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Biography of Otto Baumberger (1889-1961)

Affectionately referred to as the "spiritual father of the Swiss poster", Otto Baumberger helped to found the Swiss schools of graphic design in the early 1900's and eventually spawned the style of the "Swiss object" poster in the 1930's.

Preceeded and perhaps inspired by phenomenal Swiss poster designers Grasset and Steinlen, Baumberger made his first posters in 1911, at the age of 22. Soon after, he began doing important work for the Swiss theatre. He is said to have inspired the Swiss travel poster, and along with his colleagues, trademarked the new concepts of design simplicity and "Photographic Realism".

Education and learning played a large role in Baumberger's life. He began by mastering the skill of lithography while attending a course with Eduard Stiefel at the Applied Arts School in Zurich. In 1908 Baumberger began design study at the Munich Academy, and in 1911, was employed as a lithographer by J.E. Wolfensberger, where he later became a partner.

From 1920-1932, at the height of his career, Baumberger became a professor of lithography and drawing at the Applied Arts School of Zurich, finishing his career in education as the faculty chairman and professor at the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich. Baumberger proved himself to be one of the true masters of "object identification" and typography as exemplified by his posters, "PKZ" and "Brak Liquer".