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Bauhaus 93 Typeface

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Bauhaus 93 Typeface

The Bauhaus style was developed after the First World War by the German architect and designer Walter Gropius in Weimar. It was based on the philosophy of gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art. He sought ways to harmonise industrial methods with design for mass production purposes. ‘Bau’ means construction and the desire was to produce radical new forms for modern mass living. The new Bauhaus language utilised the basic geometric forms of the circle and the square. Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy were early ‘masters’ at the school and their art reflected the new direction of geometrical machine forms. The Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925 but the Nazis shut down the school in 1932 as they regarded it as Boshevik, Jewish and un-German. It moved to Berlin as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s private school until the Nazis’ accession to national power in 1933 caused it to close for good.

Gropius commissioned Graphic Designer Herbert Bayer to design a typeface for all Bauhaus communications including posters. In 1925 he developed ‘universal’ which was a simple sans-serif font. He felt that not only were serifs unnecessary but there was no need for an upper and lower case for each letter. The bold, heavy modernist sans-serif typeface possesses an industrial glamour. The rigid grid structure font was considered simple, clear and rational. The type could be laid out in various ways. In addition to being horizontal and vertical, text would be placed at angle and wrapped around objects.

Modern versions of the font include Blippo, designed by Joe Toaylor for Fotostart in 1969. ITC Ronda was designed by Herb Lubalin in 1970 and it adds lower case letters. ITC Bauhaus was designed by Ed Benguiat and Victor Caruso in 1975.

Bauhaus is frequently used for modern day designs and posters. It is found online and in broadcast images, especially advertising headlines and broadcast programme titles. Its very distinctive appearance also makes it popular as a wordmark, for logo design (Postman Pat) and packaging design. One of the most notable was a print designed for the Obama Presidential Campaign rally held in Berlin. The monotone strokes and lack of serifs or other adornment make it unsuitable for continual text, although it can be used in presentations and booklets that rely more on graphics than on text.

Bauhaus Heavy was originally intended to be a display-only design and was accompanied by Bauhaus Outline. With the advent of digital technology, the Outline version was dropped. Under Adobe’s development, the font family supports ISO-Adobe character set for the PostScript version. In OpenType Std version, it supports Adobe Western 2 character set. Monotype also has versions that include Cyrillic or Central European characters. The font was also named ‘Geomatric 752’ by Bitsrream, ‘BH’ by Itek.

In it’s current exhibition ‘Germany: memories of a nation A 600-year history in objects‘, The British Museum is exhibiting a gate from the Buchenwald Concentration camp. The wrought iron letters used for the motto, ‘Jedem das Seine’ (“To Each His Own”), were designed by Franz Ehrilich, master pupil at Bauhaus Dessau who was a prisoner in the camp. Using the Bauhaus inspired lettering was a subtle protest against his captors.

Bauhaus – art as life

• Bauhaus manifesto, was a ‘recruitment document as well as a statement of intent and was sent to art, craft and architectural schools as well as newspapers.’ The Weimar bauhaus emphasized craftmanship.

• Influenced by ideas of Ruskin and William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement but increasingly moved towards ‘industrial design’

• Students explored painting, architecture, textiles, theatre design, film, photography, furniture, graphics - including typography.

• the bauhaus ‘style’ was to use lower case

• Feininger woodcut, • 1919

Cathedral of Socialism

• Gropius had the intention of re-establishing a craft based curriculum, to train the students in crafts.

• Appointed Lionel Feininger who designed a cathedral image (loosely suggestive of Cubism) for the first Manifesto.

• The School was organised on a system of workshops with ‘Masters’ teaching.

Walter Gropius

bauhaus = modernism

• Multidisciplinary – students encouraged to experiment with as many different art forms as interested them

• International – masters and students came from all over the world

• Believed that art could change the world for the better – that the artist/designer could bring about changes for the better in society by shaping the environment in which we live

bauhaus 1919-1933 ‘A Cathedral of Socialism’

• Moved from Weimar (craft) to Dessau in 1925

• Bauhaus Corporation established in 1926 at

Dessau to ‘market’ Bauhaus products.

• Moved from Dessau (industrial production) to Berlin in 1932

• Closed in 1933 – by the Nazi’s.

• Many of the masters and the students left

Germany and came to Britain or went to America

• Huge influence on institutions of art education – including our own.

• Bauhaus refers to the artistic era 1919 1933 in Germany. The basic principles of Bauhaus movement emphasise in the simplicity, functioning, practicality. It focuses in geometrical shapes and color and it declines every aspect of decoration motif. It was first founded from Walter Gropious and influenced the evolution of contemporary



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