Karl Gerstner is a typographer and commercial artist. He´s also a autodidact artist. He lives and works in Hippolskirch (Alsace-Lorraine, France) and Basel (Switzerland). He has had a continuous career as an artist as well.
He was part of the second wave of Swiss typography. Gerstner studied under Emil Ruder and Armin Hofmann. Hofmann proceeded Ruder as head of the graphic design department at the Basel School of Design. One would consider Karl Gerstner’s education to be during one of the highly noted creative movements in Typography.
By 1959 Gerstner had met Markus Kutter to form an agency that would specialize in graphic design and advertising. Progressively creating Gerstner and Kutter, would became Gerstner, Gredinger, and Kutter(GGK). Before long, the agency had become one of the largest internationally acclaimed advertising firms in Switzerland.
Turning to a more solo career Gerstner continued to design corporate identities for such companies as Swiss Air ,Burda, Langenscheidt and IBM. He is also know as international identity consultant Currently Gerstner lives and works in Switzerland.
1945 – 1948 Completes apprenticeship in graphics at the Atelier Fritz Bühler in Basel and subsequently worked as a graphic and fine artist.
1953 Produced his first programmed images called Bunte Reihen.
1957 Published his first book ‘kalte Kunst? Zum Standort der heutigen Malerei‘ ( a survey of the school of concrete-constructive abstract painting to which he belongs ).
1959 Joined by Markus Kutter ; they founded Gerstner + Kutter an agency for advertising, graphics and publicity, which was later (1961) the GGK. He published the square book – The New Graphic Art.
1960 With his work Bunte Reihen, Gerstner participated in the first edition of multiples established by Daniel Spoerri, the Edition MAT, (Multiplication d’Art Transformable, 1960).
1961 – 63 Taught at the The Ulm School of Design.
1963 Published the essays Programme entwerfen: Vier Aufsätze und eine Einführung in which he spoke in defence of algorithmic art.
1964 Revived the Edition MAT. Participated at the Dokumenta 3 as a designer.
1968 Participated at the Dokumenta 4 as an artist.
Presented a paper on Producing Art with the Computer at the international colloquium Computer and Visual Research in Zagreb.
1970 Withdrew from active management of the GGK to focus on independent artistic work in the future.