Archives for posts with tag: gerrit noordzij

friday i received the wonderful news that designer and typographer Karel Martens is awarded the Gerrit Noordzijprijs. many of you know that i’m a big fan of his work.

he will receive the prize on march 9 from the laureate of 2009, Wim Crouwel. the award ceremony starts at 16.00 pm in the auditorium of the Royal Academy in The Hague.

about Karel Martens

Martens received the prize, named after a type designer Gerrit Noordzij, for his achievements in both typography, teaching and publishing. he designed numerous books and covers for SUN Socialist Publishing Nijmegen, OASE, stamps, coin designs, signage, telephone cards and made typographical experiments. he started teaching in 1977. first at the ArtEZ academy in Arnhem and later at the Jan van Eyck academy in Maastricht. he founded the Werkplaats Typografie, a masters programme typography in Arnhem. In 2009 Martens became guest lecturer at Yale University School of Art for the prestigious graphic design program. Martens was frequently awarded for his work, including the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art in 1996.

about the Gerrit Noordzij prijs

The Gerrit Noordzijprijs is an initiative of the Master and Media Type of the Royal Academy, organized in collaboration with Museum Meermanno and under the auspices of Dr. P.A. Tiele Foundation. The prize is awarded once every three years. the price was previously awarded to Gerrit Noordzij, Fred Smeijers, Erik Spiekermann, Tobias Frere-Jones and Wim Crouwel.

if you want to know more about Karel Martens, you can watch this interview or read more about his book Counterprint.


somewhere in the beginning of 2011 i said that i wanted to share study books with you. when i was studying my teachers would recommend beautiful books to me. there’s a ton of information out there, that should not be forgotten. therefore i would like to share these books with you.

one book that’s essential when it comes to understanding typography is The stroke: theory of writing by Gerrit Noordzij. Noordzij is a dutch typographer, type designer and a known teacher at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. this book was first published in 1985 (in dutch) but is now also available in english.

from the Hyphen Press website: ‘Noordzij’s theory serves to repair the split that grew up, with the invention of printing, between written and typographic letters. he shows us the underlying ‘written’ quality of all letters, with whatever technology they have been formed. with these ideas Noordzij can be seen as a prophet of digital typography, in which typefaces have been freed from the constraints of their embodiment in metal.’

here you can see how he starts with the basis principles and describes the space around the letters, the white space.

images belongs to Hyphen Press, where The stroke: theory of writing can be ordered.
 book The stroke: theory of writing
artist Gerrit Noordzij
publisher Hyphen Press
isbn 9780907259305 price £15
pages 88 pages, sewn paperback, 210 × 125 mm
text english