Design by: Walter Ballmer

category: > Features, > Graphic Design, < Design By:

written by: Jaap Proost

GRAPHIS Magazine once stated that the work of Walter Ballmer ‘exemplifies a form of creativity that bears the indelible stamp of reason’. Well, it certainly has a distinct clarity.


Walter Ballmer was born in 1923 in Liestal, Switzerland and studied at the School of Applied Arts in Basle. In 1956 he joined the department of development and advertising of Olivetti. In 1970 Ballmer designed the logo for this company. For Olivetti he also created posters, equipment and promotional campaigns. Famous were his designs for the exhibitions called Olivetti Style, Olivetti Innovates and Olivetti Image. By founding his own studio Unidesign in Milan in 1971, he became self-employed.


Ballmer worked for major companies including Weber from the Fiat group, Wertheim department stores in Spain, the graphic firm Nava, the fashion designer Valentino, the Sestriere Tourist Office, Pirelli, La Roche and Colmar. From 1977 on he taught at Milan Polytechnic


Geometrics played a big roll in his life. That is the case in his applied work, for instance the trademark designs, but more so in his free artwork. This is a combination between painting and sculpture. (Examples of this work are on the covers of Graphis Magazine and Graphis Packaging, shown below.) Ballmers sculptures have been widely exhibited.




Click on the double squares in the lower right corner to see popout pictures

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