From Color Theory to Cool Type (1919-1930) Notable Designers and Seminal Works

Herbert Bayer

There were many artists during this time period, but I’ve decided to focus on Herbert Bayer specifically who I think has a great depth of amazing work. Not only was Bayer an Austrian and American student and teacher at the Bauhaus, but he was also a graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental and interior designer, and architect. Bayer first became interested in Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus manifesto and decided to enter the design school as a student. He was taught by teachers like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and after four years of education, Bayer became director at the Bauhaus in which he also taught classes on typography. Bayer along with Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold, all strived to create a more simplified alphabet. So, inspired to design in a minimalist way, he made all lower case sans-serif fonts for all Bauhaus advertisements. In his opinion, the black-letter typefaces were too decorative and the use of capital letters were unnecessary to him; therefore, he designed a sans-serif typeface that only used lowercase letters called “Universal” (made in 1925-1930 and only exists in designs not in real type). He was also known for designing the Bayer Type (1935, Berthold Type Foundry). Not only was Bayer known as an instructor at the Bauhaus, but he was also an architect in Germany and America and he was also an art director for the Container Corporation. However, in 1928, he left the Bauhaus in order to become an art director at the Berlin’s office for Vogue magazine. Bayer was the last living member of the Bauhaus.



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