Albin Christen

Albin Christen Poster 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival
Albin Christen © DR


Albin Christen was still an unknown when this poster for the 2000 Festival was unveiled. But it was not in fact the first time the young 25-year-old Swiss graphic designer had tried his hand at the task. Three years earlier, having just graduated from the School of Graphic Art, he had produced a poster design for Montreux Jazz that was rejected. He later offered his services again to Claude Nobs at a concert, and the director decided to break with tradition by providing a springboard for a young designer rather than banking on an international name. Albin Christen’s design features a frenzied circle of figures from different cultures, forming a sphere. The shape echoes the zeroes of the first decade of the 2000s and the utopia of a humanist, multicultural millenium. There is great fun to be had in picking out the multitude of details concealed in his childlike drawings. After this prestigious commission, Albin Christen’s distinctive wide-eyed figures went on to take over advertising boards in Switzerland and beyond, and have also featured on a Swatch and a pair of Adidas Stan Smith.