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Bauhaus Info

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Bauhaus 1919 – 1933

Let us therefore create a new guild of craftsmen without the class-distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. It will combine architecture, sculpture, and painting in a single form, and will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith.

– Walter Gropius, “Manifesto,” (1919).

Important Bauhaus considerations:

  • Light
  • Function
  • Simplicity
  • Form
  • Craftsmanship

Lessons From The Bauhaus

Form Follows Function

Everything made at the Bauhaus School was meant to embody one central tenet: form should always reflect and enhance function. Utility comes first.

The lesson: never sacrifice your message for your design. Focus on readability, narrative, and information first, artistic flair and frills second. Use your design to reinforce your message, never the other way around.

There is Always a Connection Between Colour and Shape

One of the school’s most famous thinkers and artists, Wassily Kandinsky believed certain shapes and colours complemented each other and communicated a specific idea or emotion to the viewer. For example, he believed yellow and the triangle were natural partners: they strengthen each other’s sharpness. He tested his students on this theory, presenting them with a circle, square, and triangle alongside the colours red, blue, and yellow (blue, a spiritual colour, corresponded with the circle while red, an earthbound colour, corresponded with the square.) Amazingly, the vast majority of his students (and of all people who take the Kandinsky Questionnaire today) make these choices.

The lesson: colours and shapes may hold deeper connections than we realize.

http://shhdesign.co.uk/blog/the-use-of-basic-shapes-and-colour-in-design-the-influence-of-the-bauhaus/

Clean, Powerful Typography Matters

In the world of graphic design, typography is perhaps the Bauhaus’ great legacy. For the Bauhaus, the words were an integral graphic element. They were architectural — like a chair in a room — functioning on their own, as words, and as artistic tools in the space. Bauhaus typographers were pioneers of wrapping text, and of setting words at sharp angles. But again, the meaning of the words always came first, clever design second.

The lesson: be as imaginative with your typography as you are with every other tool in your toolbox, but make sure it never detracts from your message.

Typography matters!- You Don’t Have to Abolish Capital Letters, But Sometimes It Helps

Like Kandinsky’s universal aesthetic, Herbert Bayer’s universal alphabet was designed to foster communication. At the time of its invention, almost all of Germany’s printed text was in Fraktur: a strange, antiquated, difficult-to-read typeface; a remnant of an age when monks and scholars published manuscripts for other monks and scholars. You’re probably familiar with Fraktur. It’s available in many modern font packages and in some versions of Microsoft Word. The Bauhaus concentrated on simplified fonts and avoided the much heavier renderings of the standard German typography of the time. Designers started wrapping text around objects, and also learned to arrange type horizontally, vertically and even diagonally — which was not common at the time. They also refused to combine lower and upper case types in a same work and preferred the use of sans-serif fonts.

The lesson: Make your design accessible. If you’re hoping to appeal to a wide audience, avoid over-stylizing. Reduce your design to its most essential elements.

Geometry is King

Students were well-acquainted with paintings of contemporary Cubist artists, such as Picasso and Gris, and so they adopted the similar way of looking at reality. They started breaking down objects into their rawest geometric shapes, as they considered this technique as the best way to create new, and more modern items.

Clean, abstract and geometric forms were constantly used to produce new common tools that could highlight the difference from the old trends of the Art Nouveau. An example?

In 1925, Marcel Breuer, a member of the Bauhaus school, designed a new model of chair, later called “Wassily Chair”. It is composed by some metal tubes and by leather bands which give an idea of fluidity and flexibility.

The designer was able to realize a minimal and fluid design that lasted in years and that it is still loved today.

Share and Collaborate

The Bauhaus was founded on collaboration. Even though its founders and teachers were all giants in their fields, they also all served a greater purpose: design enlightenment. Not that there weren’t disagreements, but they managed to achieve an openness and collaborative style few groups of artists ever have. Their timelessness is a testament to that.

The lesson: Work with others, share ideas, and don’t live in fear of losing credit. Sometimes getting better and learning is more important.

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery: The Bauhaus is Everywhere

Art is a continuum of great ideas. Many of the best ones have been done before, but you can always frame those ideas in new ways. Even if you didn’t know anything about the Bauhaus before reading this article, you probably recognize the look. It’s a cultural eye-worm and for good reason: it works.

The lesson: When you see a great graphic idea, be inspired.

PAUL KLEES SIX LESSONS

LESSON ONE:

Learn the rules! Understanding the nature of mark-making is the key to creating a good composition

LESSON TWO:

Break the rules. Understanding the potential structure of form allows you to disrupt it

LESSON THREE:

Look to nature. The relationships in nature can help us understand the way our elements work in art

LESSON FOUR:

Know your viewpoint. Perspective is about your position in relation to the world, and once you know it, you can mess with it

LESSON FIVE:

Like architecture, a painting must be structurally balanced

LESSON SIX:

Paint is the opposite of light. Learn the colour wheel for the best chance at mastering it

Articles

http://bauhaus-online.de/en/atlas/das-bauhaus
http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/klees-sixth-rule-bauhaus-know-your-colour-wheel

Videos

http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/bauhaus_modernism_other_design_movements_explained_by_new_animated_video_series_.html

Bauhaus Costumes

the Bauhaus costumes created for the Triadic Ballet by Oskar Schlemmer influenced David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust

http://www.openculture.com/2014/11/kandinsky-klee-other-bauhaus-artists-designed-ingenious-costumes-like-youve-never-seen-before.html

Bauhaus Interiors

http://www.openculture.com/2015/11/the-interior-of-the-hindenburg-revealed-in-1930s-color-photos.html

Bauhaus Architecture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM8mLQhC688

27 mins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZOqTFtEHAw&index=2&list=PLWTJqWMSHJllm7zddHgOPaSzoAfbgNpr8  

15 mins timeless Thonet from Bauhaus times chairs relaunched

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2SuFU2tM2M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyEDZD0rl6U&index=3&list=PLWTJqWMSHJllm7zddHgOPaSzoAfbgNpr8

GRAPHIC DESIGN

What you need to do:

  1. Select one of the designers (suited to your course) listed in this post, make sure you don’t double up with the other students in the group
  2. Write about the key points of their career during the Bauhaus period (300+ words)
  3. Source min 6 images related to the post
  4. Acknowledge the sources of info at the end of the post
  5. Tick the Categories&Tags Category “Bauhaus” before publishing
  6. Prepare a short (2-3 min) presentation about your post
  7. Note the post is due on the 2nd of March 2017, presentation is due next session
  8. Post min two comments (100+ words) on this posts from min two students from your group

What to post?

This Blog is the representation of your inspirations for Graphic Design from life and things you have learnt from by the History and Theory of Design Unit you have been studying this semester.

Feel free to express your feelings towards the images you find, post comments, upload pictures, links, videos and much more with the group of students your studying the unit at Kingscliff TAFE.