Graphic Design at the Bauhaus (Also see Typography at the Bauhaus)

<bauahus> money 4bayer

Moholy-Nagy, Typophoto

Excerpt/ The Fiery Stimulator/Fiona McCarthy 2

"László Moholy-Nagy settled in Berlin in 1920 and married soon after. His Czech-born wife, Lucia, had trained as a photographer and they worked together in developing the photogram, a photographic image made without a camera when objects on coated paper are exposed to light. They developed photoplastics, fluent, lyrical and curious photomontages, sometimes with drawn additions, which had enormous influence on 1960s graphics. At the same time, Moholy-Nagy was one of the first designers to realize the potential of photography in advertising and commercial art.

Lucia Maholy-Nagy
Portrait of Moholy-Nagy by Lucia Maholy-Nagy

... He foresaw photography as the artform of the future. As the discovery of one-point perspective gave creative impetus to the Renaissance, so Moholy-Nagy realized that technical advances in photography and film would transform social and cultural values as the 20th century progressed. He predicted: "It is not the person ignorant of writing but the one ignorant of photography who will be the illiterate of the future."

Typo was a term he created to describe the combination of text and image.

Joost Schmidt (1893–1948)

Probably Schmidt's best known piece was his poster advertising a Bauhaus exhibition (below).


Mr. Schmidt seems to have had the ability to do it all, according to Wikipedia "Joost Schmidt taught lettering at the school from 1925–1932; head of the sculpture workshop from 1928-1930. He was also head of the Advertising, Typography, Printing, and associated Photography department from 1928 to 1932. In the years of 1929-1930, he taught life and figure drawing classes for upper division work."

He married Helene Nonne who later taught at the Design School in Ulm.

Below. Ad for Bauhaus Chess Board



Herbert Bayer

Austrian Herbert Bayer was trained in the Art Nouveau style but soon was converted by the Bauhaus-Manifest. At age 21 he enrolled in and studied at the Weimar Bauhaus for four years. His main interests were typography and advertising, but with no type shop at the Bauhaus, he studied mural painting under Kandinsky. However he and a few other students began experimenting with typography on their own. After passing his final examination, Bayer was appointed by the Bauhaus director, Walter Gropius, to head the new "Druck und Reklame" (printing and advertising) workshop in Dessau.

(Read about his typography work at the Bauhaus here)

(Read about his career after the Bauhaus, in the United States, here.)








Below an excerpt from Aaron Carámbula, on Speak Up.
"At just 23 years of age, Herbert Bayer was called upon to design a series of notgeld (emergency money) for Thuringia, a liberal stronghold and then capital of Germany. Virtually overnight (accounts vary from one to three days), Bayer created a full range of bank-notes. The results are stunning examples of modernist design, shining the light of rational thinking forward rather than seeking comfort in the past.

Clarity and immediacy are the first priority of the system. The typography—selected from whatever the printer had on hand—is dominated by sans-serif. In big, beautiful arabic numerals the value of each note is the most prominent element, awash in a field of optimistic color, reprising rather playfully as patterning on each side. The content is blocked in an orderly grid, rotating 90° to allow the text to fit naturally, given the form."4

Iconofgraphics web site, retrieved June 2, 2012
Cover of the revue foto-QUALITAT attributed to László Moholy-Nagy 1931

The Fiery Stimulator
Fiona MacCarthy The Guardian, Friday 17 March 2006e

Image Source
Online Archive of California

Above the Fray: Bayer's Notgeld and Designing in Crisis
Aaron Carámbula

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