Karl Gerstner was born on July 2nd, 1930 in Basel Switzerland. His childhood dream was to be a chemist but his parents couldn’t afford to pay for the tuition. With great disappointment, he turned his attention to arts. He then joined one of the drawing competitions and winning the first prize.
He began his career by attending an introductory course at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule. In 1946, he began his apprenticeship at Fritz Büler’s studio in Basel. He stayed there for 3 years and met Max Schmid who later became his mentor. He was highly influenced by Armin Hofmann and Emil ruder. “It was under them that I learned the craft of the black art, to work with lead and typesetter’s hook. But that was not all. This universally educated man also taught art history from his own unique perspective, which was less concerned with the immortal masterpieces of art than with the culture’s consume goods.”
In 1959, he opened an agency along side with Markus Kutter in Basel. In 1962, the agency expanded and the name changed from Gerstner+Kutter agency to GGK (Gerstner, Gredinger, Kutter). In the end of the 60’s Gerstner resigned and devoted himself as an artist.
All the posters of the advertising that he designed still look very fresh. The big size of the image and type was displayed in the very sophisticated ways. It makes all his posters are very memorable. Wonderful layout with different kind of sizes in the spread made his book design looks very special. I have been looking for Schiff nach Europa for quite so long but of no luck getting the book. Most of his books are out of stock and only Designing Programmes which is just recently re-published by Lars Mullers is in the market.
Source of the images: Karl Gerstner