• Steven Heller

Bayer Au Naturale

Herbert Bayer (1900-1985), a maestro of the graphic arts, was most closely identified with the Bauhaus program in Weimar, Germany. Together with Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Wassily Kandinsky, Bayer helped shape a pedagogy of various disciplines ranging from architecture to typography and graphic design. Bayer went on to produce an impressive body of work, including freelance graphics commissions, Modernist exhibition design, corporate identity programs, and more. In 1933 he was featured in the Italian magazine Natura with a cover and interior spread. He had made even more of a worldwide splash than that, with profiles in many publications

Austrian born Bayer came to the Bauhaus as a student, he stayed on to become one of its most prominent faculty members. His design for the sans-serif type Universal defined the Bauhaus aesthetic.

He left in 1928 and moved to Berlin where he opened a graphic design firm whose clients included Vogue. During this period, he also created or art-directed a number of memorable exhibitions. Much of his work until he left was exhibition and catalog design. By 1933 Bayer was feeling the repressive turn in German politics but did not leave until 1938 for New York. Being married to a Jewish woman he felt he best to leave his career in Germany behind. This issue of Natura shows his collage phase, which he developed as creative director for Dorland, Germany’s most prominent advertising agency.

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