Herbert Bayer

Indices : Designers : Herbert Bayer

Born 1900 in Austria. Died 1985 in California.

Herbert Bayer was a student at the Bauhaus, who later became a Master there (their egalitarian term for professor). At the Bauhaus, he developed several typeface proposals along the lines of his idea for a Universal Typeface, which would be unicase. Bayer helped keep almost all type at the Bauhaus during its Dessau years lowercase only. On the school letterhead, which he designed, was an enormous footnote explaining the lack of capital letters ("why write big when you cannot speak big?").

After the close of the Bauhaus, Bayer was one of Germany's leading commercial artists. Somehow untainted by the Bauhaus' communist reputation, Bayer spent much of the 1930s designing for the Nazis (see German Nationalism). Never a Nazi party member himself, he emigrated to New York in 1938.

Bayer would become an executive at J. Walter Thompson, and a consummate American. His Nazi party associations have rarely been brought up, either during his life or after it.

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