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Karl Gerstner’s work is a milestone in the history of design. Designing Programmes is one of his most important works: in four essays, the author provides a basic introduction to his design methodology and suggests a model for design in the early days of the computer era. The book is especially topical and exciting in the context of current developments in computational design. With many examples from the worlds of graphic and product design, music, architecture, and art, it inspires the reader to seize on the material, develop it further, and integrate it into his or her own work.
Designing Programmes was first published in 1964; in 2007 Lars Müller Publishers launched a re-designed version. This 2019 release of Designing Programmes is a facsimile of the original edition of the book, designed by Karl Gerstner.
- Karl Gerstner, Switzerland (1964)
- 18 × 25 cm, 7 × 9 ¾ in
- 96 pages, 175 illustrations
From 1945 to 1948, Karl Gerstner (1930–2017, Basel, CH) completed an apprenticeship in Fritz Bühler's studio and attended courses at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel, where Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder were his instructors. In 1949 he followed Max Schmid's call and joined the legendary design team of Geigy Pharmaceuticals, where he later met the copywriter and editor Markus Kutter. In 1959 they founded the advertising agency Gerstner + Kutter, which was joined by architect Paul Gredinger and in 1963 became GGK (Gerstner Gredinger Kutter), one of Europe's most successful advertising agencies. Gerstner left the agency in 1970 to focus on his art and on selected design projects. Karl Gerstner had a significant influence on Swiss typography and graphic design. As an artist, he developed a systematic language of colors and forms and pleaded for a correlation between art and everyday life and a functional and aesthetic design of the environment.