A messenger of the gods for the Swiss Sample Fair
Published on 6/24/2016 by
A whole cheese, a watch, a toothed wheel, a cow: all of these featured on the first Muba poster in 1917. Then, five years later, the poster for the first time bore the logo that has been associated with the Swiss Sample Fair ever since and which still hangs above Exhibition Hall 2 today.
The winged helmet of the Greek and Roman messenger of the gods, Mercury, the patron god of merchants and commerce, and the white Swiss cross: two simple, successful logos that together make up the former logo of the Swiss Sample Fair. And send out a key message: Swiss commerce – that is us.
The winged helmet first appeared on a poster for the Swiss Sample Fair in 1921. In 1922, it was presented in a logo-like form for the first time: a red helmet with abstract wings and a white Swiss cross in the middle. Over the years that followed, the helmet was modified slightly on several occasions until the signet took on its definitive form in 1938.
The poster designers repeatedly play around with the logo. In 1981, the helmet comprises the coats of arms of the Swiss cantons. In 1986, it takes on the outline of Switzerland, and in 1988 it crowns a globe, symbolising: Basel is host to the world.
The winged helmet was seen on a Muba poster for the last time in 1990. But it has not disappeared altogether: the signet still hangs above the big clock on Hall 2 at Messe Basel.