Theo von Doesburg
Highly influenced by Wassily Kandinsky, van Doesburg shifted his style of painting from one that emphasized less of a direct reflection of everyday life and one that placed more importance on a conceptual style that favored a simplistic geometric style. A Dutch artist, van Doesburg led the artistic style movement "De Stijl" into popularity and influenced graphic designers for many years to come with his theories, which conveyed the idea that there was a collective experience of reality that could be tapped as a medium of communication.
Van Doesburg designed a typeface where each character was based upon a square divided into 25 smaller squares, developing long before the Macintosh computer and pixel-based fonts. It has been revived as Architype Van Doesburg.
Van Doesburg moved to Weimar, Germany in hopes of impressing the directer of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius. Gropius did not directly oppose his ideas, but did not accept him onto the faculty of the Bauhaus. In reaction to this, Van Doesburg positioned his studio directly next to the Bahaus and attracted many students with the ideas he promoted, most of which were developed out of the ideas of Constructivism, Dadaism and De Stijl.
It was during these times that Van Doesburg formed a tight bond with the artist Piet Mondrian. And, in 1923, Van Doesburg moved to Paris so that he could communicate directly with Mondrian. However, the two were very much polar opposites in character and it resulted in the dissolution of their friendship. It has been speculated that the breakdown came as a result of a disagreement about the directions of lines in their paintings. Van Doesburg moved to Switzerland in 1931, due to his declining health, and it was there that he died, on March 7th.
Van Doesburg was an artist with a wide range of talents that spanned between painting, architecture, design and poetry.