one of the most striking dutch graphic designers has got to be Jan Bons, whose posters for the IDFA film festival and theatre company De Appel are very recognizable. Jan Bons remained very true to his design aesthetic of torn and handcut paper, self-styled typography and the use of vivid colours. he worked for some of his clients over a long period of time whereby his graphic work became a recognizable part of the company’s corporate identity. to celebrate his ninetieth birthday in 2008 de Kunsthal in Rotterdam exhibited 90 of his posters.

about the book

to celebrate this milestone, publisher De Buitenkant released a book and dvd designed by Lex Reitsma called Jan Bons — a designer’s freedom. the book consists of a short biography by Paul Hefting. the cover holds two parts: the actual book and a cardboard dvd container. together they form a perfectly designed unit. the book itself is designed without any fuss, with the dutch text on the right page and the english text on the left. throughout the book there are photos of the young designer and colour images of his work. in the middle of the book there is a spread that unfolds to an image of an exhibition wall that Jan Bons designed in 1956. the book also contains a list of works by Jan Bons and is designed, printed en bound perfectly.

intimate portrait

Lex Reitsma followed the 90-year-old designer during the creation of posters for the Nieuw Ensemble and the IDFA and made a documentary about his life and work. a designers freedom is an intimate portrait of the talented designer that will fascinate a lot of people and is liberating to watch.

you can order your copy at Nijhof & Lee

book Jan Bons — a designer's freedom
author Lex Reitsma (film), Paul Hefting (biography)
designer Lex Reitsma
publisher De Buitenkant
isbn 9789076452197
price 24.50 euro
pages 96 pg, sewn paperback
text dutch & english