It is hard to find better advertising than the "object
posters" created in Basel in the '40s and '50s by Donald Brun, Herbert
Leupin, Niklaus Stoecklin and Peter Birkhauser. Brun's poster for the successful
Czech shoe manufacturer is surely one of the most arresting posters of its genre.
The object poster was especially suited to lithography,
where brilliant color and richness in texture could make objects look real. The
Swiss had a passion for this style, perhaps because of their love of precision,
but also because it could be understood by everyone -- not a simple task in a
country with four national languages. The object poster died in the late '50s as
lithography gave way to lower quality offset printing and photographic posters. Like most of Brun's work, Bata combines gentle humor
with breathtaking graphic skill. It reveals the artist's uncanny ability to
focus on one irresistible image which could be absorbed in a second and
remembered for a lifetime. Along with Herbert Leupin, Brun should be considered
a successor to Leonetto Cappiello, the father of modern advertising who
specialized in product posters (considered by many the most challenging poster
assignment). Brun studied and worked in Basel his entire career (he is almost 90 today).
Many of his posters, including Bata, garnered Swiss Poster of the Year awards.