The first Sample Fair poster from 1917
Published on 3/11/2016 by
The first official poster for the Swiss Sample Fair was designed by Burkhard Mangold in 1917 and symbolically illustrated the diversity of Swiss products. The famous "Mercury helmet" did not appear on posters until later on.
Mangold's design for the 1917 poster depicts a group of four men and one woman, each presenting a product typical for Swiss business at that time: an oversized cheese and a miniaturised cow symbolising the dairy sector as well as textiles, a watch and a cog wheel. The typical "Mercury winged helmet", which later became the symbol of the Basel trade fairs, was absent from this first poster; it was not until the 1921 fair poster that it was included for the first time.
By the way: Burkhard Mangold (1873-1950) was a much-appreciated painter and graphic artist and was at the time part of the crème de la crème of the cultural scene in Basel. Along with Emile Cardinaux (1877-1936) and Otto Baumberger (1889-1961), he was amongst the founding fathers of the celebrated Swiss poster art of the 20th century. Mangold was famous for combining the form of expression used by German art nouveau with the typically Swiss feel for clarity of form.
Photo: Burkhard Mangold