Visual Culture

These Famous Logos Were Given the Bauhaus Treatment

Design by Jaseng99. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Jaseng99. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by dellfi. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by dellfi. Courtesy of 99design.

To honor the ’s centennial, graphic designers have reimagined contemporary logos of ubiquitous brands like Apple, Starbucks, and Netflix in the German art school’s boundary-breaking style. 99designs, a digital design community, organized the competition, which saw submissions from designers around the world.
Founded by in 1919, the Bauhaus laid the foundation for 20th- and 21st-century aesthetics in its short 14-year lifespan (it was shut down in 1933 by the Nazis). From pragmatic Ikea furniture to the sans-serif text of the internet to the airy atmosphere of an Apple store, the design of the modern world is indebted, in part, to the Bauhaus.
Design by Asaad. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Asaad. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Enrique Arredondo. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Enrique Arredondo. Courtesy of 99design.

Prioritizing utility, embracing geometry, and uniting form with function, Gropius and his coterie—including such legendary artists as and —pioneered then-radical ideals of austerity, reducing chairs, tea kettles, architectural spaces, and typography alike to their bare essentials.
It is a testament to the longstanding influence of Bauhausian minimalist ideals that the selected logos were already streamlined to begin with; many of the designers who reimagined “Bauhaus style” logos had to add visual elements. Perhaps Google and its brethren are more Bauhaus than the Bauhaus itself.
Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Vladimir Nikolic. Courtesy of 99design.

For the contemporary logos that were already minimal, designers took on the style of famous Bauhaus artists and images. The Android logo by designer SSUK and Burger King logo by BlackLogo imitate the formal qualities of Bauhaus exhibition posters. Reinvented by Arsdesigns, Domino’s already-simple symbol evokes a composition by Moholy-Nagy.
The logos also capture tenets of Bauhaus design more generally. Vladimir Nikolic highlights the design school’s emphasis on basic geometry by turning Apple’s flat icon into a weighty, shaded sphere. Similarly, Artopelago renders Google’s unfussy typography into a series of half-circles.
Design by artopelago. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by artopelago. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Ruiz Emanuel. Courtesy of 99design.

Design by Ruiz Emanuel. Courtesy of 99design.

Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99Designs, noted that the Bauhaus opened amid imminent technological change. “Many artists were worried that mainstream adoption of electricity and mass production would be the end of art as we knew it,” he explained in a press release. Today, we celebrate the school’s centennial in a climate not so dissimilar. As photo-centric social media reshapes how we view art, as well as the world around us, maybe the Bauhaus can offer some guidance. Rather than scorn technological advancement, Llewellyn explained, “the Bauhaus group were instead inspired by the change and progress they saw happening around them.”
Kelsey Ables is an Editorial Intern at Artsy.