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The main poster designed for Open Switzerland

What is Switzerland? Let’s open it and find out

Open Switzerland is a conceptual design project born from the merger of GVA Studio with Base to create BaseGVA in Geneva Switzerland. Comprising an interactive website and a custom-made « neutral » typeface, the project aims to rethink and play with iconic Swiss imagery and values. It ended up sparking a debate about what it means to challenge a country’s identity, and in the case of Switzerland, its very reason for being.

The core visual identity designed for Open Switzerland

How open is Switzerland to the rest of the world today? Does it deserve to be called Europe’s walled fortress? What image does it evoke with its banking secrecy and financial scandals? Switzerland has historically chosen, rightly or wrongly, isolation in the heart of Europe. It shocked the world by banning minarets. While some think of Switzerland as too slow in developing international policies, others are convinced that the country is increasingly receptive to foreign influences. Whatever one’s position, how the world perceives Switzerland was a question we wanted to address head-on.

Hervé Rigal, Partner

The interactive aspect of the project is very important. We want people to react and develop their own thoughts, expressed though digital posters. The user-friendly OpenSwitzerland website allows everyone to contribute!

Anthony Franklin, Partner & Design Director
Another set of posters designed for Open Switzerland branding
Set of posters designed for Open Switzerland branding

We designed the first series of posters to initiate the debate. It resulted in more than a thousand contributions in the days following the launch.

Anthony Franklin, Partner & Design Director
Font cards designed for Open Switzerland

How to explore the concept of neutrality in typography? We asked typographer Matthieu Cortat of Nonpareille to blend 6 typefaces (Helvetica, Futura, Akzidenz, Avenir, Arial and Century Gothic) and find a perfect consensus. From this, our Basetica was born! You can download it for free on www.openswitzerland.org.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner
Set of posters for the visual identity of Open Switzerland
A funny poster designed for Open Switzerland