Archives for posts with tag: karel martens

don’t know of i’ve shown this already, but here’s the man himself… Karel Martens. the dutch profiles channel on youtube is a wonderful source of information on dutch design.


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.

do i have some wonderful news for you today! if you’re not familiar with OASE (a Dutch journal about architecture designed by Karel Martens) you should definitely check out their new website because they have pdf downloads on it of the issues 1-81. enjoy!

image belongs to OASE

Anna Craemer, a graphic designer based in London who is currently doing a master at the Central Saint Martins, is working on a interesting project called Critical Graphic Design. as part of this project she interviews designers asking What is Graphic Design? What is good Graphic Design? Did the definition of Graphic Design change over time? Does a Graphic Designer have a social responsibility? and so on.

In this particular interview she speaks to one of my favorite designers: Karel Martens.

Karel Martens from Anna Craemer on Vimeo.

printed matter / drukwerk has arrived! i’m going to have a wonderful sunday reading and browsing through this book. i will do a proper post on it soon, but i want to absorb the book first and then show it you guys. it’s going to be hard choosing what i’m going to show.

i think the book is currently on sale at Amazon, so get it while you can!

book printed matter / drukwerk
author Karel Martens, Jaap van Triest, Robin Kinross
design Jaap van Triest, Karel Martens
publisher Hyphen Press
printer Thoben Offset Nijmegen & Johan Holterman, Nijmegen
binder Buchbinderei Hendricks & Lützenkirchen GmbH, Kleve
isbn 9780907259411
price £40, 60 USD
pages 208 pg, 232 × 170 mm, paperback
text english, dutch

if you follow me on twitter, you probably already knew that i was doing a post on the inspiring book Karel Martens: counterprint. i’m sure most of you know Karel Martens, but for those of you who don’t, i will provide a short introduction.

i’m thinking about a designer spotlight series about book (or graphic) designers. if you’re interested in this please comment below. if you are, i might do a series.

about Karel Martens

Karel Martens is very inspirational dutch graphic designer, typographer and teacher. he is also the founder of Werkplaats Typografie, a two-year masters programme of ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. after graduating art school in Arnhem, Karel Martens worked as freelance graphic designer and on non-commissioned projects. i once saw him at a lecture. he then explained that restrictions could improve your design once you turn them into solutions.

about the book

throughout his career, Martens has always been experimenting with print. he used found objects such as metal plates or Meccano to make studies in form and colour. Karel Martens: counterprint (the second book about the designer) is completely devoted to his free work. the main text in the book is an essay of Paul Elliman called The world as a printing surface and the book is designed at Werkplaats Typografie by Hans Gremmen.

the book is bound in japanese fashion and the cover folds out to a large wrapper. the first picture of this post actually shows a bit of the inside cover. the design of the book is very relaxed and modest (i hope i’m using the right word here). it doesn’t feel overly designed. the design lets the works speak for themselves and they sure do. can’t wait for Printed matter / Drukwerk to arrive!

update: you can order the dutch version of this book at 
book Karel Martens: counterprint 
author Paul Elliman, introduction by Carel Kuitenbrouwer
design Hans Gremmen
publisher Hyphen Press
printer Lecturis
isbn 9780907259251
price £17.50, €17,50
pages 32 pg, 297 x 210 mm, paperback
text english

publisher Uitgeverij Huis Clos comes with a tribute to typographer Leo de Bruin who designed books for publishing house SUN, Nijmegen. several were rewarded in the annual best verzorgde boeken (best designed books) election. in the book authors Eric de Kuyper and Ad de Visser, who worked with De Bruin at SUN, discuss their cooperation and Karel Martens, who was the designer before De Bruin joined SUN, discusses both his personality and work. Henk Hoeks, then editor of SUN, paints a picture of the development of De Bruins typography while design critic Ewan Lentjes places the work in the broader context of the changed role of typography.

tonight (16 february 2011) dutch radio show De Avonden focuses on the monograph by talking to graphic designer Piet Gerards and editor & co-founder of SUN Henk Hoeks. dutch readers can tune in on radio 6 at 22.00 pm.

book Leo de Bruin, typograaf
author Henk Hoeks e.a.
publisher Uitgeverij Huis Clos
isbn 9789079020096
price €19,50
pages 128 pg, 220 x 170 mm, offset
type Bembo
paper Artic Volume
print run 750

last month (can’t believe it is december already!) London-based publisher Hyphen Press announced a new edition of printed matter / drukwerk by the fascinating dutch designer Karel Martens. i’m really excited because previous editions are sold out everywhere! i managed to get a copy at  bookshop Nijhof & Lee. i definitely have to check out that store when i’m in Amsterdam, they have a brilliant graphic design section. i’ll share some pictures on here when i get my copy!