Zeiningen, Switzerland: Kurt Naef, circa 1965. Six wooden puzzle pieces, screenprinted in four colors, each piece measuring 8.25 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches. “Spiel Naef / Swiss Made” printed at top lefthand corner of cat image. Light shelfwear.
Swiss edition of this iconic educational toy, graphic designer Fredun Shapur’s four-way blocks. Shapur developed the first version of these blocks, featuring four simplified, stylized animals, in 1964. They were awarded the London Design Centre label, and picked up by Naef, the Swiss toy company, for manufacture and distribution in Europe. In 1972, as art director of the American toy company Creative Playthings, Shapur would develop two more variations on his four-way blocks, slightly smaller in scale. These Naef animal blocks, arranged and rearranged, reveal in turn a blue horse, a black elephant, an orange cat, and a green snake. See Amy Ogata and Mira Shapur, Fredun Shapur: Playing with Design (2013). A high spot of modern graphic design.