Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Peter Behrens (1868-1940)
Peter Behrens was born in Hamburg, Germany. He was actually a trained and successful architect during his working life, however he greatly contributed to Graphic Design in the early 1900s and was basically an extremely creative man.
First he studied painting in his native city, as well as in Düsseldorf and then worked as a painter, illustrator and book-binder in an artistic way.
He frequented the bohemian circles and was interested in subjects relating to the reform of life-styles. In 1899 Behrens accepted the invitation of the Grand-duke Ernst-Ludwig of Hesse to be the second member of his recently-inaugurated Darmstadt Artists' Colony, where Behrens built his own house and fully conceived everything inside the house (furniture, towels, paintings, pottery, etc.) The building of this house is considered to be the turning point in his life, when he left the artistic circles of Munich and moved away from the Jugendstil towards a sober and austere style of design.
In 1903, Behrens was named director of the Kunstgewerberschule - now known as the University of applied arts in Vienna. where he implemented successful reforms. Today the university teaches sculpture, painting & Graphics, textile & Designs, Fashion…. And many more artistic subjects.
In 1907, Behrens was hired as an artistic consultantto AEG a huge European company. He created the entire corporate identity of the company (logotype, product design, publicity, etc.) he created clean-lined designs for the company's graphics & developed a consistent corporate identity. He did this working freelance for the company not as an employee of AEG.