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Fritz Gottschalk, FGDC

A leading exponent and proponent of Swiss graphic design and the International Style, Fritz Gottschalk lives and works in Zurich, the city where he was born in 1937.

After attending primary and secondary schools in Zurich 1944-54, Fritz apprenticed as a typographic designer with Orell Füssli Grafische Betriebe AG Zurich and later at School of Design HFG, 1954-58. By 1959 he could be found in Paris, working as a freelance graphic designer and maquettiste at Atelier Typographique. Later he moved to London, where he worked at London Typographic Designers producing all manner of editorial, collateral and publications.

In the early 1960s, Fritz Gottschalk returned to Switzerland to complete his post-graduate studies in visual communication at Basel School of Design HFG. In 1963 he relocated to Canada. There he completed a comprehensive signage system for the 1967 World Exposition in Montréal, while heading the graphic design department at Paul Arthur & Associates. He received Awards of Excellence in the field of graphic design by the Swiss Department of Interior Affairs, Berne in 1963/64/65. In 1966 he co-founded Gottschalk+Ash Ltd with Stuart Ash. In 1968, Fritz became a dual citizen of Switzerland and Canada, the same year that G+A’s work was featured in an exhibition at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.

The 1970s proved another active decade for Fritz Gottschalk. In addition to serving as juror for the 1975 Royal Canadian Academy Art Exhibition, Fritz designed postage stamps and the official lottery ticket, coordinated all visual aspects of the sponsor programs and headed the office of design for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montréal. By 1978 he had returned to Zurich to open G+A’s office there.

During the mid-1980s, Gottschalk embarked upon one of the most influential, prestigious and visible commissions of his career, design of the Swiss passport. An elegant solution whose cover employs the white Swiss cross on a minimalist red field, the passport was quickly recognized as the most powerful emblem internationally for the Swiss nation, a design solution which remains unequalled to this day. Fritz served for six years as Secretary Treasurer for AGI beginning in1985, at the same time directing G+A’s Milan office.

Fritz Gottschalk spent the 1990s in an energetic period of design and advocacy, creating symbols for Ice Hockey World Championship, a new outdoor advertising concept for the city of Zurich, and as a member of the Board of Directors at Graphis Publishing. G+A’s work was recognized in exhibitions in Frankfurt (“The World of Graphic Design”), Montréal and Toronto (G+A Retrospective), and Zurich (Coninx-Museum). Fritz keynoted the SEGD meeting in Seattle in 1994, and began an association as annual juror for the FAW, Frankfurt. He also participated in an AGI seminar in Beijing in 1995.

Since the year 2000, Gottschalk has occupied himself with encouraging the next generation of G+A’s professional evolution, acting as senior denizen of the firm in Zurich, occupying a singular and iconic place in the world design community. In 2004 he delivered a lecture series at the Institut Krakau entitled “Designing Modernity.” In 2006 he was a Founding member of DACH (Design Archive Switzerland). In the course of his career, he’s received over 100 awards at various international design competitions. In 2011 Fritz Gottschalk received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Graphic Design Canada, in recognition of extraordinary work celebrating the highest principles of Swiss design.

— Text authored by Stanley Moss, Global Brand Ambassador for G+A, CEO of The Medinge Group, and international brand guru


Reference Chronology

Founding Partner of Gottschalk+Ash Int’l Design Consultants

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, December 30, 1937, Swiss Citizen

1944-54: Primary and Secondary Schools in Zurich

1954-58: Apprenticeship as Typographic Designer with Orell Füssli Grafische Betriebe AG Zurich and School of Design HFG (Höhere Fachschule für Gestaltung)

1959: Paris, Maquettiste at Atelier Typographique and Freelance Graphic Designer

1959-62: London, Graphic Designer at London Typographic Designers

1962-63: Post Graduate Studies in Visual Communication, Basel School of Design HFG (Höhere Fachschule für Gestaltung)

1963: Moved to Canada

1963/64/65: Three Awards for Excellence in the field of graphic design by the Swiss Department of Interior Affairs, Berne

1963-66: Head of Graphic Design at Paul Arthur & Associates Design of comprehensive Signage System for Expo ‘67 World Exhibition, Montréal

1966: Founding of Gottschalk+Ash Ltd with partner Stuart Ash, Montréal

1967: Expo 67, Montréal, Architectural Graphics, Canadian Citizen since 1968

1968: Exhibition of Gottschalk+Ash Int’l, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

1972: Opening of Toronto office

1972: Design of four Commemorative Stamps for the International Congress of Geology, Cartography and Photogrammetry in Canada

1975: Juror of Spectrum ‘75, the Royal Canadian Academy Art Exhibition on the occasion of the

1975: Exhibition of G+A at Container Corporation of America, Chicago

1975-76: In charge of the Office of Design on behalf of Commité d’organisation des Jeux Olympiques

1976: Design of Official Ticket for the Olympic Lottery

1976 Olympic Games in Montréal

1976, Montréal. Design co-ordination of all visual aspects of worldwide Sponsor Programs

1976: Opening of New York office

1978: Return to Switzerland, Opening of Zurich office

1985: Design of new Swiss Passport

1985: Divestiture of New York office (now Carbone Smolan Associates)

1985-91: Secretary Treasurer for AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale)

1985-92: In charge of Milan office

1990: Design of Official Symbol for Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland

1990: Exhibition of G+A in Frankfurt, Galerie von Oertzen

Since 1990: Graphis Publishing, Member, Board of Directors

1990-93: Design and Implementation of a new outdoor advertising concept for the City of Zurich

1993: G+A Retrospective Exhibition, Centre de design de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, Monréal and First Canadian Place, Toronto

1994: Key Note Speaker at “Intersections”, Seattle, SEGD (Society of Environmental Designers)

Since 1995: Jury Member of FAW (Fachverband Aussenwerbung e.V.), Frankfurt

1995: G+A Retrospective Exhibition, Coninx-Museum, Zürich

1995: Participant, Corporate Design Seminar organized by AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), Peking, China

1997: Participant, Exhibition “The World of Graphic Design”, Frankfurt

2004: “Designing Modernity”, lecture series, Goethe Institut Krakau

2006: Founding member of DACH (Design Archive Switzerland)

2011 GDC Fellowship

Approximately 100 Awards at various International Design Shows