A leading exponent and proponent of Swiss graphic design and the International Style, Fritz Gottschalk lives and works in Zurich, the city where he was born in 1937.
After attending primary and secondary schools in Zurich 1944-54, Fritz apprenticed as a typographic designer with Orell Füssli Grafische Betriebe AG Zurich and later at School of Design HFG, 1954-58. By 1959 he could be found in Paris, working as a freelance graphic designer and maquettiste at Atelier Typographique. Later he moved to London, where he worked at London Typographic Designers producing all manner of editorial, collateral and publications.
In the early 1960s, Fritz Gottschalk returned to Switzerland to complete his post-graduate studies in visual communication at Basel School of Design HFG. In 1963 he relocated to Canada. There he completed a comprehensive signage system for the 1967 World Exposition in Montréal, while heading the graphic design department at Paul Arthur & Associates. He received Awards of Excellence in the field of graphic design by the Swiss Department of Interior Affairs, Berne in 1963/64/65. In 1966 he co-founded Gottschalk+Ash Ltd with Stuart Ash. In 1968, Fritz became a dual citizen of Switzerland and Canada, the same year that G+A’s work was featured in an exhibition at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.
The 1970s proved another active decade for Fritz Gottschalk. In addition to serving as juror for the 1975 Royal Canadian Academy Art Exhibition, Fritz designed postage stamps and the official lottery ticket, coordinated all visual aspects of the sponsor programs and headed the office of design for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montréal. By 1978 he had returned to Zurich to open G+A’s office there.
During the mid-1980s, Gottschalk embarked upon one of the most influential, prestigious and visible commissions of his career, design of the Swiss passport. An elegant solution whose cover employs the white Swiss cross on a minimalist red field, the passport was quickly recognized as the most powerful emblem internationally for the Swiss nation, a design solution which remains unequalled to this day. Fritz served for six years as Secretary Treasurer for AGI beginning in1985, at the same time directing G+A’s Milan office.
Fritz Gottschalk spent the 1990s in an energetic period of design and advocacy, creating symbols for Ice Hockey World Championship, a new outdoor advertising concept for the city of Zurich, and as a member of the Board of Directors at Graphis Publishing. G+A’s work was recognized in exhibitions in Frankfurt (“The World of Graphic Design”), Montréal and Toronto (G+A Retrospective), and Zurich (Coninx-Museum). Fritz keynoted the SEGD meeting in Seattle in 1994, and began an association as annual juror for the FAW, Frankfurt. He also participated in an AGI seminar in Beijing in 1995. Since the year 2000, Gottschalk has occupied himself with encouraging the next generation of G+A’s professional evolution, acting as senior denizen of the firm in Zurich, occupying a singular and iconic place in the world design community. In 2004 he delivered a lecture series at the Institut Krakau entitled “Designing Modernity.” In 2006 he was a Founding member of DACH (Design Archive Switzerland). In the course of his career, he’s received over 100 awards at various international design competitions. In 2011 Fritz Gottschalk received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Graphic Design Canada, in recognition of extraordinary work celebrating the highest principles of Swiss design.
Awarded Fellowship 2008