Has the Maui design community progressed so much as to garner it’s own “design style”? Probably not. However, there are many styles of graphic design that thrive in our literature and marketing material including Hawai’iana, Vintage, Grunge, Retro, Minimalist and Neutral.

A design style that I have not seen enough of around town is what’s commonly known as the Swiss Style. As you might know the Swiss have a reputation for their use of white/negative space in creative art and especially for their talent pool of typographics. Sans-serif fonts like Helvetica were designed by Swiss foundry’s and artists, and have deeply impacted our world with their clean block letters. Here’s a quote from Massimo Vignelli that sums up the design philosophy:

“I don’t think that type should be expressive at all. I can write the word ‘dog’ with any typeface and it doesn’t have to look like a dog. But there are people that [think that] when they write ‘dog’ it should bark.”

Massimo Vignelli in the documentaty Helvetica

If you have Netflix, try adding the documentary “Helvetica” to your queue, a fun and educating doc about type face. To learn more about Swiss Design, I recomend reading this article on Smashing Magazine as it not only covers type face, but swiss style grids and photography.