Crystal-clear lakes, majestic mountain ranges, awe-inspiring bridges, and picturesque towns: these are the motifs that dominate Swiss tourism posters. Perhaps these subjects are quite unfamiliar to the Mexican public, but this is not an impediment to appreciate said pieces which occupy a unique place in the history of international graphic design.
Take a Holiday! is an adaptation of the exhibition Macht Ferien!, conceived and presented originally in 2017 by the Museum für Gestaltiung Zurich as a conmemoration of the hundred years of Schweiz Tourismus (Switzerland Tourism), an organism that was formed with the objective of coordinating various touristic operators and hold international advertising campaigns that helped strengthen the national identity of the country. This year, during the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño festival and as part of the local program of World Design Capital Mexico City 2018, this exhibition is shown in Mexico, thanks to the tight collaboration between the Design Museum of Zurich and curator of the original exhibition, Christian Brändle, and the Embassy of Switzerland in Mexico; as well as the help of the Postal Palace, where it will be open to the public during the entire month of October .
The inauguration of this exhibition will be aligned with the International Post Day, which celebrates the founding of the Universal Postal Union, of which Mexico forms part of since 1879, just five years after its creation.
In the first decades of this organism dedicated to the touristic promotion of Switzerland, characterized by a turbulent economic and political environment, designers took upon the task of portraying mainly traditional images of Switzerland; however after 1945, with the objective of using the growth of tourism through innovative advertising strategies. Starting in 1960, globarl competition and the growth in aerial traffic incentivated a change of approach. “Back to nature” became the new motto. In 1996, the name of the National Office of Swiss Tourism (SVZ) changed to its current name: Schweiz Tourismus (Switzerland Tourism). The quality of its advertising was not affected by this modification; as its campaigns continue to function as a reflection of shared aspirations and remains as free as it as always been of any inconsistency or disharmony.
In this exhibition, the history of Switzerland as a vacational attraction is resumed, through the reproduction of 70 of the posters that formed part of the original sample. The exhibition is divided into six chapters that narrate a story of touristic promotion, of which, the las of these corresponds to the postal routes and transports. This subject is explored for the first time in this exhibition, celebrating the placement of the exhibition within the Postal Palace, who besides from providing it of a space, shares a bit of its history by adding on ten illustrated samples about the transportation used in the Mexican Postal Service.
Within the displays found in the exhibition hall, the posters are accompanied by other advertising graphic material that illustrate the variety of formats for visual communication.
Historical and contemporary TV Commercials exemplify the ways, from humorous to heroic, to represent Switzerland, and a photo wall reflects the current image given to the country, which is somewhere in between fiction and reality.