Renowned Type Designer Helmut Schmid Passes Away At Age 76
By Mikelle Leow, 03 Jul 2018
Image via typography today
The design sphere was saddened to hear on Monday that German type designer Helmut Schmid had passed on in Japan. He was 76 years old.
Schmid, who was born in 1942 in Germany, started out apprenticing as a typesetter. In the 1960s, he studied in the Basel School of Design in Switzerland—where he picked up most of his Swiss type sensibilities—under the direction of Emil Ruder, Kurt Hauert and Robert Buchler.
The designer went on to West Berlin and Stockholm, where he created covers for journal Grafisk Revy.
Cover of Grafisk Revy (Scandinavian design journal) by Helmut Schmid, 1965. pic.twitter.com/jCikCQhcKt— Lubalin Center (@lubalincenter) April 8, 2016
Schmid traveled extensively, working in Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Japan, before relocating to his forever home in Osaka in 1977; this was where he developed his iconic aesthetic that blended European and Japanese design approaches.
One of the designer’s most notable works was the brand identity for Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat, which is still in use in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East today.
Image via Pocari Sweat
He was also an avid writer, and penned several essays about typography for global design magazines including Baseline, Idea, and Typografische Monatsblätter, as well as authored numerous internationally-acclaimed books like Typography Today and Helmut Schmid: Design is Attitude.
View some of Schmid’s outstanding typographic pieces, shared by the design community, below.
A post shared by Hans Dieter Reichert (@baselinemagazine) on
RIP Helmut Schmid, 1942–2018 pic.twitter.com/ezMzRb86jm— Michael Bierut (@michaelbierut) July 3, 2018
RIP Helmut Schmid. One of the first designers whose work I really loved and inspired me in my development into design. pic.twitter.com/EMHgrHLZJo— Raf Rennie (@crtk001) July 3, 2018
Strangely the day before Helmut Schmid passed away, I suddenly wanted to order a book designed by him. RIP Helmut Schmid. You’re like a lighthouse to me. pic.twitter.com/aePxASTcmh— Kwang-Su Kim (@vespertines) July 3, 2018
I believe the irregular spacing is a reference to the legendary Pocari Sweat logo by the first weabo designer – Swiss designer Helmut Schmid, who resides in Japan enjoying his retirement rewatching Akira, GitS, NGE, Cowboy Bebop, etc pic.twitter.com/lNFOhJJY6q— Wei (@w__h_) May 8, 2018
[via Baseline Magazine and Designculture, images via various sources]
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