Jobs was also obsessed with typography. Bayer, the man behind the Aspen Institute, had himself designed the classic Bauhaus font that was used on its promotional materials. It was sans-serif, minimal and modern. And it came to define the movement, much the same way that certain fonts came to brand Apple. “Whether it’s on the device or on the home screen or on the packaging, all of Apple’s branding is consistent and recognizable through this use of typography,” says Orr.
But typography is just one component of a broader belief in “total design,” says Orr, that links Apple and the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus believed that all creative fields, whether architecture or graphic design or painting, should come together in a gesamtkunstwerk—a total work of art. For Apple, too, “it’s not just about the product,” Orr said. “It’s about the packaging and it’s about the counter on which that packaging sits, and it’s about the environment that houses those shelves and the location of that store.”
“We’re really shooting for Museum of Modern Art quality,” Steve Jobs once said of his team at Apple. They succeeded, quite literally. Ten Apple products now reside in the MoMA
’s permanent design collection, including the first-generation iPod and the iMac. They’re all sleek lines, light colors, beveled edges, and geometric forms—a look they owe, in part, to the long-lasting influence of the Bauhaus.