While translating an article about innovative design tools, I came across the "Swiss heroes" phrase. I'm pretty much sure it isn't used literally and the author refers to some well-known object or circumstance. Please assist!

Here's the excerpt:

"This is a marvelous feat! We have a direct mapping between design in our heads and design on screen. Given the requisite technical skills, we can bargain with our computers to produce our wildest creative visions. Rather than speccing out an idea for a poster and waiting days or weeks for a printer—a person, not temperamental inkjet contraption—to realize it (like our Swiss heroes had to), we have a near-instant feedback loop."

UPD: Just had a thought it might relate to the fact that recently an old Swiss newspaper moved from the offset to digital printing. Might that be the case?

  • Which language are you translating from? – J. Taylor Feb 2 '17 at 19:08
  • From English into Russian, the original article being jon.gold/2016/06/declarative-design-tools – Tatiana Zhukova Feb 2 '17 at 19:10
  • This is a reading comprehension difficulty. Presumably somewhere previously in the entire article (which is impossible for you to reproduce), some people who did great things and also were somehow related to Switzerland were mentioned. – Mitch Feb 2 '17 at 21:32
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we can't read the article for you – Mitch Feb 2 '17 at 21:33
  • 1
    as choster pointed out, the author refers to a Swiss designer who is 'maybe all-time favorite' which is not too far from being a hero. It's not literal. It's not an issue of English. You may well have a more idiomatic way of phrasing it in Russian, but that's another story entirely. – Mitch Feb 2 '17 at 21:39

In this case, it does mean his design heros are literally Swiss.

This article is from a blog, and the author assumes (perhaps too much) that the reader is familiar with his preceding articles. The immediately preceding article mentions that the author has

always been a huge fan of Swiss design; maybe my all-time favorite designer is Karl Gerstner with his work in programmatic design.

This admiration is shown in posts going back for years, in lines like I’m really glad I learnt to kern from old Swiss dudes with white beards and [Windows 8]… looks like something one of my favourite designers would have created. It’s straight out of 1960s Switzerland….

The use of our hero is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, however, acknowledging that not everyone agrees that Swiss design is the best, or that all Swiss designers are heroic. My hero or our hero are clichés breathlessly voiced in awe by characters in comic books, fairy tales, and soap operas.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.