Bayer, Herbert [Guest Editor and Designer]: GEBRAUCHSGRAPHIK September 1952. Special issue titled Container Corporation of America: Design as an Expression of Industry.

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Container Corporation of America: Design as an Expression of Industry

Herbert Bayer [Guest Editor and Designer]

Herbert Bayer and Eberhard Holscher [Editor]: GEBRAUCHSGRAPHIK. Berlin: Gebrauchsgraphik, Volume 23, Number 9: September 1952. Parallel text in German and English.  Thick printed wrappers. 60 pp.  Editorial content and advertisements. White wrappers lightly spotted. Textblock pages edges lightly yellowed with a bit of foxing early and late. Pretty clean interior. Cover design by Herbert Bayer. A nearly fine copy.

Special issue titled Container Corporation of America: Design as an Expression of Industry edited and art-directed by Herbert Bayer. All aspects of the CCAs design programs are covered in depth, from architecture and interior design, to advertising, branding, packaging, exhibitions, periodicals, color theory, and a lengthy section on the CCA Design Laboratory. Includes many examples from  Modern Art in Advertising, the graphically more intense series predating the more artsy Great Ideas series. Black and white photography throughout by Torkel Korling.

In 1952, Bayer, was a design consultant for the Container Corporation of America, working on the WORLD GEO-GRAPHIC ATLAS. His intimate knowledge of both Chairman Walter Paepcke’s respect for design and the CCAs mission statement made Bayer the perfect choice to guest-edit this special issue of Gebrauchsgraphik.

The most comprehensive visual record to date of CCA's embrace of the European Avant-Garde -- and its practical application in American business. Highly recommended.

Includes work by Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, A. M. Cassandre,  Miguel Covarrubias, Hans Erni, Fran Foley, Egbert Jacobsen, Gyorgy Kepes, Albert Kner, George Korff, Fernand Léger, Richard Lindner, Henry Moore, Stamo Papadaki, Ben Shahn, Angelo Testa, Felix Topolski, William Traher and others.

The Container Corporation of America [CCA], the largest domestic manufacturer of paperboard and packaging materials, was an early and influential patron of Modern design in the United States. Design work commissioned by the CCA reflected their progressive business approach as well as the growing consumer culture fueled by new attention being paid to the aesthetic shaping of products and advertising. In following its mission—and especially through its advertisements—CCA founded a style of institutional communication that influenced the field and prefigured contemporary socially oriented campaigns.

Beginning in 1937 a seminal series of ads directed by Charles Coiner [1898–1989] used illustrations by A. M. Cassandre, Jean Carlu, Leo Lionni, Herbert Bayer, Herbert Matter, and other European vanguard artists and designers. This campaign marked a unique integration of progressive art into mainstream American promotion and advertising.

CCA Chairman Paepcke deepened his impact on Modernism in America when he became the friend and financial supporter of Bauhaus émigré László Moholy-Nagy, who came to Chicago in 1937 to launch the New Bauhaus. Paepcke also became the patron of Bauhaus alumnus Herbert Bayer, who profoundly aided him in his goal of bettering humanity through his commercial products and advertising.

Walter Paepcke began redeveloping the resort town of Aspen, Colorado in 1945, the same year he hired Bayer as the Design Director for CCA. Bayer moved to Aspen in 1946 where he co-designed the Aspen Institute, oversaw the restoration of the Wheeler Opera House, and designed promotional posters that identified skiing with wit, excitement, and glamour. In 1956, he was promoted to Chairman of the Department of Design, where he was responsible for the corporation’s entire aesthetic environment, including graphic design, advertising, marketing, industrial design, architecture, and interiors — his first foray into the concept of creating a total corporate environment.

As a result of his relationship with Paepcke, Bayer pioneered the concept of collaboration between the artist and a corporation. Their shared vision of a symbiotic relationship between corporate culture and an aesthetic philosophy was Bayer’s realization of the true Bauhaus credo.

In 1938, advertising executive David Ogilvy had denigrated CCA advertising as “an exercise in amateur pretension” and predicted that “it would soon be consigned to oblivion.” Thirty-eight years later, he declared it to be “the best . . . corporate advertising that has ever appeared in print.”

Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) truly lived the Bauhaus ideal of total integration of the arts into life. He mastered graphic design, typography, photography, painting, environmental design, sculpture and exhibition design in a career from Dessau to Aspen. Bayer left the Bauhaus in 1928 and worked in Berlin at the Dorland Agency until he emigrated to the United States in 1938. From 1946 on he worked exclusively for Container Corporation of America (CCA) and the Atlantic Richfield Corporation. In 1946 he moved to Aspen to become design consultant to CCA, a position he held until 1965.