Feel the Bauhaus
BA Visual Communication Project
The actual Bauhaus Museum Weimar is a grey cube: quite a delusion from the outside. It seems to be the manifestation of what the Bauhaus movement is perceived around the world by hearsay: a conceptual box, including several famous artists and designer and architects, where everything must be functional, rational, soulless, cut to the bone – or we should say, to the tubular steel. But if somebody makes research about the Bauhaus, it’s clear that this statement is far to be faithful to reality.
In fact, it’s just enough to listen to some interviews and watch some videos, try to go deep in the roots of the school, to understand that there is more than that. And not just in the first period, when Johannes Itten infused a shadow of mysticism in the school, but also after his departure from Weimar. The Bauhaus had its own parties and theme nights, and the environment promoted every kind of experiment in various design fields.
In each place where people choose to spend a part of their life, there is something interesting to tell. This is what the museum will be: a place that can truthfully show the unexpected and ignored flow of humans, stories and feelings of the Bauhaus movement. Not for nothing, the tagline will be “Feel the Bauhaus”, highlighting the emotional connection between visitors and museum that it aims to obtain. The visitor will feel the humans behind the objects, and the stories behind every photograph or piece of furniture.
To reach this target, it is important to place the visitor in an environment that comfort him in some ways: the museum won’t have mere geometric graphic elements, but smoother illustrations, that will depict familiar scenarios. The colour palette is reduced to the Bauhaus three primary tonalities (red, yellow and blue) but in a more “pastel” version. The word mark is handwritten, a combination of the bau font and handwriting of masters of the school, in order to remark the absence of a rigid scheme, also in the use of typography. The body text used in the flyer and in the poster is Platform, chosen for its quirkiness and for its very bold appearance, which makes it fit for standing out compared to the illustrations.
On the other hand, it’s important to communicate that this museum isn’t “boring”. It has been crucial, through the design process, to add a bit of playfulness and fun. In fact the main visual element, which we can see in the poster, is a combination of Bauhaus masks, which were often used for students and masters’ parties (one of them can be seen worn by Ise Gropius). They are not placed in a schematic and tidy way, but they are scattered around the pages, like a group of humans would stay in any environment: when people go to museum and see every artefact and photograph placed in a precise order, they tend to think that the human beings behind those objects are easily pigeonholed, even if the reality is much more messy and nuanced.