Hugo Laubi, Swiss, Café Odeon, 1920, Color lithograph on paper; 122.2 x 87.6 cm (48 1/8 x 34 1/2 inches) (plate), Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rowland Hazard 26.134
Based in Zurich, Hugo Laubi was a pioneer in developing the Swiss poster at a time when painters, not graphic designers, still drove the practice. This advertisement for the Café Odeon, a coffeehouse in Zurich, combines a more traditional use of caricature with a striking avant-garde design and starkly limited color. The table and newspaper are abstractly described as flat overlapping planes in white, black, and red, which dominate the composition. The café’s name in bold, sans-serif black type becomes a design element. The coffee cup contributes to a rhythm of circular forms that leads the viewer’s eye around the poster.