Bauen+Wohnen / Building+Home / Construction+Habitation was a Swiss architectural magazine that existed from. Richard Paul Lohse was responsible for the design from 1947-1956, and in 1952 he designed a special version for the German market that featured his trademark overlay style.

A recurring theme that I’m beginning to notice with classic Swiss Style design is the use of color to identify each magazine issue. Helmut Schmid also did it with his redesign of Die Neue Gesellschaft, and we’ve seem to have lost this simple, but beautiful approach to visual identity. You really don’t see this type of thinking with mainstream publications today. Instead, you’re bombarded with headline-cluttered covers that confuse you instead of inviting you. There are exceptions, though.

Anyway, this collection designed by Lohse is breathtaking and upon seeing these covers I’ve immediately begun the hunt to find them. Joe Kral has uploaded his collection to his Flickr Page and you can get more info on the magazine here and here.        

13 thoughts on “Bauen+Wohnen

  1. Mecano, a Dada-related literary magazine edited by Van Doesburg (under the pseudonym I.K. Bonset) in the ’20s if I recall correctly, was also “color-coded,” so to speak. Each of its different issues, and there were only 4 or 5 in all, was printed on different colored paper.

  2. In addition to his trademark overlay style, in the book The Typographic Grid by Hans Rudolph Bosshard, Lohse is stated to be the first to break the quadratic rules of the grid system in 1960 and design a “progressive grid” for Swiss Industrial Association’s product catalogue.

  3. The magazine existed for far longer than 1947?–?1956. These dates are the years during which Lohse designed the magazine, he stopped in 1956 but the magazine carried on.

  4. Limited color themes such as this could have been as likely an economic decision as much as a design choice. At a time when adding a single 4 color image to a project could double the production budget due to the laborious separation process, 2 color harmony became an art unto itself.

  5. Thanks for sharing Antonio… these are amazing. I agree with Patrick, this was, very probably, an economic decision and a design choice. Nevertheless, an example of elegance and clear communication.

  6. I love this magazine but need to downsize my collection. I have many issues of this magazine for sale from 1963-1970. The covers and articles from these years are also great. Plus I have other titles like Architectural Forum, Progressive Architecture, Interiors, Architectural Record etc from 1952-1980. Let me know if you’re looking for any particular issues. I’d love to help someone complete a collection!

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