Ludovic Balland



Neustahl Keller, Winkelriedstrasse 51 (Courtyard)


Ludovic Balland will talk about his work at the symposium taking place on September 30th and will be part of the subsequent panel discussion.

The exhibition, conceived by Ludovic Balland as the designer of this year's festival poster, is not a retrospective of his previous work – rather, he has developed a concept that goes hand in hand with the festival poster.

Poster-Talks assumes that a poster is an urban protagonist. One that may be mute, but that communicates with text and images. For the project, text excerpts from real posters were collected and the quotations randomly rearranged. This resulted in 217 unique designs – urban contemporary documents that remind the viewer of the messages and statements that have moved society in recent months. The newly combined texts are nonsense, absurdities, a kind of urban poem.

In the exhibition Poster-Talks the statements and text scraps are read to the visitor by means of loudspeakers. Especially on newer posters, language is often detached from pictorial content; it becomes the purpose and subject of a poster. Poster-Talks analyses and questions the texts that can be read on posters and investigates how different modes of communication interact or ignore each other. The focus is on linguistic diversity. The audio installation, which reproduces the fragments of text, underlines this approach.

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Festival poster No. 1 / 217

Ludovic Balland is a designer whose work follows the tradition of the Swiss modernists of the 50s and 60s, however, he has developed it and adapted it to today's requirements. Balland's career is marked by his education at the tradition-rich school of design in Basel. The close relationship to Wolfgang Weingart – himself a student of the icons of Swiss Style – is still visible in his work today.

Balland works primarily in the fields of typographic research, book design and the creation of visual identities. His design concepts are characterised by a concise handling of typography and visual rules as well as precision and craftsmanship.


Ludovic Balland, born 1973 in Geneva, studied visual communication at the Basel school of design between 1996 and 2000. He later worked for various design studios, including Dalton & Maag in London and Müller+Hess in Basel. In 2006 he founded his studio Ludovic Balland Typography Cabinet. From 2003 to 2015 he taught typography and art direction in the Master's programme and graphic design in the Bachelor's programme at the École cantonale d'art in Lausanne (ECAL). Since the beginning of 2018 he has been Professor of Typography and Editorial Design at the HGB Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig. He is also a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).

Ludovic Balland has won the Swiss Federal Design Prize in the category graphic design three times (2003, 2011 and 2012) and was awarded the Certificate of Typographic Excellence of the Type Directors Club New York in 2009. In 2016 he won the Jan Tschichold Prize. Publications designed by him are regularly awarded prizes in the Die schönsten Schweizer Bücher competition. Balland has already won the gold medal of the Stiftung Buchkunst for Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt twice.

His book American Readers at Home was published last year. The designer takes on the role of journalist, photographer and editor. Along the question of how the citizens of the USA consume news, Balland travelled through the states shortly before Trump's election and portrayed his surroundings.

Concept and design

Ludovic Balland, Typography Cabinet (Basel)
with Annina Schepping, Sophia Schindler, Julian Humm