Emil Ruder was a prominent twentieth century Swiss graphic designer and typographer. He was also associated with another eminent designer Armin Hofmann with whom he joined the faculty of Basel School of Design. His artwork is distinguished from others on the basis of his holistic approach to designing and teaching. He employed a systematic practical method of teaching that not only involved theory but philosophy as well.
By 1947, Ruder was promoted as the head of the Department of Apprentices in Applied arts. The same year he met one of the notable graphic artists, Armin Hofmann. Hence began there long period of collaboration on several art projects. Their successful teaching methods culminated in receiving somewhat an international reputation. Besides teaching, Ruder also contributed as an editor and writer for Typografische Monatsblätter. Typographic Monthly was a famous trade publication of the era. Notwithstanding his innovative style, Ruder fell short of luck when he ran in the competition for the cover design of Typographische Monatsblätter as he could not win.
Moreover, he penned down a book on basic grammar of typography and published it as Typographie. In 1967, a Swiss publisher Arthur Niggli had the book republished in several other languages including French, English and German. In fact, it played an instrumental role in propagating and spreading the Swiss style. Eventually, the book was followed as the primary text for graphic design and typography programs held in United States and Europe. In addition to that Ruder’s twenty-five year of teaching enabled him to compile a heavily illustrated book, titled Typographie: A Manual for Design. It featured his approach, ideas and methods and a life-time of accumulated knowledge. A critical reflection on Ruder’s teaching and practice is encapsulated in the work. Also Ruder was a significant member who helped establishing the International Center for the Typographic Arts, New York (ICTA). Emil Ruder passed away in the spring of 1970.