a rational and economic matter.
YSS: What do you regard as your best work?
JMB: The white reverse sides of my posters!
YSS: What was your most creative period?
JMB: My most creative period was in fact the worst because at that time my work was still illustrative. But this period of discovery and clarification eventually led to the rich productivity of my 40s.
YSS: You were influenced by Carl Jung, but then lost interest. Why was that?
JMB: As a young man I was intrigued not only by psychology but also by graphology. When I met people who interested me I would read their handwriting and was rarely wrong in my judgments. But this gift began to disturb me, especially in my dealings with clients, where it would unnecessarily prejudice discussion. So I abandoned it overnight. Later I paid the price for giving up these analysis when I took on partners and employees whose handwriting would have given me an early warning of trouble ahead.
Hofman's style of design focused on communication above all else. He used diverse techniques such as photo-typesetting, photo-montage and experimental composition and heavily favored sans-serif typography.
To understand de Harak's influence on graphic design during the Sixties it is necessary to know that the McGraw-Hill paperbacks were emblematic of that period. They were based on the most contemporary design systems, and were unique compared to other covers and jackets in the marketplace. At this time the International Style and American Eclecticism were the two primary design methodologies at play in the United States. The former represented Bauhaus rationalism, the latter Sixties exuberance. De Harak was profoundly influenced by the exquisite simplicity of the great Swiss Modernist, Max Bill, but as an American he wanted to find a vehicle for somehow reconciling these two conflicting sensibilities.