The antecedents of this Basle foundry, which long dominated Swiss typography, date back to around 1580. Its name comes from Johann Wilhelm Haas, a punchcutter who joined the company in 1718 and then took it over. Passing down through his family, through William Haas the elder, around 1800 the company entered a phase of creativity under William Haas the younger, who had a particular interest in foreign typefaces.
Stempel purchased an interest in Haas in 1927. Following the end of the Second World War, under leadership of Edouard Hoffmann, Haas produced a group of brilliant typefaces and introduced the Swiss style to the world in the shape of Helvetica. Haas took over Fonderie Olive in 1978. Linotype took complete control of Haas in 1989.