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IMAGE GALLERY

Herbert Bayer
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/13/2017

Ellen Lupton on Herbert Bayer's indelible Bauhaus 'universal' lettering

Featured image, of Herbert Bayer’s 1925 design for “universal” lettering, is reproduced from Bauhaus: 1919-1933, back in print and forever the definitive overview on the school and movement that redefined art, architecture, photography, and design in the years leading up to World War II. “Bayer’s universal alphabet became a symbol of ‘Bauhaus typography,’ even though it was not strictly speaking a typeface,” Design Is Storytelling author Ellen Lupton writes. “Fixed in memory through a few endlessly repeated reproductions, the universal alphabet was a philosophical idea that reverberated throughout the promotional activities of the Bauhaus and beyond … Bayer’s letters are awkward, inconsistent, and not very useful, yet they gave form to prevalent avant-garde thinking about function, modularity, industrial standards, and machine production. Bayer released his idea into the wilderness of typographic discourse, and there it lived.”

Bauhaus: 1919–1933

Bauhaus: 1919–1933

D.A.P./The Museum of Modern Art
Hbk, 9.5 x 12 in. / 344 pgs / 475 images





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