Archives for posts with tag: typography

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.


i love this Letters Bookshelf by dutch designer Pieter de Leeuw as part of his graduation thesis.



sometimes you’ll find some amazing stuff on the interwebs, such as this collaboration between photographer Andrzej Dobosz and graphic designer Ryszard Bienert. the self-publishing venture resulted in a hard back book with bold typography and photography and is available for purchase through Andrzej Dobosz website.

i’m planning on doing a seperate post on the book but i wanted to show you ‘the making of’ as this weeks movietip first. i did post this on my twitter and facebook account yesterday, but i wanted to post it here as well.


it’s time i wrote a post about an informative (and sometimes lifesaving) book by typographer Karel F. Treebus called Tekstwijzer that i’ve mentioned before. it’s in dutch only, so i apologize to my international readers.

Tekstwijzer was once recommended by my typography teacher and i’m glad he did. the book was originally published in 1982, so it’s outdated but very informative nevertheless. Treebus mentiones old printing techniques and other stuff that we don’t have to deal with anymore, but even those texts provide lots of information for designers today. i think there are newer editions, but i have the old one and it works just fine.

what i find especially useful is the very comprehensive register. sometimes i have doubts about a typographic issue and i immediately grab Tekstwijzer. i usually find an answer. i doubt that you can order a new copy, but you can get the book second-hand. the best money i’ve ever spent!

which books on typography do you recommend? please comment below!

the design of the book is rather dull (effective though!) so i didn't include images. i'll only show this (horrid picture, sorry!) image, so you can recognize the book easily.

book Tekstwijzer
author Karel F. Treebus
publisher Sdu Uitgeverij
isbn 9012081653
price varies (second-hand)
pages 269 pg, 270 mm

the London design museum celebrates the career of dutch graphic designer Wim Crouwel with a three-month exhibition called Wim Crouwel, a graphic odyssey. the exhibition will cover Crouwel’s key moments in his career and the new modernity he preached. the exhibition highlights his ‘rigorous design approach exploring his innovative use of grid-based layouts and typographic systems to produce consistently striking asymmetric visuals.’ read more about his work at

picture below belongs to

Wim Crouwel, a graphic odyssey / 30 march 2011 – 03 july 2011 / London design museum

if there’s one book out there that seems to answer all my typographical questions it has to be Tekstwijzer (text guide) by typographer Karel F. Treebus. Treebus wrote a few books including Symbolenwijzer (symbols guide). all books are incredibly extensive and show thorough knowledge of the typographical field. Symbolenwijzer covers thousands of symbols: from mathematical symbols to cartography, from hieroglyphs to everyday symbols like washing instructions. unfortunately the text is dutch only.

Drukwerk in de marge just wrote a post on their website saying it has been reduced in price (a lot!). it was 40 euros and has now been reduced to a mere 12.50 euro. can somebody get me this for christmas? :-)

so i decided i would post a movie tip every now and then. i don’t know of this going to be a regular thing, since good design films (let alone: films about books) are very rare. just to clarify in advance: i’m not just talking about the real 90 min-movies, it could just as well be a nice video from youtube.


maybe i should start out with a less obvious one, but thinking of design and movies you immediately think: helvetica. helvetica is a typeface you either love or hate, but you can’t deny its popularity. the movie really shows how helvetica is everywhere, when we jet off on holiday, when we’re buying clothes and when we’re being told what to do (or not to do for that matter). its really surprising to see what different parties use helvetica to get their message across, from governmental organisations to a local drug dealer, from high-end design stores to major airlines. i can certainly recommend this movie, even if you’re not a fan of helvetica.

the most interesting part for me though are the interviews. i love to take a peek in someone else’s design practice, see what is relevant to them and hearing people talk about what their passionate about. of course i’m also proud to see dutch designers (Wim Crouwel and Experimental Jetset) getting mentioned.

if you have a movie tip for me, please let me know!

this book has been getting a lot of attention on the internet, nevertheless i want to mention it on this blog as well. i’m talking about the ABC3D book that came out in 2008. i actually bought it at the graphic design museum in Breda, it was in the children’s section ;-) if you don’t know the book, check out this movie on YouTube.

ABC3D is designed by french artist Marion Bataille. unlike most pop-up books (which often have a very crafty and childlike nature), this book is clean and lets the letterforms speak for themselves. the book makes a perfect gift for somebody who loves paper or typography. i will probably post some more pictures on here soon, so stay tuned!