In 1936, Matter was offered roundtrip passage to the United States as payment for his work with a Swiss ballet troupe. He spoke no English, yet traveled across the United States. When the tour was over, he decided to remain in New York. At the urging of a friend who worked at the Museum of Modern Art, Matter went to see Alexey Brodovitch, who had been collecting the Swiss travel posters (two of which were hanging on Brodovitch's studio wall). Matter soon began taking photographs for Harper's Bazaar and Saks Fifth Avenue. Later, he affiliated himself with a photographic studio, "Studio Associates," located near the Condeé Nast offices, where he produced covers and inside spreads for Vogue.
für schöne autofahrten die schweiz, 1934
During World War II, Matter made striking posters for Container Corporation of America. In 1944, he became the design consultant at Knoll, molding its graphic identity for over 12 years.
As Alvin Eisenman, head of the Design Department at Yale and long-time friend, points out: "Herbert had a strong feeling for minute details, and this was exemplified by the distinguished typography he did for the Knoll catalogues."he practically invented the face up poster,
In 1952, he was asked by Eisenman to join the Yale faculty as professor of photography and graphic design. "He was a marvelous teacher," says Eisenman. "His roster of students included some of the most important names in the field today." At Yale, he tried his hand at architecture, designing studio space in buildings designed by Louis Kahn and Paul Rudolf. "He was good at everything he tried to do," continues Eisenman. In 1954, he was commissioned to create the corporate identity for the New Haven Railroad. The ubiquitous "NH" logo, with its elongated serifs, was one of the most identifiable symbols in America.As a photographer, Matter won acclaim for his purely visual approach. These are some of his methods to achieve light and texture:
Manipulation of the negative,
enlarging and light drawing.
check herbert matter's website.