In the Gebrauchspgraphik International Advertising Art Journal of January 1968,  is an article entitled “Swiss Pharmaceutical Advertising”.

It features graphics from a publication written by Hans Neuberg which illustrates “a very comprehensive account of the present situation of Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical advertising” at the time.

Pharmaceutical Ads have always been different in their graphical nature to other industrial advertising, because, as outlined in the article:

“For whereas conventional industrial art principally depends on the procurement and utilisation of objective data…..the advertising of chemical-pharmaceutial industry is characterised by a strong, informative tendency. Frequently this method is imposed by far more abstract subject matter”

Below is a selection of some of the impressive and beautiful designs featured in this comprehensive article:

Pharmaceutical Ad - Ciba Studio Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad – Design by Ciba Studio Basel

Pharmaceutical Ad, Peter Wyss, Paris
Pharmaceutical Ad, Designer – Peter Wyss, Paris
Pharmaceutical Ad, Max Schmid - Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad, Designer Max Schmid – Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad, Katayama Toshihiro - Tokyo
Pharmaceutical Ad, Designer Katayama Toshihiro – Tokyo
Pharmaceutical Ad, Designer Max Schmid - Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad, Designer Max Schmid – Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad - Kurt Wirth
Pharmaceutical Ad – Designer, Kurt Wirth
Pharmaceutical Ad - Stephan Geissbuhler - Basel
Pharmaceutical Ad – Designer – Stephan Geissbuhler – Basel

If you are unfamiliar with Gebrauchsgraphik, here is an excerpt about it from the very smart site of Designers Books

Professor H. K. Frensel founded Gebrauchsgraphik in 1923 and it became one of the most popular international advertising design journals of that time. Published in both German and English, it followed Dr. Frenzel’s concept that advertising should be a positive force in society and he followed what was developing with work influenced by Futurism, Constructivism, DeStijl and the Bauhaus, as well as other innovative graphics. The magazine never espoused any specific philosophy but was open to all design directions that related to the highest standards.

At the first look Gebrauchsgraphik looks quite similar to Graphis magazine. But it’s probably Graphis who was inspired by his german big brother : short articles written in 2, 3 or 4 languages (german, english, later french and spanish as well). The main difference was Gebrauchsgraphik was a monthly magazine, Graphis a bi-monthly magazine. Both never focus on a unique topic, but display a great variety of interests: graphic design, typography, illustration, advertising, art & craft, etc.