New Bauhaus Museum identity “An indulgent ride full of surprises”

Published:  September 29, 2014

A philosophy, an ideal, a design heritage, an era — Bauhaus encompasses so much more than the brick-and-mortar school in Germany founded by Walter Gropius in 1919.  Having never been reduced to a single corporate identity before, Stuttgart-based designer Sascha Lobe of L2M3 took on the charged task of encapsulating the globally recognised and multifaceted legacy behind Bauhaus-Archiv Musuem while retaining the school’s desire to ‘do more with less’.

Embracing the distinct character of the Bauhaus movement, Lobe said to Fast Co Design that developing a new typeface for the identity was “an indulgent ride full of surprises.” Drawing from the work of infamous Bauhaus typographer Herbert Bayer, he continues to note that his process was awakened by Bayer, who was “such an unexpected designer: full of experimentation, bravery and spirit… I used his expressionism as the ignition for my work.”

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With Bayer’s experimental 1925 Universal typeface as a launching pad, Lobe injected more than 55 glyphs that are made to interact spatially with the new logo — to be endlessly adapted in print and digital mediums — as “we didn’t want to just copy or update an existing typeface,” but instead “extend it and modernise it, as well as build a framework that allows it to be extended in the future, while maintaining the experimental nature that is at the heart of Bayer’s design work.”


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The visual identity of Bauhaus calls for a deeply considered show of typography, which is why “it was critical for us to deliver a beautiful and complex typeface, which provided the Bauhaus-Archiv with an inexhaustible supply of options to work with going forward.” The line width and X-height of Bayer’s original typeface were used as parameters, “paradoxically” allowing the typeface to offer both diversity and conformity.

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Explaining, “we’re dwarves, standing on the shoulders of giants,” Lobe is aware of how one unit of typography could never fully encompass the Bauhaus legacy. He has instead created something flexible, more than an echo, but not entirely definitive — the corporate font is primed to age with grace and evolve as time goes on.

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