This year, the legendary Bauhaus school turned 100. The school was only open from 1919 to 1932, but with a focus on craft and fine arts–on the eve of the industrial design revolution and the rise of modern commercialism–it would go on to impact architecture, fashion, products, and graphic design.
Design platform 99designs marked the anniversary by commissioning more than a dozen designers to create Bauhaus-style homages to some of the world’s most famous logos, including Apple, Google, Adidas, Domino’s, Lego, and Netflix. They’re one part inside joke, one part gorgeous vintage remake.
While it’s unfair to stereotype Bauhaus’s graphic design under a single aesthetic–just take a look at the wide-ranging print artifacts from the school here–it is safe to say that the modernist forms of smooth, sans serif typefaces and simple geometric shapes were born at the school. And contemporary branding is still very much in love with the Bauhaus philosophy.
As such, you could make a very convincing argument that the new Google or Slack logos–along with the whole recent trend of similar-looking sans serif tech brands based upon simplistic geometries–would not exist without Bauhaus. Still, it’s fun to imagine what Apple and Google would have looked like if they were literally dreamed up in 1920s Germany.
It may come as a surprise that most of Bauhaus’s most famous graphic designs were actually promoting Bauhaus events. “Last Dance” by Herbert Bayer (who began as a student) was literally just an invitation made for the school’s final party before moving locations. The best known piece of Joost Schmidt (who taught lettering and sculpture) is a poster advertising a Bauhaus exhibition. Paradoxically, without really saying it, most contemporary branding is actually promoting Bauhaus.