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Exploring the Bauhaus-Style Design

Bauhaus-style design was named after an art and school design “Bauhaus” in Germany around 1919 – 1933. This art school was eventually influential and quite famous for its unique curriculum.

The curriculum was addressed on integrating the art and mass production tactic. Most of Bauhaus paintings were seen in cubism and expressionism, which was altered by Russian modern painters with their constructivist style.

It was started from rapid industrial development to increasing demands for household appliances, and transforming agrarian to industrial society. The industrial revolution made furniture and house appliances products, which are mostly made of metal, leather and glass, being considered.

bauhaus style


The Early Days of Bauhaus-Style Design

The Bauhaus School was founded by German architect, Walter Gropius. The school, which was located in Weimar Germany, was actually focused on discovering a more rational house design for the laborers’ social housing.

They want to optimize the building’s rooms and structure, aiming for faster, mass and cheap construction without compromising the quality. In fact, Bauhaus did more than what it was.

Bauhaus-style design couldn’t be separated from the Art and Craft movement in England. It combined two education elements of art and design, commencing from introductory lessons about colors theory, material and formal connection.

The classes were taught by Bauhaus visual artists, such as Paul Klee, Vasily Kandinsky, and Josef Albers. Each student has to complete the introduction theories before choosing their specific study.

Their offering includes metal practicing, painting, sculpture, 3 dimensions art, wall painting art, typography, furniture, house appliances, weaving craft, pottery and others.

Bauhaus design style continued their movement when they moved to Dessau in 1925 and Gropius himself designed its new school building. The building was marked as a modern architecture establishment.

Including its steel frame construction, glass curtain wall, asymmetrical design and propeller-based design. Gropius also built studios, classrooms, administration rooms to manage the efficiency and maximize the rooms.


The End of Bauhaus Design Style

Bauhaus school was forced to close in 1930 due to Meyer pressure, the right-wing of the Government. He was once the school director before Ludwig Mies van der Rohe replaced him.

Ludwig Mies rearranged the Bauhaus curriculum to grow more in architecture. He collaborated with Lily Reich, who was finally in charge of interior design departments including weaving, photography, craft and construction.

In 1930, Ludwig Meis relocated the school to Berlin because of Germany unstable politics and Bauhaus risky finance.

The school was, indeed, reopened yet on a smaller scale. In the end, Ludwig Meis permanently closed it in 1933. During World War II, Bauhaus’ best artists migrated to the US.

Bauhaus work and philosophy influenced most architects and younger designers. Together with Joseph Albers, Marcel Breuer taught at Yale University while Walter Gropious at Harvard University.  


Bauhaus-Style Design Decorating Look

Bauhaus style is widely known for their simple, timeless and vulnerable take in today’s interiors. Their notable simplicity does a lot of design tasks in a minimalist room.

Bauhaus design works well with vintage, antique and contemporary interiors, creating a timeless look. They also use polychromatic and abstract colors to polish their look.

This style embraced their main principle, form follows function with “less is more” force. The principle was stressed by minimizing “tacky” ornaments and focusing more on clean lines.

Adapting Bauhaus-style design to your interior décor is to use color accents on doors or walls in red, yellow or blue.

The Bauhaus era is defined through vintage style featuring geometric graphic forms such as circles, squares and triangles. Vintage frames or Bauhaus reproduction posters are common ways of promoting this design.


What are the Characteristics of Bauhaus-Style Design?

“Truth to materials” is the core principle of Bauhaus-style design, meaning materials should be used in their natural form, without being furnished. If you are searching for inspirations, here are the main characteristics of Bauhaus graphic design.

Adapting Simple Design

We have previously discussed Bauhaus priority design, the functions. It shows how functions, pragmatisms and practicability in design are far more important than a mere beauty.

Assuming the main information is present, the design would be just a complementary. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make Bauhaus design unattractive. Thanks to the clever use of minimalist design that serves a great visual on them.

Bauhaus’ artists tend to avoid using unnecessary ornaments to emphasize more on genuine form, clean and natural design.

Applying Primary Colors

Bauhaus-style design primarily uses blocks of colors. It is extensively seen on Bauhaus-themed posters which use primary colors such as black, white, red, yellow and blue.

Featuring Geometric Shapes

Bauhaus design often features geometric shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. Even so, this depicted 20th century style still showcases its uniquely arranged design.

Geometric focus and study influence the modern graphic design as well as initiate the use of more minimalist design. Not to mention that geometric indirectly creates a decent design layout.

These shapes make the design layout look more elegant without neglecting each element’s focus, and generate the functionality.

Appealing Asymmetrical

In addition to its simplicity and the use of primary colors, Bauhaus is also famous for the asymmetrical shapes. Such as placing asymmetrical or reverse triangles in red, yellow or blue.

There is no balanced proportion between left and right in Bauhaus-style design. Overall, it only accentuates the geometrical yet asymmetrical lines.

Featuring Sans Serif Typography

Graphic designers unanimously use one typeface for designing Bauhaus fonts, it is the Sans Serif. The font is chosen for its clean and subtle looks.

If you go back to its origin, Bauhaus typography didn’t receive much attention at that time. Rather, Moholy, Nogi and Herbert Mayer are ones who turned it into an essential matter.

Not only does the empirical function of communication do the Bauhaus typography, but it is also an artistic expression with visual coherence. At the same time, typography also serves as the company or advertisement identity.

Sans Serif fonts is the visual symbol which is harmoniously paired with photography as the key of a graphic element. Although Sans Serif itself is relatively a new font in typography.

In the 1800s, there was some Sans Serif typography. Its peak popularity, however, started during the Bauhaus movement in the 1920. 


The Bauhaus movement has greatly influenced modern graphic design. It possibly happened since Bauhaus-style design innovative approach to art, technology use and new techniques.

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