‘Research in Development of Universal Type’ by Herbert Bayer, 1927. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Examples of Bauhaus Graphic Design That Shaped the Movement

The Bauhaus archive launched by Harvard Art Museums is a treasure trove of type + print

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By Madeleine Morley

BBauhaus design’s impact on today’s graphics is hard to overestimate. Associated with primary colors, thick straight lines slashing across white space, and that emphatically modern trilogy of circle, triangle and square, the movement’s legacy has now become easier to trace due to an online tool via Harvard Art Museums. Thanks to the digital archive, exceptional and marginal objects from the period are more accessible, and so today we look at 5 examples of graphic design from the collection that might be of surprise or buck the cliché.

The museum is home to one of the largest collections devoted to the Bauhaus, and more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects of a variety of media are now searchable by keyword, title, artist, medium, and date. You can browse through the paintings and photographs of Lyonel Feininger, admire typographic experiments and stark magazine spreads by László Moholy-Nagy, or simply stumble across unexpected objects like this three-tier Bauhaus Dessau building cake made for the 80th birthday of the movement’s founder, Walter Gropius. There’s artworks, sketches, and prints by the masters of the school (Paul Klee…

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