Kenneth Hiebert, biographie

Kenneth Hiebert suit la formation de graphisme (Fachklasse für Grafik) dirigée par Hofmann entre 1959-1964. Dès 1966, il contribue à développer le programme de design graphique au Philadelphia College of Art, alors dirigé (de 1964 à 1974) par Rob Roy Kelly. Il y enseigne jusqu’en 1999.

D’autres alumni de Bâle qui y enseignent sont Inge Druckrey (de 1971 à 1973), April Greiman, encouragée par Hofmann (de 1971 à 1976), et Christa Zelinski (de 1977 à 2007).

Selon Sadha (2013):

He taught briefly at the School of Design, Basel, then at Carnegie Institute of Technology, and from 1966–1999 at what is now The University of the Arts where he was founding chairman of the graphic design department. He retired Professor Emeritus in May 1999. 

He instigated the universal/Unique symposium and invitational exhibition at the University of the Arts in 1988. He received the Mary Lou Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1990 and the Master Teacher Award of the national Graphic Design Education Association in 1991. Honorary degrees were awarded by the Maine College of Art in 2002 and the University of the Arts in 2013.

Quelques indications biographiques:

Hiebert pioneered the program of graphic design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, formerly the Philadelphia College of the Arts.

He was visiting faculty at Yale University and Carnegie Mellon.


Hiebert is the author of two books:

  • Graphic Design Processes (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992)
  • Graphic Design Sources (Yale University Press, 1998)

In 2019, the Cary Graphic Design Archive at Rochester Institute of Technology acquired the work of Ken Hiebert, making it « available to scholars and students interested in the Swiss influence on American graphic design » (Gawlowicz).


Hans-Ulrich Allemann


Teaching at Kansas City Art Institute (1967-1969)

School Days in Basel, Switzerland, late 60’s. Hans Allemann, Chris Zelinsky, Inge Druckrey

Together with my classmate Inge Druckrey I was working as a designer at an agency in Zurich [Halpern]. Armin told me that he had received information from the Kansas City Art Institute. The chairman of the Graphic Design department, Rob Roy Kelly, was interested in hiring somebody who had studied at the Basel School to teach in his program. Unfortunately I had to turn down the offer because I did not know any English. I told Inge about the opportunity. She talked to Armin and decided to move to Kansas City [1966]. A year later she called me and told me that the department was interested in hiring another Basel graduate. This time I accepted. I had enough time to sign up for 12 lessons of conversation English at a Berlitz school before I left for Kansas City in the summer of [1967]. A professor from Oxford taught the Berlitz course. When I landed in the Midwest I couldn’t understand a single word (laughs). This is how I came here the first time. I had a visa, issued under the cultural exchange program between Europe and the United States.

The two years in Kansas City were a life changing experience for me. It was not just the opportunity to teach, which I had never intended to do, but also because of what was happening at the time. This was the late 60s! I came from a completely different world. Compared to Europe, the US is a young country. As big as it is in size, it seemed to be more agile, open and full of possibilities. This is what intrigued me about this country and its people. I was only 23-years old.

Teaching at the Philadelphia University of Arts (1973 – 2009)

In 1973, working in Zurich again, I received a phone call from Ken Hiebert, then chairman at the Philadelphia College of Art. I knew Ken from our school years in Basel. Ken had an open teaching position because Steff Geissbühler (another school mate of ours) had decided to move to NYC, and Inge Druckery, who had moved to Philadelphia in 1971, had accepted an offer from Yale University. I accepted the invitation and I returned to the US. My idea was to stay for 3-5 years. If that would have been the case I should have left around 1978… well, I’m still here (laughs).

Jacqueline Casey

Photo via

« Casey’s visual language style was strongly influenced by the Swiss designers Karl Gerstner, Armin Hofmann and Josef Müller-Brockmann and the International Style. Thérèse Moll, a young Swiss designer who had been an assistant in Karl Gerstner’s Basel office and who briefly worked in the MIT publications office in 1958, is the one person Casey credited with her introduction to the grid and its design philosophy: ‘She introduced the office to European typography … This use of proportions in designing publications series became a useful tool for developing MIT’s image.’ »

Source: Eye Magazine, 2008

« Muriel [Cooper] hired her college classmate Jacqueline Casey to work at Design Services. She would soon head the office until her retirement in 1989. Casey, Ralph Coburn and Dietmar Winkler were the core of that office, and they also had guest designers, one of whom, from Basel, pretty much got them on their Helvetica kick. They recall that people like Gerstner and Müller-Brockmann also came through the office. So Muriel imbibed a lot of this “International Style” typography from her colleagues, and no doubt from what she was reading. It’s not something she, or anyone else at the time, would’ve gotten from an American design program. It’s a visual language she used, but also reworked significantly.

Source: David Reinfurt, interviewé par Dante Carlos, Walkerart Magazine

Christa Zelinsky

Biographie et interview dans TM-Research-Archive (Ecal, 2012).

  • Née en Ukraine en 1940.
  • En 1949, sa famille émigre aux Etats-Unis. « We were immigrants, my family and I. We came to the US in 1949. »
  • Etudie à Bâle de 1961 à 66. « I did the foundation year, and then I applied to the Fachklasse [masterclass] and was accepted. Out of 120 people, only 12 were allowed to move up into the course of study in graphic design. »
  • 1967: « Zelinsky took up a design position with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. « 
  • 1969-1975: « She returned to Switzerland in 1969, and was employed by the advertising agency Erwin Halpern, in Zurich, until 1975. »
  • 1972: Son travail est montré dans TM Communication 3.
  • 1977-2007: « accepted an invitation from the design faculty of the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) to develop the drawing curriculum for their graphic design department. »