Mike Joyce’s Swiss Style

Published March 4, 2013

For Mike Joyce, the mastermind behind Swissted, a vibrant new book of Swiss, modern-inspired, vintage rock posters, there’s more to punk than orange Mohawks. “The true sense of punk is thinking for yourself—having no limits—no rules,” says Joyce.

As a teenager growing up in Albany, NY, in the early ’80s, Joyce was drawn to the magnetic energy of the hardcore shows playing in local skeezy bars. “There were no rock-star barriers, and I think that was one things I’ve always loved about the music: that it’s just people getting up on stage and ripping through awesome sets.”

Over the past two decades, Joyce has fostered a passion for both graphic art and design. After studying under the Swiss modernist Fred Troller at Alfred University, Joyce found himself increasingly attracted to the unembellished minimalism of the International Typographic—or Swiss—Style.

“I love that the Swiss Modernists purged all decoration. I learned that you can do something bold and structured and still have it be vivid and filled with emotion,” he explains, citing Josef Müller-Brockmann’s 1950s jazz posters. “His whole concept was that he was not going to show a clarinet or a trumpet, but he wanted to evoke what sound looks like and feels like in an abstract way,” continues Joyce. “To me, that is so much more emotional than showing a black-and-white photo of a clarinet… It’s really abstract art.”

Now,  Joyce is finally combining his parallel obsessions. Inspired by the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, Swissted‘s bold and arresting posters mirror the manic energy of the music and the time. Iggy Pop and David Bowie, Minor Threat and Nirvana—Swissted‘s posters (which are removable from the book, should any particularly strike your fancy) are clashing, complementary, occasionally offensive, and generally delightful. 

SWISSTED COMES OUT MARCH 5. A BOOK LAUNCH WILL BE HELD AT POWERHOUSE BOOKS ARENA IN DUMBO, NEW YORK CITY, MARCH 14 FROM 7 TO 9 PM. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE SWISSTED WEBSITE.