Herbert Bayer, USA

AGI member since 1954

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Herbert Bayer was a graphic and exhibition designer, architect and landscape designer, photographer, painter. A great man who was a pioneer of modernism in European and American design. He apprenticed with the architect Schmidthammer in Linz and worked for Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt and studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar (1921–23) under Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy. He designed bold typographic banknotes in 1923. When the Bauhaus had moved to Dessau, Bayer was placed in charge of typography and advertising. He advocated the use of sans serif typefaces, produced a geometric alphabet (1925), and proposed the abolition of capital letters.

Bayer set up a Berlin studio in 1928, where he exercised all of his specialist skills. He was the art director of the German Vogue magazine and collaborated with Gropius, Moholy-Nagy and Breuer on a Berlin exhibition of the Werkbund and the Workers Union. Bayer moved to New York for political reasons, becoming an art director for leading agencies during the war. He initiated and designed the 1938 Bauhaus exhibition at NY MoMA. In 1946 Bayer moved to Aspen to become a leading educator at the Aspen Institute, for which he designed several buildings. He was initiator of the Aspen Design Conferences and worked for CCA, later becoming chairman of its design department.

Biography text taken from AGI by Ben and Elly Bos

Design work by Herbert Bayer


    Herbert Bayer, USA (1954)

    Herbert Bayer was a graphic and exhibition designer, architect and landscape designer, photographer, painter. A great man who was a pioneer of modernism in European and American design. He apprenticed...

    Read full biography
    Herbert Bayer, USA (1954)

      Herbert Bayer was a graphic and exhibition designer, architect and landscape designer, photographer, painter. A great man who was a pioneer of modernism in European and American design. He apprenticed with the architect Schmidthammer in Linz and worked for Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt and studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar (1921–23) under Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy. He designed bold typographic banknotes in 1923. When the Bauhaus had moved to Dessau, Bayer was placed in charge of typography and advertising. He advocated the use of sans serif typefaces, produced a geometric alphabet (1925), and proposed the abolition of capital letters.

      Bayer set up a Berlin studio in 1928, where he exercised all of his specialist skills. He was the art director of the German Vogue magazine and collaborated with Gropius, Moholy-Nagy and Breuer on a Berlin exhibition of the Werkbund and the Workers Union. Bayer moved to New York for political reasons, becoming an art director for leading agencies during the war. He initiated and designed the 1938 Bauhaus exhibition at NY MoMA. In 1946 Bayer moved to Aspen to become a leading educator at the Aspen Institute, for which he designed several buildings. He was initiator of the Aspen Design Conferences and worked for CCA, later becoming chairman of its design department.

      Biography text taken from AGI by Ben and Elly Bos