Lora Lamm

Interview: Martin Roth
Video: Studio Roth&Maerchy, Zürich

Lora Lamm, 1928

Graphic designer, Zurich

Lora Lamm stud­ied graphic de­sign from 1946 to 1951 under in­struc­tors in­clud­ing Jo­hannes Itten, Ernst Keller and Ernst Gubler at the School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich. With her stud­ies com­plete and a few ini­tial ap­point­ments be­hind her, she was drawn to Milan, a city flour­ish­ing in the post-war eco­nomic boom. She started out at Stu­dio Bog­geri, where other well-re­garded Swiss de­sign­ers also worked, be­fore mov­ing to Panet­tone Motta Mi­lano as a pack­ag­ing de­signer. In 1954, on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Swiss graphic de­signer Max Huber, she switched to the ad­ver­tis­ing de­part­ment of the cel­e­brated Mi­lanese de­part­ment store La Ri­nascente, stand­ing in shortly there­after for the chief de­signer with re­spon­si­bil­ity for de­sign and pro­duc­tion of the in-house mag­a­zine Cronache. She rapidly im­posed her own de­sign vi­sions and at­tracted a new fe­male clien­tele to La Ri­nascente. With her ex­per­i­men­tal use of pho­tog­ra­phy, il­lus­tra­tion and ty­pog­ra­phy - in­spired partly by ex­am­ples of graphic de­sign at in­ter­na­tional de­part­ment stores in New York and Tokyo - she de­fines the im­agery of the fash­ion world to this day. From 1958 on­wards, Lamm worked free­lance for La Ri­nascente and the as­so­ci­ated de­part­ment store Upim. This en­abled her to con­tinue work­ing in­de­pen­dently for other clients such as Pirelli, Eliz­a­beth Arden, Niggi and Latte Mi­lano. Lamm re­turned to Zurich in 1963, join­ing the ad­ver­tis­ing agency Frank C. Thiess­ing as a part­ner shortly af­ter­wards.