Rosmarie Tissi: Flexible Postmodernist

Rosmarie Tissi was born in 1937 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and later studied graphic design in Zurich; she still works there today. The influence of the Swiss Style on her posters is evident: she uses strong composition, clean typography and bold colour to catch the eye of passersby. Though she adopts this style as a jumping off point, she puts her unique twist on it by breaking the rules and creating more dynamic designs.

Three years in posters Tissi did for an annual concert - her postmodern influence is evident
Three years in posters Tissi did for an annual concert – her postmodern influence is evident here
A dynamic and experimental poster done in 1991 for a dance company
A dynamic and experimental poster done in 1991 for a dance company

Postmodernism is infamously difficult to define; however, comparing Tissi’s work has been really helpful to me in determining the difference between this and other styles that are similar, such as Modernism.

This is an example of a more Swiss, modernist poster by Tissi, as opposed to postmodernist
This is an example of a more Swiss, modernist style poster by Tissi, as opposed to postmodernist
This piece is an excellent example of Tissi as a postmodernist
This piece is an excellent example of Tissi as a postmodernist
Cover for a printer's promotion for Offset and Fotosatz typefaces
Cover for a printer’s promotion for Offset and Fotosatz typefaces

Tissi is brilliant at laying out type as shapes; also of note are the three typefaces she designed, of which only one is still currently available (Sinaloa, below).

Sinaola typeface designed by Tissi in 1974
Sinaloa typeface designed by Tissi in 1974
Mindanao typeface (1975) designed by Tissi but no longer available
Mindanao typeface (1975) designed by Tissi but no longer available

I am a huge fan of Tissi’s body of work: not only did she enter a male-dominated field and make a name for herself, she also continues to do experimental and compelling work to this day.

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