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Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets, 1978–80
Müller-Brockmann + Co.
Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets
Müller-Brockmann + Co.,

Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets,
1978–80

Müller-Brockmann + Co.
*1021
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets Müller-Brockmann + Co. Manual
  • SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets Müller-Brockmann + Co. Manual
  • SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets Müller-Brockmann + Co. Manual
  • SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets Müller-Brockmann + Co. Manual
  • SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets Müller-Brockmann + Co. Manual
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Listen to the text
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In the 1970s, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), under pressure from private road transport, began a policy of expansion. And its graphic identity was finally given its due importance. The SBB’s comprehensive information system rapidly took on international significance.

When Josef Müller-Brockmann (1914–1996) received the commission to design SBB’s visual information system in 1978, the Heitersberg line from Zurich to Lenzburg—the first major new SBB route to be developed in decades—and the new Bern station were only recently operative. The opening of the Kloten Airport railway station was as important as the implementation of the nationwide timetable—which as of 1982 would considerably simplify rail travel. In the 1972 trademark, Hans Hartmann incorporated the Swiss cross while transforming it into a traffic symbol. It conveyed the message that the SBB was a company that belonged to and served the entire nation. In the revised version, Müller-Brockmann softened Hartmann’s austere geometry in order to achieve a more vibrant design in the details of the white double-arrow cross. Now, red “Swiss flag” traffic signs and blue place-name signs were part of station signage throughout the country. They probably even inspired the later federal law that required that the official national flag be “railway” red as well. The signage system also included pictograms, direction arrows, track numbers, and departure display panels, as well as local poster timetables and the comprehensive route guide for private use. As a typeface, SBB required the use of Helvetica in its well-established British Rail version. The set of rules was based on a simple grid and was adaptable to all situations, also thanks to its two upgrades up through 1992. The clarity and consistency of the visual information system also made it possible to intuitively direct the subsequent significantly larger passenger flows. (Andres Janser)

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets, 1978–80
Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockman mit Peter Spalinger
Entwurf Signet: Hans Hartmann (1972)
Auftrag: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, Bern, CH
Material/Technik: Papier, Offsetdruck / Schrift: Helvetica (British Rail)
29.7 x 21 cm
Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Claude Lichtenstein, «Visuelles Informationssystem für die SBB: Müller-Brockmann + Co», in: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Grafik, Zürich 2014, S. 202−203.

Image creditso

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 1.01 Die Konstruktion des SBB Signets, 1978–80, Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockman mit Peter Spalinger, Entwurf Signet: Hans Hartmann (1972), Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 7.2 Schildergrössen für Fassadenschriften, 1978–1980, Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockmann mit Peter Spalinger, Entwurf Signet: Hans Hartmann, Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 2.02 Konstruktionsprinzip der Piktogramme und Gleisnummern, 1978–1980, Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockmann mit Peter Spalinger, Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 2.2.1 Piktogramme, 1978–1980, Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockmann mit Peter Spalinger, Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Blatt aus Manual, SBB CFF FFS – Visuelles Informationssystem in Bahnhöfen und Stationen – 4.1 Schrift Helvetica halbfett (korrigiert) – Gross , Kleinbuchstaben, 1978–1980, Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockmann mit Peter Spalinger, Donation: Shizuko Yoshikawa (Archiv Josef Müller-Brockmann)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Logo (Leuchtkasten), SBB, 1982 (Signet 1972), Gestaltung: Müller-Brockmann + Co., Zürich, CH / Josef Müller-Brockmann mit Peter Spalinger und Uli Huber, Donation: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, SBB, Bern, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Exhibition texto
Swiss Federal Railways SBB, CFF, FSS

In the 1970s, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) adopted a policy of expansion as a result of increasing private road traffic. Josef Müller-Brockmann and Peter Spalinger’s visual information system combined the station signs with the “Swiss flags” logo and added pictograms, directional arrows, track numbers, departure display panels, timetables, and the route book. The design rules are based on a simple grid, making it possible to intuitively direct even today’s increased passenger flows.