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Typography / Bauhaus

A presentation on development of typography focusing on Bauhaus

Peter Kovacs

on 3 August 2018

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Transcript of Typography / Bauhaus

The influence of Bauhaus on typography
What is bauhaus?
Bauhaus along with The Vkhutemas were the first schools to train artist-designers in a modern manner
predecessor of bauhaus: grand-ducal saxon School of arts and crafts and weimar academy of fine art
director of gds: henry van de velde , 1905 - 1915
1919, foundation of the bauhaus by walter gropius
1925, school moves to dessau
1928, hannes meyer
1930, ludwig mies van der rohe
1932, school moves to berlin
1933, school shuts down
Walter gropius (1883 - 1969)

german architect and industrial designer
founder and first director of the bauhaus, 1919 - 1928
1937, moved to the usa
teacher of harvard graduate school of design
founder of the architect's collaborative (tac)
(staatliches) bauhaus
combined crafts and fine art
art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, typography
bauhaus and Vkhutemas (russian state art and technical school founded in 1920) were the first to train artist-designers in a modern manner
major impact on 20th century art and design
history of typography
typography is what language looks like
The first graphic images that evolved into our Western system of writing began with simple shapes that represented a basic vocabulary of objects and concepts. These were Pictograms.

Over time, symbols were developed to express more complex objects and concepts. These were Ideograms.

The third stage in the evolution of written language is the Phonogram. Phonograms represent either syllables (fa-mi-ly) or basic sounds (f-a-m-i-l-y).
bauhaus typography
early years

1919 - 1923: influences from Expressionism, Dada, Constructivism and De Stijl.
1923: The artwork showed a move from an expressionist emphasis to a more applied-design emphasis.

"A Unity of Art and Handicraft" -> "Art and Technology, a New Unity"
"typography is the tool of communication, type must be clear, legible, and communicate its message."
Moholy - Nagy lászló

Moholy-Nagy succeeded in creating an asymmetrical typography that was both clear and convincing."
In the first years of the Bauhaus at Weimar, typography did not yet play the central role it was later to take on. For Johannes Itten and Lothar Schreyer, calligraphy was essentially an artistic means of expression. At first, practical fields of application remained seldom and were restricted to small, miscellaneous printed matters.

With the appointment of Moholy-Nagy in 1923, who was to introduce the ideas of "New Typography" to the Bauhaus, the situation radically changed. He considered typescript to be primarily a communications medium, and was concerned with the "clarity of the message in its most emphatic form". His influence is clearly visible already in 1923 in the advertising campaign for the large Bauhaus exhibition of Summer 1923. Moholy-Nagy designed the layout for the exhibition publication and further took over the typography of the "Bauhaus books".

from then on, typography at the Bauhaus was closely connected to corporate identity and to the development of an unmistakable image for the school. Characteristic for the design were clear, unadorned type prints, the articulation and accentuation of pages through distinct symbols or typographic elements highlighted in color, and finally direct information in a combination of text and photography, for which the name "Typofoto" was created.

In Weimar, next to Moholy-Nagy, both Joost Schmidt and Herbert Bayer had also been concerned with typography. In Dessau, Bayer took over the newly installed workshop for printing and advertising and rapidly transformed it into a professional studio for graphic design. He intensively developed Avant-garde typesetting and his posters and printed matters show a concern with contemporary themes from the psychology of advertising.
In 1925, Gropius commissioned Bayer to design a typeface for all Bauhaus communiques. He took advantage of his views of modern typography to create an "idealist typeface." The result was "universal" - a simple geometric sans-serif font.
In Bayer's philosophy for type design, not only were serifs unnecessary, he felt there was no need for an upper and lower case for each letter. Part of his rationale for promoting this concept was to simplify typesetting and typewriter keyboard layout.The Bauhaus set forth elementary principles of typographic communication, which were the beginnings of a style termed "The New Typography."

1. Typography is shaped by functional requirements.

2. The aim of typographic layout is communication (for which it is the graphic medium). Communication must appear in the shortest, simplest, most penetrating form.

3. For typography to serve social ends, its ingredients need internal organization - (ordered content) as well as external organization (the typographic material properly related).
Beginning in the late Middle Ages manuscripts began to be produced on paper. very early printed books were sometimes produced with spaces left for rubrics and miniatures, or were given illuminated initials, or decorations in the margin, but the introduction of printing rapidly led to the decline of illumination. Illuminated manuscripts continued to be produced in the early 16th century, but in much smaller numbers, mostly for the very wealthy.
Albers Using 10 basic shapes based
on the circle and the rectangle, he created a system of lettering that was meant to be efficient, easy to learn, and inexpensive to produce. These 10 shapes in combination could form any letter or number.
"why should we write and print with two alphabets? both a large and a small sign are not necessary to indicate one single sound. we do not speak a capital A and a small a. we need only a single alphabet"
herbert bayer
dan gheno (american artist and teacher) believes bayer destroyed all his gains when he insisted on exclusively using lower-case letters in his work. gheno refuses bayer’s claims that the eyes are able to comprehend more quickly when they don’t have to differentiate between capital and lower-case, stating that full stops lose their importance, sentences get lost in a maze of letters and recognising proper names becomes difficult.
despite such criticism, when herbert bayer died in 1985 he left behind an outstanding career as an architect, artist, graphic designer, typographer and teacher. making his mark on graphic design along with laszlo moholy-nagy and their fellow bauhaus artists. without the bauhaus‘ revolutionary modifications in all areas of the arts, from typography to tapestry, there would never have been many of the designs that followed its forced close in 1933 by the nazis. we definitely would not have seen helvetica being used as a corporate typeface in eight out of ten of germany’s largest companies, without the pioneering work of typographers and designers like laszlo moholy-nagy and herbert bayer.
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