Poster, "Olivetti Divisumma", 1953
Photo-offset lithograph on white wove paper. Museum purchase through gift of James A. Lapides and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund. 2009-1-1.
- Designed by Herbert Bayer
What is this?
Multicolored poster advertising the Divisumma adding machine by Olivetti. Design consists of stylized printing ribbons in tones of grays interspersed with squares of vivid color. Small typographic forms appear randomly on several of the gray squares and more consistently on the colored ones.
Why is this in our collection?
The work of Herbert Bayer is especially significant because he was particularly concerned with graphic design and typography. Born outside Vienna, Bayer studied at the Weimar Bauhaus from 1921 to 1923 under Johannes Itten and Wassily Kandinsky. When the school moved to Dessau in 1925, Bayer was hired by Walter Gropius to head his newly created typography and graphic design workshop. Bayer’s most dramatic innovation was his creation of a universal typeface that organized the alphabet around simple, geometrically constructed forms. Because spoken language does not differentiate between capital and lowercase letters, Bayer created an efficient font organized around four arcs, three angles, vertical and... more