Exhibition information

kyoto ddd gallery The 228th Exhibition try try try: helmut schmid typography

April 03, 2021 - July 10, 2021

designed by Nicole Schmid
designed by Nicole Schmid
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Typographer and designer Helmut Schmid carried the tradition and ever-spreading post-war influence of Swiss typography to Osaka, where he settled and continued to work. A retrospective exhibition of this scale, presenting and overview of the practices and activities that have influenced a growing number of designers both in Japan and internationally, has never been attempted before.
Schmid first came to Japan in 1966 as a young man 24 years of age who had studied under Emil Ruder and others in Basel. With a strong desire to explore design with letters, he sought to continue Ruder’s philosophy in Japan. After returning to Europe once, he came back to Japan in 1977. Until his unfortunate passing in 2018, his large body of work covered both commercial and private work and confronts the duality of informative and free form. All his life, Schmid continued to create, think and show his work to both friends and rivals around the world. 
This exhibition covers a multitude of work, both well-known and obscure, and the people he was fortunate to encounter along the way. Schmid has left these footprints in the form of helmut schmid typography-humanistic and personal till the very end.
We have released an Introdution Video of Exhibition, try try try: helmut schmid typography. [EN sub]
Release of the video, "on Helmut Schmid". (Japanese and English)
Release - try try try: helmut schmid typography 3D Walkthrough


Helmut Schmid
Born in Austria in 1942. Completing a compositor apprenticeship in West Germany, he studied under Emil Ruder – the master of modern typography – Robert Büchler, and Kurt Hauert at AGS (The Basel School of Design) in Switzerland. After passing through Basel, West Berlin, Stockholm, Montreal, Vancouver and Düsseldorf, he finally settled down in Osaka in 1977. Schmid’s work ranges various fields including editorial design, packaging of ethical drugs and visual identity for brands such as Pocari Sweat sports drink (Otsuka Pharmaceutical), MAQuillAGE (Shiseido) and IPSA. He also produced independent publications in parallel, such as Typographic Reflections. Schmid taught at Kobe Design University from 2000 to 2010, and Hongik University in Seoul for a year and a half from 2006. He passed in 2018.

Exhibition planning

Hirofumi Abe (print gallery tokyo)
Nicole Schmid (helmut schmid design)
Chikako Tatsuuma

Exhibition design

Tetsuya Hasegawa (H TE ARCHITECTS)


DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion


Goethe-Institut Osaka Kyoto
Embassy of Switzerland in Japan


Shoyo Sangyo Co., Ltd.

Venue and dates

Opening hours 11:00—19:00
*Until 18:00 on Saturdays and Sunday, July 4.
Closed Sundays, Mondays and public holidays
*Special opening Sunday, July 4.
Free admission