Bauhaus design: a guide to the design movement

The Bauhaus was a state-funded school set up by by architect Walter Gropius in 1919. His mission, which became clearer when the school began writing manifestoes about its purpose, was to use the visual arts to bring about a better society. He thought the way to do this was to break down the hierarchies of the creative world, which would mirror German society at the time. 

The Bauhaus would smash through the divisions between fine and applied arts, and develop a new aesthetic: made for the people. In real terms, this meant that crafts such as ceramics, print-making, textiles and metalworking would be afforded the same status as painting and sculpture. Later on, photography and graphics would be added to the mix, with a new focus placed on function and, ultimately, design. This has led to the design world we now know, and many of the best graphic design portfolios are influenced by the movement, whether their creators realise it or not.

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Aaron Kitney is a freelance graphic designer and art director based in London and Vancouver. He specialises in branding, identity, web design, publication design, packaging and book design.