Above: Paula Scher’s Citibank.
Jenny Tondera writes: I was first introduced to Paula Scher’s work at age 16 when I was a student at a pre-college program at MCAD. My instructor showed us this video, and I remember being so impressed when I discovered that Scher came up with the current Citibank logo by simply taking one second to merge the word “Citi” with an umbrella shape and scrawl the outcome on a napkin. Could such a well-informed logo (that can now be found across the world) have really taken only one second to come up with? As Scher states in the video, “But it is done in a second, it’s done in a second and every experience, and every movie, and every thing that’s in my head.” Although her concise responses to the questions I asked regarding the Bauhaus may only take one second to read, they certainly have years of experience behind them.
1. How do the Bauhaus ideals such as “form follows function” influence (or not influence) your design work? Do you take these teachings into consideration during your design process?
Every day. The Bauhaus is one of the biggest formalistic influences in my work. Conceptually, I was influenced elsewhere.
2. How have the ideas of “New Typography,” introduced by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and furthered by Herbert Bayer (and his “Universal” type) found their way into your designs (or have they not)? What about the color theory studies of Josef Albers?
All have been incredibly influential. My work would not exist without them.
3. How do you feel the Bauhaus’ modernist aesthetics are influencing other graphic designers in our world today?
Everything is based on their work, even when the designers don’t know it, or credit it.