Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner, and Muller Brockmann were all looking to perfect a universal system for design. Tschichold focused on clarity, Gerstner on function, and Brockmann on grids. Their ultimate goal was to create the perfect design system as functional as it was beautiful.

Tschold focused on clarity by eliminating ornamentation and implementing hierarchy in typography. Tschold was completely against old typography’s use of ornamentation because he believed that it valued form before function. He thought that all design should follow function in the same way it appeared in nature. For example, a monarch butterfly has eye shapes in its wings to protect against predators. The eyes are the form that follows its function of protection. He was against the old typography’s use of the “center axis” in design. He thought it was archaic and did not implement hierarchy in its system. Instead, one should focus and understand how the reader understands his work. The designer can manipulate the readers’ eyes by using a hierarchal structure.

Similarly, Gerstner also believed in the idea that form follows function. His solution to this theory was to create a mathematical grid system applicable to any design problem. He wanted to design as objectively as possible, a design that does not involve creativity but instead involves a selection process of his premade system.

Brockmann is similar to both Tschichold and Brockman.
He uses a grid system, but in his case, it’s not made to absolve creativity; it’s used as a system of organization. Like Gerstner, Brockman uses this grid to rationalize the design process, and identical to Tschichold uses the grid to create clarity in design.