Meggs’ History of Graphic Design Summary Ch. 16

Bauhaus (The State Home for Building) was a design school in German that opened in 1919 with students and faculty shaping a modern design aesthetic in furniture, architecture, product, and graphic designs.The Bauhaus was formed by the merging the applied arts-oriented Weimar Arts and Crafts School along with the Weimar Art Academy, a fine art school. Gropius, the new director of the school, hoped to train designers to “breathe a soul into the dead product of the machine”  for he wished unify art and technology. Inspirations were drew from expressionism for intensive visionary. When Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky joined the staff in 1920 and 1922, advanced ideas about form, colour and space were taught and the heart of Bauhaus education was the preliminary course established by Johannes Itten in order to release each student’s creative abilities. A major exhibition was held in 1923 in order for students the demonstrate the student’s accomplishments due the continuing conflicts between the Bauhaus and the government.

109_268_bauhausaustellung_weimar_1923_0Laszlo Moholy-Nagy was a restless experimenter who explored painting, photography, film, sculpture, and graphic design. New technologies allow for new materials at the time such as acrylic resin and plastic, photomontage and the photogram meant more experimentations for Moholy-Nagy. He had a marked influence on the evolution of Bauhaus instruction and philosophy and became Gropius’s “prime minister”. His passion for typography and photography inspired Bauhaus interest in visual communication and saw graphic design, particularly poster, as evolving toward the typophoto, while using the camera as a tool for design.


 Bauhaus moved to Dessau due to tension with the government, and from there, their identity and philosophy were so much more developed with De Stijl and constructivist. It also became more of a business organization, the Bauhaus Corporation, to handle the sale of workshop prototypes. New approaches to photography also came into play with graphic communication and was expanded by Herbert Bayer during this era by making images becoming pictorial symbols removed from their naturalistic environments and linked together in unexpected ways.



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