Search & download full article:ProQuest EBSCO
The pervasiveness of Herbert Bayer’s influence on every aspect of modern commercial book design and production has been significantly underestimated. Bayer’s contributions to type design, layout, book production methodology and technology have been until recently largely overlooked despite the extent to which his vision and example have influenced the design of contemporary textbooks, atlases and exhibition catalogs. Bayer’s influence extends beyond these specialized formats. It is in the area of type design that Bayer’s contribution has been most unfairly dismissed. Among the progenitors of functionalism in type design, Bayer was the first to design a type specifically for photo offset reproduction. His designs for universal and bayer-type served as models for such commonly used modern fonts as Univers and Bauhaus. He was an advocate of clear, systematic thought tempered by pragmatism, whose principles of type design were twofold: 1) type as visual language, and 2) the relationship of type to technology. He proposed that type should represent language in a clear and readable manner, with full attention to the characteristics of the reproductive medium. It is in the attempt to formulate a theoretics of type design, rather than in the design of any one type face, that Bayer’s importance lies. While many of his more practically-oriented colleagues considered his desire to reconcile linguistic, technical and aesthetic concerns eccentric, contemporary designers grappling with the problematics of digital typography and computer screen design will find his work provocative.