Bauhaus- The Bauhaus was the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century, one whose approach to teaching, and understanding art’s relationship to society and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and the United States long after it closed. It was shaped by the 19th and early 20th centuries trends such as Arts and Crafts movement, which had sought to level the distinction between fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing. This is reflected in the romantic medievalism of the school’s early years, in which it pictured itself as a kind of medieval crafts guild. But in the mid 1920s the medievalism gave way to a stress on uniting art and industrial design, and it was this, which ultimately proved to be its most original and important achievement. The school is also renowned for its faculty, which included artists Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and designer Marcel Breuer.The motivations behind the creation of the Bauhaus lay in the 19th century, in anxieties about the soullessness of manufacturing and its products, and in fears about art’s loss of purpose in society. Creativity and manufacturing were drifting apart, and the Bauhaus aimed to unite them once again, rejuvenating design for everyday life.
Although the Bauhaus abandoned much of the ethos of the old academic tradition of fine art education, it maintained a stress on intellectual and theoretical pursuits, and linked these to an emphasis on practical skills, crafts and techniques that was more reminiscent of the medieval guild system. Fine art and craft were brought together with the goal of problem solving for a modern industrial society. In so doing, the Bauhaus effectively leveled the old hierarchy of the arts, placing crafts on par with fine arts such as sculpture and painting, and paving the way for many of the ideas that have inspired artists in the late 20th century.
The stress on experiment and problem solving at the Bauhaus has proved enormously influential for the approaches to education in the arts. It has led to the ‘fine arts’ being rethought as the ‘visual arts’, and art considered less as an adjunct of the humanities, like literature or history, and more as a kind of research science.
Massimo Vignelli – was an Italian designer who worked in a number of areas ranging from package design through housewares design and furniture design to public signage and showroom design. He was born January 10, 1931 and passed away on May 27, 2014 in New York City. Vignelli studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and later at the Università di Architettura, Venice. He has been awarded a number of accolades such as the 1992 – Interior Product Designers Fellowship of Excellence, 1993 – New York State Governor’s Award for Excellence, 1994 – Honorary Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Venice, Italy just to list a few. He was the co-founder of Vignelli Associates, with his wife, Lella.
Vignelli’s ethos was, “If you can design one thing, you can design everything,” and he certainly reflected this in the broad range of his work. Vignelli focused on simplicity through the use of basic geometric forms in all his work and he also based his work firmly within the Modernist tradition. Vignelli equipped his own home with tables, chairs, lamps and other items that he designed himself.
Vignelli often visited America on camaraderie between the years of 1957 to 1960. He returned to New York in 1966 to start the New York branch of a new company by the name of Unimark International, which quickly became, one of the largest design firms in the world in scope and personnel. His firm went on to design many of the world’s most recognizable corporate identities, including that of American Airlines. Vignelli also designed the iconic signage for the New York City Subway system during this time.
In August 1972, Vignelli’s design for the New York City Subway map appeared on the walls of subway stations and became a landmark in Modernist information design. Vignelli regarded the map as one of his best creations. Vignelli resigned from Unimark in 1971 because the version of the company’s vision, which he supported, changed and started focusing more on the basis of marketing rather than design. Vignelli and his wife founded Vignelli Associates soon after.
His clients at Vignelli Associates included high-profile companies such as IBM, Knoll, Bloomingdale’s and American Airlines he also went on and wrote a book entitled Vignelli: From A to Z, it contains a series of essays describing the principles and concepts behind “all good design”. It is also alphabetically organized by topics. Lastly Vignelli worked with a filmmaker by the name of Gary Hustwit on the documentary Helvetica, it is about the typeface of the same name. Vignelli also updated his 1972 New York City Subway map for an online-only version implemented in 2011 and it is described as a “diagram” not a map, this was done in order to reflect its abstract design without surface-level features such as streets and parks.
Jonathan Hoefler – Is an American Typeface designer, born August 22, 1970. He was educated at the Rhode Island School of design. He founded The Hoefler Type Foundry in 1989 in New York. In 1999 Hoefler began working with a type designer by the name of Tobias Frere-Jones, as such the company went by the name Hoefler & Frere-Jones their partnership was successful between the years of 2004-2014 after which they publicly split.
The original typefaces designed by Hoefler were debut in magazines such as Rolling Stone Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and several institutional clients, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and an alternative band called They Might Be Giants. It is said that Hoefler’s best-known work is of course the Hoefler Text family of typefaces, which he originally designed for Apple Computers but have now been appearing as part of the Macintosh operating system. Hoefler has also designed the current word mark of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Hoefler was named one of the forty most influential designers in America by I.D. magazine, in 1995. He was also presented with the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) most prestigious award, the Prix Charles Peignot for outstanding contributions to type design in 2002.
Hoefler and Frere-Jones have been featured in Time Magazine, and have made appearances on the National Public Radio and CBS Sunday Morning. Lastly Hoefler’s work has also been made a part of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s permanent collection.