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Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later [Paperback]

Johannes Itten
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book by Itten, Johannes

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
to breathe quietly and more deeply. All these exercises achieve their proper effect only if they are carried out with thought concentration. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars lighting the creative spark in everyone July 17 2001
By phigirl
Format:Paperback
This book is not a step by step syllabus to follow blindly. Itten wrote this book to share the fundamental principles that he taught all his students (no matter how advanced) before allowing them to pursue higher classes and goals at his school.
The book is broken down into sections that (to anyone who's had art training) seem simple enough: chiaroscuro, form, color, rhythm, etc. but Itten teaches not so much the technical aspect of art as a new way of seeing the world, a way of creating from the whole body and mind, not just with a paintbrush (or computer graphics program).
The sections are all punctuated with many examples of student work that relate to the topic covered. Often, it is these examples that really drive his points home.
Just as Itten believed that everyone was capable of being creative and thought the basic course was valuable to all levels of art students and even teachers, this book is applicable for both those who are looking for an introduction into creating, and those who consider themselves expert artists already. I guarantee there will be at least one idea in the book to make you stop and ponder and suddenly challenge your way of thinking on the matter.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly scant content Oct. 8 2002
Format:Paperback
I know I'm going to anger some of the folks who really believe in this book, but I was really disappointed with how slim and scant the educational content was. There are very many black and white illustrations of the students' work related to Itten's teachings. And his outlook is very pure and creative. I really enjoyed that aspect of this book, but expected more meat! I wanted to know more specifically about conflict. I wanted him to go deeper. As it is, he brings up a well ordered set of concepts, explains them clearly and then moves on. In my opinion this book is wildly overpriced. I probably would give it four stars had it only cost me between seven and fifteen dollars. At thirty and change it's not worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Itten is a god, bow down. April 27 2001
Format:Paperback
Itten made the world as we know it today. Without his guidence, none of the products you buy, art you look at, or anything else would be what it is today. If you are a designer or art monger, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It is a discription of his Basic Course (everyone had to take it...) at the Bauhaus in Weimar written by Itten himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Design and Form by J. IIten June 17 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent teaching tool for learning the basics of good design in whatever medium you should choose.
More information on the Bauhaus methods that were developed in the 1920's.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lighting the creative spark in everyone July 17 2001
By phigirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not a step by step syllabus to follow blindly. Itten wrote this book to share the fundamental principles that he taught all his students (no matter how advanced) before allowing them to pursue higher classes and goals at his school.
The book is broken down into sections that (to anyone who's had art training) seem simple enough: chiaroscuro, form, color, rhythm, etc. but Itten teaches not so much the technical aspect of art as a new way of seeing the world, a way of creating from the whole body and mind, not just with a paintbrush (or computer graphics program).
The sections are all punctuated with many examples of student work that relate to the topic covered. Often, it is these examples that really drive his points home.
Just as Itten believed that everyone was capable of being creative and thought the basic course was valuable to all levels of art students and even teachers, this book is applicable for both those who are looking for an introduction into creating, and those who consider themselves expert artists already. I guarantee there will be at least one idea in the book to make you stop and ponder and suddenly challenge your way of thinking on the matter.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly scant content Oct. 8 2002
By Alfred Viola - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I know I'm going to anger some of the folks who really believe in this book, but I was really disappointed with how slim and scant the educational content was. There are very many black and white illustrations of the students' work related to Itten's teachings. And his outlook is very pure and creative. I really enjoyed that aspect of this book, but expected more meat! I wanted to know more specifically about conflict. I wanted him to go deeper. As it is, he brings up a well ordered set of concepts, explains them clearly and then moves on. In my opinion this book is wildly overpriced. I probably would give it four stars had it only cost me between seven and fifteen dollars. At thirty and change it's not worth it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect a textbook Oct. 8 2008
By Andrew A. Gill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Design and Form is a solid text, with many examples of the type of work that Itten tasked his students with. Itten does not, however, lay out a series of lectures for the student. Rather, Itten lays out a path of experimentation and self-discovery for the student to follow. Much of the content will be familiar to anyone who has read The Art of Color, and for those people, I could not recommend buying (nor could I recommend avoiding) this book. If the reader needs clarity on a subject, many examples prod the reader into finding a solution.

In sum: A good (but not great) text when considered on its own merits, and an average text when considered in conjunction with Itten's other works.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected July 8 2013
By Ute M. Conly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having worked with Itten's "The Art of Color", I expected a book of similar expanse and quality and find this edition of "Design and Form" lacking.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great finding! Jan. 4 2013
By Daniel Candia A. de Oliveira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This particular book is one of the most important written works to teachers and students who are interested in understand design thinking and abstraction. Fantastic!
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