At the age of nineteen Herbert Bayer took up an apprenticeship with the architect and designer Georg Schmidthamer in Linz, where he produced his first typographic works. From 1921 Bayer worked at the Darmstadt artists' colony as assistant to the architect Josef Emmanuel Margold. In the same year Bayer enrolled as a student at the Weimar Bauhaus, where he initially attended the pre-course under Johannes Itten followed by a workshop on mural painting, lead by Wassily Kandinsky.
In 1925 the artist completed his training with a final examination. Herbert Bayer was appoined head of the newly created workshop for print and advertising at the Dessau Bauhaus, where they also produced the school's own printworks. In 1928 the artist left Bauhaus to focus more on his own artwork and moved to Berlin, where he worked as a graphic designer in advertising and as an artistic director of an advertising agency called "Studio Dorland".
During his time in Berlin, the artist also devoted his time to the design of exhibitions, painting and photography and was art director of "Vogue" magazine in Paris.
In 1938 Herbert Bayer emigrated to the US, where he arranged the exhibition "Bauhaus 1919-1928" at the New York Museum of Modern Art in the very same year.
In 1946 he moved to Aspen, Colorado, where he worked as a painter, graphic designer, architect and landscape designer. Furthermore, Herbert Bayer worked as an artistic consultant for several companies and institutions, including the "Container Corporation of America", the "Atlantic Richfield Company".
He was also the design consultant for the Aspen cultural center and member of the art board for the information bureau of the United States of America. In 1974 the artist moved to Montecito, California, where he died in 1985.
Herbert Bayer received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate of the "Technische Hochschule Graz", the "Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst", the "Ambassador's Award for Excellence" in London and the "Kulturpreis für Fotografie" in Cologne.