You are here:

How Modernism and Bauhaus influenced graphic design and poster art

Kalonzo de Platique
Kalonzo de Platique

Content Creator at Platique

Graphic design and poster art have been integral parts of visual communication since the early 20th century. They have evolved over time, with new movements and styles emerging to shape their development. Two of the most important movements in this regard are modernism and Bauhaus. Both had a significant impact on graphic design and poster art, and their influence is still evident today.


Modernism was a cultural movement that emerged in the late 19th century and reached its peak in the early 20th century. It was a response to the rapid changes brought about by industrialization, urbanization, and scientific advancement. Modernism rejected traditional forms and sought to create new, innovative ones that reflected the spirit of the times.

In graphic design and poster art, modernism brought about a shift from ornamental and decorative styles to ones that emphasized simplicity and clarity. This was achieved through the use of clean lines, bold typography, and simple shapes. The modernist aesthetic was characterized by a focus on function over form, and a belief that design should serve a practical purpose rather than merely being decorative.

One of the pioneers of modernist graphic design was Jan Tschichold. He was a German typographer and graphic designer who believed that typography should be functional and expressive. Tschichold’s work was characterized by his use of sans-serif typefaces, asymmetric layouts, and the use of negative space. His designs were influential in the development of modernist graphic design and have had a lasting impact on the field.

Another important figure in the modernist movement was the Dutch designer Piet Zwart. Zwart was a proponent of the De Stijl movement, which emphasized simplicity and abstraction in art and design. Zwart’s work was characterized by his use of geometric shapes, bold colors, and a focus on functionality. His designs were often used in advertising, and his style influenced many designers in the mid-20th century.


The Bauhaus was a school of art and design that was founded in Germany in 1919. Its goal was to bring together fine art and crafts in a way that would serve the practical needs of modern society. The school was founded by Walter Gropius, who believed that art and design should be integrated into everyday life.

The Bauhaus approach to design was characterized by a focus on simplicity, functionality, and the use of new materials and technologies. The school emphasized the importance of craftsmanship and the role of the artist as a technician.

Products you may like