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Pictogram, Poulet, 1975–90
Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Pictogram, Poulet
Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz,

Pictogram, Poulet,
1975–90

Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz
*1019
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
  • Poulet Sammlung Hans-Rudolf Lutz Pictogram
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Listen to the text
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In the years between 1975 and 1990, the visual designer Hans-Rudolf Lutz (1939–1998) collected about 15,000 pictograms on transport packaging from around the world. He was fascinated with their international comprehensibility, which was combined with aesthetic sensuality, innovative ingenuity, and formal reduction. The “hieroglyphics of today,” as he called them, were largely created by craftspeople in the corrugated cardboard industry.

For fifteen years, Hans-Rudolf Lutz collected the pictograms on transport packaging from around the world. They consist of instructions for transportation, company or brand logos, and pictures of either the products themselves or their use or consumption. Lutz initially became aware of the pictograms in 1975, when he worked as a visiting lecturer in Edmonton, Canada. He discovered the quaint symbols on some cardboard boxes put out for garbage collection, and cut them out and saved them. Soon his pastime developed into an obsession: wherever he was, he rummaged through piles of garbage, in the end unearthing a total of 15,000 of these “visual treasures.” In 1990, he self-published a third of them in his book Die Hieroglyphen von heute (Today’s Hieroglyphs). His intention was to provide professional designers with inspiration on how to create internationally comprehensible symbols. As the transport packaging did not have an advertising function, with the exception of fruit and vegetable crates, it was not beholden to any advertising or sales strategy. The symbols were rarely designed by professionals but rather by craftspeople in the corrugated cardboard industry, who proved capable of reducing them to the essential, internationally comprehensible information without detracting from their ingenuity or sensuality—as opposed to professional designers, who, according to Lutz, excessively schematized their pictograms. Nevertheless, their charming simplicity is also a result of flexographic printing, which allows for neither fine lines nor grayscale values. (Barbara Junod)

Piktogramm, Poulet, 1975–90
Gestaltung: unbekannt
Material/Technik: Karton, bedruckt
15 x 11 cm
Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Hans-Rudolf Lutz, Die Hieroglyphen von heute. Zeichen auf Verpackungen für den Transport, D/E/F, 2. Aufl., Zürich 1996 (1990).

Hans-Rudolf Lutz, Ausbildung in typografischer Gestaltung, Zürich 1986, S. 122–131.

Hans-Rudolf Lutz, «Die Verpackung der Verpackung der Verpackung», in: Typografische Monatsblätter 2 (1983), o.S.

Image creditso

Piktogramm, Poulet, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt
Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, No Hook – keine Haken benützen, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Grapefruit, 1975 90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Richtungspfeil nach oben – so transportieren, stellen, öffnen, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Keep Dry –Vor Nässe schützen (Regenschirm), 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Transportanweisung, 1975 –90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Twister, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Ei, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Ei, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Piktogramm, Glas – Achtung zerbrechlich, 1975–90, Gestaltung: unbekannt, Donation: Hans-Rudolf Lutz
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Exhibition texto
The “Hieroglyphics of Today”

From 1975 to 1990, the visual designer Hans-Rudolf Lutz (1939–1998) collected approximately 15,000 pictograms from transport packaging from around the world. He was fascinated by their international readibility coupled with a keen aesthetic sensibility, ingenuity, and formal reduction. The “hieroglyphics of today,” as he calls them, were largely created by craftspeople working in the corrugated cardboard industry.