Exhibition information

The 377th Ginza Graphic Gallery Exhibtion What's Karl Gerstner? Thinking in Motion

November 28, 2019 - January 18, 2020

Design: Kijuro Yahagi
Design: Kijuro Yahagi
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In November, ginza graphic gallery (ggg) will hold the first Japanese exhibition to focus exclusively on Karl Gerstner, one of Switzerland's most renowned designers.
In 1965, when design in Japan was still in its infancy, PERSONA, an exhibition featuring 11 young designers was held at the Ginza Matsuya department store. It showcased the work of highly prolific graphic designers who were still barely in their thirties such as Kazumasa Nagai, Ikko Tanaka, Shigeo Fukuda, and Tadanori Yokoo, and during its week-long run attracted an audience of 35,000. Karl Gerstner was one of the 4 foreign guest designers who was invited to take part. 
More than half a century has passed since this legendary exhibition, and ggg believes it is time to focus on the achievements of this individual, and to attempt to understand Karl Gerstner - the man and the creator -  through his work and a wealth of archival material. This exhibition will feature 25 of his sophisticated and timeless advertisements, 9 of his poster masterpieces, as well as the process of how he shaped his CI projects, what he explored in his book  Designing Programmes (1964), and the art that he created alongside his design work - to show the artist, the designer, and his mind.


DNP Ginza Building 1F/B1
7-2, Ginza 7-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
TEL: 03-3571-5206 / FAX: 03-3289-1389
Open hours: 11:00am - 7:00pm.
Closed on Sundays and holidays, from December 27, 2019 to January 6, 2020
Admission free


Swiss National Library, Muriell Gerstner, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich,
Hatje Cantz Publishers, Lars Müller,


Embassy of Switzerland
the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia


Kijuro Yahagi

Gallery Talk

Date: November 28, 2019 (Thu.) 4:00 –5:30pm
Speaker: Susanne Bieri D.Phil.(Head of Prints and Drawings Department, Swiss National Library NL)
Venue: 3F, DNP Ginza Building
Admission free, Reservation required, 70 seats available
* Booking starts from November 5.

Openning Party

Date: November 28, 2019 (Thu.) 5:30 –7:00pm
Venue: ginza graphic gallery / DNP Ginza Bldg. 2F

KARL GERSTNER (1930–2017 / Basel, CH)

From 1945 to 1948, Karl Gerstner completed an apprenticeship in Fritz Bühler's studio and attended courses at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel, where Armin Hofmann and Emil Ruder were his instructors. In 1949 he followed Max Schmid's call and joined the legendary design team of Geigy Pharmaceuticals, where he later met the copywriter and editor Markus Kutter. In 1959 they founded the advertising agency Gerstner + Kutter, which was joined by architect Paul Gredinger and in 1963 became GGK (Gerstner Gredinger Kutter), one of Europe's most successful advertising agencies. Gerstner left the agency in 1970 to focus on his art and on selected design projects. Karl Gerstner had a significant influence on Swiss typography and graphic design. As an artist, he developed a systematic language of colours and forms and pleaded for a correlation between art and everyday life and a functional and aesthetic design of the environment. https://karlgerstner.ch/