Graphic Design Museum, Magazine#2, ENG

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Graphic design is a profession that is developing with increasing rapidity. That is taking place in a context in which texts and images appear in transitory media such as internet, billboards and mobile telephones.

The established newspapers and TV channels are finding it difficult to keep their heads above water, yet Apple is selling more iPhone apps than ever. There is a growing number of products on the market that select the desired information and deliver it made-to-measure. The consumer no longer wants to be served, but serves himself. The Graphic Design Museum identifies these developments and wants to react to them. In the coming period, we will first address the question: How will the professional designer retain his autonomy surrounded by the output of amateurs, now that the public acts as author and maker, and in which way should the museum deal with this? Making media democratic The Graphic Design Museum in Breda does, after all, want to be the centre for the history of graphic design, but also for the work of the current generation of designers. But graphic software is accessible, everybody makes something on the computer and the number of design students in the Netherlands has multiplied. Are we therefore losing sight of qualitatively interesting designers which drift around amongs the proliferation of visual material in the media? Furthermore, the democratisation of the media does not only have consequences for graphic design as profession, but also for the legacy of our culture and the way in which is deal with it. The success of YouTube and Wikipedia is due to the enormous masses of people who present visual material, undertake research, collaborate, but are also critical,and

The Computer Becomes A Personal Museum™ rank, select and add meaning. Collectors today even place their objects online on Flickr and Facebook in order to share their personal fascinations with others. In this way, everybody is the curator of a ‘personal museum’ and documents are saved on the computer. The networks and clusters that have arisen through online collaboration generate new concepts, knowledge and quality. Analysing and presenting data supplied by the ‘networkers’ creates new insights for the museum world.

that must once again be addressed in the new digital era. It could also turn out that the judgement of the public (the maker, the curator, the visitor, the researcher, the critic) will have a greater impact on the ‘museum happening’ than we have previously thought.


The Graphic Design Museum is fully aware of the current digital era in which collecting, digitalising, saving and presentation of information and image is possible for everybody. Everybody can develop activities which were previously the exclusive right of the museum. This democratisation does not, however, mean that the museums should ignore the criteria and quality demands which were traditionally applied. Quite the opposite, in fact. Selection is still a subject


Open attitude One way of researching how the visions of museum people relate to the world outside, is to adopt an interactive and open attitude. The Graphic Design Museum will, in the coming period, work together with partners on the creation of a digital database: Dutch Design Database where Dutch work from 1945 onwards can be found. We hope that this database will give us insight into the increasing professionalism of graphic design and the state of affairs concerning the status of the image culture in 2009. Initially, we are undertaking this in the framework of an experiment, and we invite all Dutch designers to upload recent work into the Dutch Design Database.

Your Computer






P16 COLOFON Head of editorial staff: Mieke Gerritzen Design: Hendrik-Jan Grievink Editors: Fran van den Bogaert and Carola Drontmann Text editing: Laura van Campenhout English translation: Jonathan Ellis The following people were involved in this issue: Ed Annink, Hugues Boekraad, Esther Cleven, Martin van Dijke, Joost van Dorst, Adam Eeuwens, Hans van Heeswijk Architecten, Sylvia Klop, Bas van Lier, Koert van Mensvoort, Marieke van Oudheusden, Michiel Schuurman, Thonik.


The Graphic Design Museum places current graphic design in an historical and cultural context, open to the world and technology. It represents all forms of media, from printed material to interactive web design. The (moving) image is increasingly used to communicate a message: think of the photographs on Flickr and the animations and films on YouTube. Children can become designers in the museum and publish using various forms, colours, materials, signs and pictograms. The young are confronted in a fascinating way with the way famous Dutch and international designers have struggled with the major issues of this period. They watch as rejected work, semi-finished items and the final result rolls out of the lab live. Adults get deeper insight into the past and present of the image culture.

Photography: Peter Cuijpers, Luuk Kramer, Niels Schrader Printing: Corelio Printing Editorial address: Graphic Design Museum Boschstraat 22 4811 GH Breda


DUTCH DESIGN DATABASE There are people who create and there are people who archive. They certainly have a common interest, but they have opposing perspectives. SELECTION IS STILL A SUBJECT IN THE DIGITAL ERA

Renewal versus overall picture Makers have their eyes on the future. As a rule, they are always actively renewing themselves; their last work is always the best. With every new work, they react, from a fresh context, to the environment and the circumstances. Keeping their own work is, apart from professional honour and personal pride, intended to discover a common thread and occasionally to enrich their own starting points. Archivists, on the other hand, look to the past. They collect everything that has been in order to reconstruct the past. Comprehensiveness is their aim, in the expectation that this will provide a better overall picture. Every poster by all Dutch designers together give an overall picture of Dutch poster art. Putting all logos next to each other tells the story of the Dutch house-style design. All postage stamps ever to have appeared in the Netherlands show the developments in philatelic design. And so on.

The reverse is also true. The plan to make an exhibition about the professional development of graphic designing in the Netherlands begged for an overall picture. We wanted to try to capture sixty years of history in one image. And so the Dutch Design Database was born, a somewhat naive, but at the same time potentially very valuable attempt to map the profession from A to Z. From Willem Sandberg, Dick Elffers, Jan Bons and Otto Treumann – ‘selfwilled artists who discovered the graphic design profession in the Netherlands’, as Rob Schröder once said - to the youngest members of the tribe with names such as Anothercompany, Staynice and Enchilada. From posters lettered by hand and reproduced lithographically to websites which welcome every visitor with an individual font. From individuals who were one-eye in the kingdom of the blind in packaging design to the large brand specialists of today. And from an hourly rate of 30, 40 guilders then to 120 and even 170 Euro now. The field has achieved its highest level of professionalism Possessed by the archive fever, we started collecting everything we could think of: names, salaries, budgets, turnovers, historical facts, remarks and naturally image material, the representation of the economic property in this branch. It brought us into contact with other heritage collectors, for it is hardly sensible to repeat the work of others. 5

Furthermore, some material, in particular older material, is not available in any other way. And so the realisation arose that, in the wake of the creative economy another economy arose - the heritage economy - in which the hourly rate is sometimes comparable to that in the primary economy. That realisation is, perhaps, the best proof that the field has reached the highest level of professionalism. What started as applied art has grown into an industry with a value of more than 400 million Euro, in which an estimated 5000 people earn a living. During recent months, we have approached many of them to enter data and illustrations of their work into the Dutch Design Database. In general, the reaction was enthusiastic, but the dream of the archivist for comprehensiveness is, as yet, far from being achieved. That is why the website HYPERLINK "http://" www. will remain open for the time being for new entries. Graphic designers in the Netherlands are warmly invited to continue sending in their work. At fixed times, the exhibition will be expanded with the new entries. Just imagine: the whole profession in one database! Think of the pleasure we all will derive from it. D U TC H D E S I G N DATA B A S E O P E N S O N 27 J UN E 20 09 I N T H E G R A P H I C D E S I G N M US EUM A N D C A N B E S EEN UN T I L T H E E N D O F JA N UA RY 2010 YO U C A N UP LOA D W O R K AT H Y P E R L I N K " http :// W W W. D U TC H D E S I G N DATA B A S E . C O M " W W W. D U TC H D E S I G N DATA B A S E .C O M

DUTCH DESIGN DATABASE Dutch Design Database, an exhibition about the growing professionalism of the design profession in the Netherlands, will open on 27 June. The database is an online repository for visual material of printed matter, animations, websites, films and other visual communications material from 1945 until now and later. In the exhibition, the visitor experiences the physical power of data and wanders as it were through the database while being immersed in the work, facts, figures and developments of the graphic design branch between 1945 and now. Dutch designers and agencies can continue to upload work during the exhibition into the Dutch Design Database via: C O M P O S I T I O N : B A S VA N L I ER D E S I G N : N I EL S S C H R A D ER A N D ERI K B O L DT P R O G R A M M I N G: S T I J N K U I P ER S A N D M A R C EL VA N D E R D RI F T

A page from the collection of Franz Maria Feldhaus Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin


CUT& PASTE 'Cut en Paste' has been a challenge for more than one generation of graphic designers - and it stands for a revolutionary transition phase (roughly between 1960 and 1985) in which lead type became a thing of the past and the design computer was not yet pervasive. Young people and non-designers know this phenomenon largely from the computer: here this operation is symbolised by a pair of scissors and a clipboard. Less well-known is the fact that this is closely associated with the way in which scientists from the sixteenth century onwards tried to keep up with the rising tide of written information. Making excerpts or later cutting out and pasting newspaper articles in notebooks or on small cards was and still is a much used practice. The systematic assembly of disparate pieces, from snips and tatters appears to have been a classical core theoretical strategy. Cutting out and sorting as strategy Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the newspaper became a mass medium. Fast communication by means of telegraph and train, coupled with the introduction of the rotary press and the setting machines during the late decades of the nineteenth century, were largely responsible for this. At that time, the first commercial version of the scientific cutting archive was founded in Paris. With the arrival of the cutting agencies, cutting out and sorting of snatches of

reports in the newspapers grew from a scientific practice to a popular strategy. What is interesting about the cutting archive is that a completely new whole was constructed from a large amount of individual fragments. Anke te Heesen, who has extensively researched this phenomenon, shows that the cutting archive can also be considered a counter-reaction to the way science was becoming abstract. They express the need to transform an ever more complex world into concrete realities, no matter how illusive and relative these may be. We are one hundred years on and now the public cuts and pastes things themselves. Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, countless personal dictionaries, databanks, blogs and sites extract, combine, reinterpret the colossal flood of information which is daily pumped around the world in the media. The democratisation of what was originally a scientific strategy of excerpt and cutting seems to have reached with this a climax. The technology generates its own counter-strategy, namely the personal appropriation of the technically generated data flow. 9

Personal stories What is new is that these digital cutting files are directly made public and that in addition countless personal data files, photos, films, opinions and stories are brought online. The democratisation of the media has countless socio-cultural, political and economic consequences. Information no longer flows uniformly and is no longer easily directed, and a fierce battle is currently being fought for the economic privileges of producers and publishers. Even the traditional, generally institutionally legitimate broker (teacher, specialist, journalist etc.) must now share the field with the media-savvy amateur. It seems, for example, that historical knowledge is there for the taking. In any case, delving into history is more popular than ever. This is not the only reason that new phrases have entered the official practice of history such as ‘oral history’ or the ‘cultural biography’ (Rooijakkers). What is particularly relevant here is what has become known as the ‘immaterial’ heritage, particularly the personal experiences and stories, which are making themselves heard within the established field of

history. Internet has become the primary platform for articulating alternative, more personal histories. In the ‘hyperlink culture’ (Dreyfus), people can, just like in the world of cuttings, knock together anything. The structure in which this takes place, however, is far more dynamic that we have grown accustomed to in the analogue world of notebooks, card files and microfilm. Making the heritage dynamic In his research into presentation techniques in the heritage sector - that is museums, archives and libraries - sociologist Pascal Gielen has carefully reviewed both these aspects: turning the cultural heritage and history into public property and making it more dynamic. He discovered that a shared collective determination to impart meaning is slowly but surely ebbing away and that old collecting and presentation paradigms compete with antihistorical stories. Museum must address this development and ask what is the proper path between dusty chronological presentations and non-committal interpretations. What is clear is that the individual desire to produce a collective perspective - whether or not informed or sublimated - is at odds with the fact that a shared collective determination to impart meaning is no longer easily established.


Gielen takes refuge in the polyphony of voices which have to be heard by museums. But he puts his vision into perspective by pointing out that it cannot simply remain at cutting and pasting. The heritage sector must, on the other hand, consider its presentation strategies, get to know the public better and realise that there a broad range of observation strategies exists among visitors: from those who traditionally wish to be taken by the hand to those who are looking for a singular relationship with heritage, that is an individual experience. Gielen concludes: ‘The heritage actor no longer presents himself as a knowledge monopolist of a generally tiny part of the past, but rather as a “connection” between diverse expertise including the knowledge of the potential public. A large part of the historical knowledge is, after all, to be found elsewhere, in universities, but also with other heritage actors and sometimes with driven private collectors or amateur associations.’ That is, no matter how tender its age or how rough the road ahead, a good description of the role the Graphic Design Museum wishes to play.

The democratisation of the media has several sociological/cultural and economic consequences.

The strategy of the Excerpt has reached its peak.

Hubert L. Dreyfus On the Internet – Routledge Londen 2001. Pascal Gielen Cultureel Goed: Over het (nieuwe) erfgoedregiem – Lannoo Campus: Tielt 2005. Pascal Gielen De onbereikbare binnenkant van het verleden: Over de enscenering van het culturele erfgoed – Lannoo Campus: Leuven 2007. Anke te Heesen (ed.) Cut and paste um 1900: Der Zeitungsausschnitt in den Wissenschaften – Kaleidoskopien, nr. 4, 2002.


e knock together De traditionele everything in the bemiddelaar moet het veld delen Hyperlink Culture. met de mediawijze amateur.




THONIK: MADE IN CHINA, MADE BY YOU At this exhibition, Thonik is orchestrating a meeting between old and new media. Old media: the tapestry, the wall, the book. New media: website and a book created with the ‘print on demand’ technology.


and events). Since 2003, the work area has been widened to include institutions in the Thonik is viewed internationally areas of politics and administration. In as a representative of Dutch 2008, Thonik was awarded its first major Design and is related to agencies assignment in the commercial sector. and designers such as MVRDV Recent clients include Museum Boijmans and Droog Design. The agency van Beuningen, the Architectural Biennial became known in wider circles Venice 2008, the Socialist Party (SP), thanks to its work for the the Public Library of Amsterdam and Socialist Party. Triodos Bank. Thonik distinguishes itself through a clear use of image and a Thonik is a design agency for visual focus on content. The studio combines communication. The studio was founded a conceptual design method with an in 1993 by Thomas Widdershoven And emphasis on typography. Over the years, Nikke Gonnissen, and currently has fifteen Thonik has used this graphic language employees. Initially, Thonik operated in and method in multimedia campaigns the cultural sector (publishers, architect for large clients. Strategies that were offices, museums, cultural foundations originally developed for brands and

markets were used in a surprising way in a non-commercial context. The work of Thonik is headstrong and recognisable by its experimental character. The agency became famous in a wider circle thanks to two projects in the public area: the house style and election campaigns for the SP and the house style for the Municipality of Amsterdam. With its work for these clients, Thonik demonstrates how graphic design can play a supporting role in the political debate and can contribute to the way democracy functions. When people call Thonik’s work typically Dutch, they mean that the aims of the assignment are achieved with minimal resources: the visual language is based on a clear concept.

GD M MAGA ZIN E / N E W E XH I B I T I O N S / T H O N IK: MAD E I N CH I NA , MAD E BY YO U /BY H ugues B oekraad

Thonik uses the same powerful graphic style in all media, but the emotional impart and the experience value of the message varies per medium. Thonik shows its development in a brief summary: a designer profile that has its roots in the printed media, expanded through exploration of the communication possibilities offered by new media.

Graphic Tapestries But this development does not run in a straight line from old to new: it is intersected by a surprising return to one of the oldest media that we know: the handwoven tapestry. In the installation Graphic Tapestries Made in China, inspired by existing Thonik designs, the scale of the original designs is considerably magnified and the observation of them by the visitors delayed.

Print on demand But in other ways, too, the contradiction between old and new media remains relative. On the day of the opening, the new Thonik website: will be launched, an enormous database of images and

texts about the output of the studio in the first seventeen years of its existence. Visitors can use an interactive workstation to compile their own Thonik catalogue, a book that is produced made-to-measure using the print on demand technology. Even the cover is personalised by printing the name of the editor-visitor on it. Examples of such a personal selection can be found and consulted next to the computer such as Thonik by Mieke Gerritzen, Thonik by Wim Crouwel and Thonik by Jan Marijnissen.

Het Viral Movie Museum In this museum, Thonik is exhibiting five Viral Movies commissioned by the SP. Here again an old genre is combined with the newest technology: the farce which is converted by digital possibilities into a personal message. The Viral Movie is possible under two conditions. First: almost everybody in the intended target group, in this case the Dutch electorate, has an internet connection. Second: since computers can consult a database with thousands of first names in a fraction of a second, variable data can be filled in ad hoc in a file with fixed data

(the standard film). The letters which make up the first name can be ‘edited in’ in the correct order, the correct size and in the correct place in the film story. The result is a new form of theatre in which the mass public in the audience is individualised. A powerful illusion is created of direct interaction with the main person in the film. This new form of communication produces an emotional effect thanks to the personalisation of institutional information. Gains for the party leader (attention and commitment) and gains for the voter (pleasure and personal attention). The contradiction between addressing people personally and the anonymous carpet-bombing by the mass media is thus bridged. THE EXHIBITION ‘ THONIK: MADE IN C H I N A , M A D E BY YO U ’ C A N B E S EE N F R O M 27 J UN E TO 20 09 S EP T EM B ER I N T H E G R A P H I C D E S I G N M US EU M

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Thonik Clockwise, beginning upper left: work of Thonik produced as carpet; viral for the SP; Thonik in the Shanghai Art Museum

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The Graphic Design Museum presents this summer thousands of credit cards, free cards, discount cards, gift cards and credit-lookalikecards on one wall and arranged according to colour. A rainbow of cards, all of which represent a value. The plastic cards are attractive objects. The graphic layer of colour, logos and style is extremely diverse throughout the world, yet the standard size, the rounded corners and the magnet strip on the back of the card makes it extremely recognisable. The credit card was originally a functional tool that gave you access to your bank account. Since shops, companies and other organisations can function as banks and issue credit cards and sell gift cards, financial traffic has become part of our lifestyle. The cards are also primarily a marketing tool and are used as such for customer

relations. Credit cards give you a social or professional status. Just as we wear different outfits for different occasions, so we can currently view credit cards. They represent your taste, your world and are the face of your possessions. You are what you buy, you are what you can access.




Even after thirteen years in America, I still have a dubbeltje in my pocket. You know, a Dutch ten cent coin, 10 guilder cents, from before the Euro. Remember? Just like Scrooge McDuck’s coin, this one brings me luck.

During a job interview, I took my dubbeltje from my pocket, I picked up a CD from the table and placed the coin in the hole in the middle. It fitted precisely. The size of that hole was decided in the Netherlands, by the inventors of the CD at Philips in Eindhoven. And so our Dutch dubbeltje survives on the in world, in billions of holes in plastic discs. Money has literally turned into air. You can’t buy very much with a dubbeltje any more, but if you buy enough at the same time, you can still get a plastic card measuring 85.60 by 53.98 mm, with any four-colour print on it that you want. Thanks to the magnetic strip, the card can be charged with an exchange value, fitted with a chip it can also be reloaded with more money and coupled to a magical sequence of 16 figures and a validity date this piece of plastic can open the door to all the pleasures of the world, for an average - American - interest rate of 14.17%.

'One word: plastics,' whispered Mr McGuire into the ear of the recently graduated Benjamin in the film The Graduate (1967). ‘Plastics have the future.’ Played by a cleanly barbered Dustin Hoffman, Benjamin was the symbol for the generation of American young people who would rebel against the predictable existence of their parents. The now so notorious baby-boomers preferred, at the end of the sixties, a life of sex and drugs and rock-’n’-roll. The plastics? Ha, there were handy in the eights because of their credit-card shape, to cut coke into lines. The contrary Benjamin from back then is now a moping sixty-year-old with a Pinnochio problem. If only he had listened and around 1970 had invested $1000 in the Visa credit-card system, he would have enjoyed a growth of 10,000% and even now a 20% increase each year. Visa operates in around 200 countries and annually arranges trans


actions for half a billion customers to the value of around one trillion dollars. Bingo! Instead of a share in those millions, Benjamin has since seen his investments go up in smoke, cannot refinance his mansion and the only thing standing between him and his destruction is a plastic card. No, not a credit card, because he maxed out on those around three months ago. And our Benjamin doesn’t have any crisp dollar bills either. No. All he has now is the so-called ‘food stamps card’, another standard card measuring 85.60 by 53.98 mm. His rebellion has been suppressed: Benjamin is nothing more than a slave to a system that has never given any priority to his interests. He’s now simply waiting for his state pension that will start on his 62 th birthday: another magical card, but thank goodness still printed and issued on paper.


DO YOU PAY WITH COWS OR SIMPLY WITH YOUR PHONE MINUTES? We hoeven niet te verwachten dat we tot het einde der dagen zullen betalen met bankbiljetten en pinpassen

We may not think about, but it is actually a miracle that I can now at the butcher on the corner exchange a piece of paper for a rump steak.

Money is, by definition, virtual. And it always has been! Well, perhaps not in the time when people used cows and goats as barter. A cow is a living creature, and useful as well. You can drink its milk and when the creature no longer gives any milk you can always kill it and eat it. We may not think about, but it is actually a miracle that I can now at the butcher on the corner exchange a piece of paper for a rump steak. A short history of money If we are to understand fully how money came into being, we must go back to ancient China where, as in many other places, a lively bartering system arose: an apple for an egg, two goats for a cow, a hammer for a bucket. Because they were durable and universally useful, many tools were bartered such as knives and ploughs, and in particular the shovel became a popular barter object. A rich man had a whole row of shovels on his land which were, in fact, not used to work the land but served purely as a means of barter. Smithies made addition shovels which became progressively smaller: these were not handy for digging, but extremely handy for bartering. At a given moment, the shovels had become as small as a present-day coin. Then finally somebody came up with the idea of making them round. The abstraction was complete. Authority = reality In order to emphasise their value, coins were frequently made from precious materials such as silver or gold. This brings us to a following step in the ongoing ‘virtualisation’ of money. In 1973, the American government decided to dispense with the gold standard. Paper money had been introduced earlier: beautifully designed and printed notes but the material used, however, in contrast to coins, did not represent any particular value. The value of paper money exists 18

purely thanks to the bank guarantee, by which a bank note can always be exchanged for the value concerned in coins. Much handier than having to lug round a bag of coins! At a given moment, paper money worked so well that few people were interested any more in whether there was a fort somewhere containing a pile of money for the value of all the bank notes together - it was a public secret that this hadn’t been the case for quite some time. And thus the gold standard was relinquished: money was from then on only based on trust. This is, in fact, a collective illusion, but as long as everybody believes in the value, it works excellently. Can it become even more virtual? Agreed, you can introduce debit cards and credit cards, which means that your money is only stored digitally somewhere on the server of the bank. Because these methods of payment have only been introduced recently, we still have to grow accustomed to the idea and consider these monetary systems as ‘virtual’, which incorrectly suggests that the bank note I use to pay for my rump steak is actually ‘real’. We conveniently, or perhaps it is better to say pragmatically, ignore the fact that money is actually by definition virtual: it only has a symbolic value that is ingeniously constructed as replacement for the unhandy and less than precise barter of commodities. The step from the bank note to the digital administration of your possession is only a baby step in comparison to the enormous symbolic leaps which had been made in the course of centuries: the replacement of valuable living creatures and commodities (such as cow, goat or tool) with valuable materials (such as gold and silver) to valueless representations of valuable materials (bank notes), tosimple faith in a government that claims to guarantee the value of your bank note without having it backed up by a fort filled with gold ... that’s progress, people! Using

Chinese betaalmiddelen: van schep tot muntgeld


your direct debit card for a pair of sport shoes (total bill: fifty Euro) is much easier than exchanging them for two chickens and an egg. It makes very precise payments, complex financial constructions and hot money that flashes round the world with the speed of light possible. There is also a downside. Although it may be physically rather more convenient, because you no longer have to cart around a herd of cows or a basket of eggs, the introduction of money has created a cognitive burden: you have to think about it! You can’t simply leave your money in a corner and be sure it will retain its value, you have to deposit it on the right account or invest it sensibly, keep track of inflation and watch out that the banker or the government that guarantees its value doesn’t fall. That can prove very stressful and not without reason. For sometimes things can go terribly wrong, as they did in China in the fifteenth century, where a bank note worth 1000 coins dropped in value, as a result of hyper inflation, to just 3 coins, and this subsequently caused the government to do away with paper money altogether. Incidentally, the Chinese bank note was also dispensed with in the eleventh century and later reintroduced. Can that happen again? Of course. We shouldn’t expect to pay for the rest of our lives with bank notes, credit cards and debit cards.

use. They are used to download music, to send text messages and for playing games, but also as a wallet. The vast majority of telephone owners do not have a subscription, but purchase phone minutes from one of the many telephone shops. The mobile network on Kenya has an innovative payment technology called M-Pesa (M is for ‘mobile’, pesa is Swahili for ‘money’), that allows people to send each other phone minutes via a text. At the start of 2008, the political instability in Kenya led to violence and many telecom shops were forced to close their doors; telephone cards became scarce. People started sending each other phone minutes and - you know where this is going - these minutes were not used for telephone calls: they were used as currency. Very quickly, telephone cards became more valuable than cash. Family members could send each other phone minutes over great distances; that was much more reliable than an envelop with bank notes. Even aid organisations started distributing telephone cards which people then used to purchase food and other basic needs. You will appreciate that the telephone companies have followed this development with considerable interest. They are, after all, the ones who can create phone minutes at the press of a button. Certainly in the current situation, in which the financial system is under pressure throughout the world and traditional bankers have, with their unconcealed greed, shown their worst sides, telephone providers believe they have a good chance of becoming the new bankers. Perhaps in time it will no longer be the government that guarantees your money, but a commercial company such as Vodafone, AT&T or T-Mobile. I don’t know, but I would advise you to put your eggs in more than one basket and, to be on the safe side, keep at least one cow in your private meadow.

Innovation in Africa: pay with phone minutes Recently, an interesting innovation in methods of payment has taken place in Africa. Africa is not particularly famous as a leader in the area of sophisticated technology. In various areas on the continent, cows were still used as currency until the 1960s and overgrazing caused by cattle that were only used as ‘value deposits’ was responsible for environmental problems until the eighties. Necessity, they say, in the mother of invention, and this is certainly the case in Africa where people have no access to a stable banking structure and therefore have started using phone minutes as currency. Africa currently has more than 100 million mobile phones and it is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile telephony. Expectations are that in 2011, more than 370 million telephones will be in

Kan het nog


MY DESIGN Globalisation and uniformity have determined our visual culture in recent years. As a reaction to this, we feel the need for a personal approach and exclusivity.

In the art and design world, you see a re-emergence of handwork and we are looking for sustainable solutions for product development and architecture, and we also eat biological and organic products more frequently. In the meantime, technological developments do not stand still and new phenomena are visible in the graphic field. For example, print on demand and the viral technology in which it appears as if people are approached personally. Viral marketing is a marketing technique that attempts to exploit existing social networks in order to increase brand awareness or to create positive associations in a way that can be compared to a viral epidemic. In that sense, it is very like mouth-to-mouth advertising

that is reinforced by the Internet, so that a very large number of people can be reached very quickly and in a relatively cheap way. Design agency Thonik achieved considerable success with this technique for the SP (Socialist Party); it seemed as if the consumer was approached personally by Jan Marijnissen. With printing-on-demand, books are not ‘printed’ in a traditional way, but ‘printed out’ in an industrial setting. Black and white ‘printed out’ books show no recognisable difference to black and white ‘printed’ books. The colours in a ‘printed out’ book can even seem ‘truer’ than colours in a ‘printed’ book. The reason that people choose printing-on-demand is because this system makes it possible to produce affordable books in low numbers. You can thus produce as many books as you actually need. Even if you only need one copy. You no longer have to keep and maintain expensive stocks. The chances for an author to get his/her book onto the market have been greatly increased. Banks also make use of this technique so that customers can now design their own debit card. The debit card is, for almost everybody, something they always have with them, just like keys, spectacles and mobile telephone. This service is therefore very successful. Examples of these applications can be seen in the Thonik exhibitions: Made in China, Made by You and Credit On Color, more than 5,000 credit cards in the Graphic Design Museum from 27 June.



READING IMAGE AND WATCHING LANGUAGE The typofilm is a new genre in film. The way of film making often determines the style or character of a film.

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Typo Film

Typo Film

We are used to watching a film and being carried along by a story or feeling. Nothing really changes in that if a film is made up of text or language. Watching language is, however, a different experience than reading a text.   Since the democratisation of graphic design with the use of accessible software, movement with typography has started to lead a separate life. The addition of elements such as sound, time and movement gives typography a certain dramatic value. Typography has, in this era of image culture a wide significance. Each image that has become an icon thanks to fame, repetition and recognisability, is seen and used as typography. This new meaning is an added value for the language with which we communicate. Icons such as a portrait of

Barack Obama or a logo for Apple or the sound of an incoming email are just as much legible symbols as a word that is made up out of letters and is (literally) legible. The language of identity has come to define our (image) culture. Pictures can be read and language watched. Upload Cinema, the organisation that has exhibited internet films in the cinema, has dedicated a programme to the typofilm. The 35 best typographic films on internet can this summer be seen in the auditorium of the Graphic Design Museum. C O M P O S I T I O N : DAG A N C O H EN A N D B A R B A R A D E W I J N ( U P LOA D CINEMA) T Y P O F I L M C A N B E S EEN I N T H E G R A P H I C D E S I G N M US EU M F R O M 27 J UN E TO 20 S E P T E M B E R 0 9


MUSEUMSHOPPING Designer Ed Annink of Ontwerpwerk has been championing the work of graphic designer Gerd Arntz for many years. New is the Ik wil die met dat eitje (I want the one with the egg) tableware. A 17-piece tableware service with silver illustrations by Arntz.

In the twenties of the last century, the German graphic designer Gerd Arntz (19001988) developed, in collaboration with the Austrian sociologist Otto Neurath (18821945) an international image language for making statistical data understandable for a wide public. In the years that followed, Arntz drew more than 4000 pictograms. The originals are owned by the Municipal Museum, The Hague.

On the tableware, they can give rise to a conversation or an idea. Each conjures up its own story. The little clock on the inside of the espresso mug says something about the time we drink coffee. The pictograms also ensure recognition. You can combine each plate with a dish with the same pictogram. Annink has designed a simple set of tableware, so that the pictograms of Arntz receive full attention.

Last year, Ed Annink set up the Gerd Arntz Foundation web archive and created the website, with which he made the work of Arntz more accessible to a broad public. For this, the pictograms in the Municipal Museum The Hague were digitalised. The pictograms of Gerd Arntz are sometimes more than eighty years old, but have lost none of their power.

The tableware Ik wil die met dat eitje is being marketed under the Dutch label Blitsdesign. Blitsdesign is an initiative of Kwantum, aiming to make affordable design accessible to everybody. The tableware is now on sale in the shop of the Graphic Design Museum. D E S I G N : E d A nnink (O ntwerpwerk )



DUTCH COLLECTION More than half the objects in the permanent exhibition about a century of graphic design in the Netherlands 100 Years of Dutch Graphic Design has been recently replaced.

New to the exhibition are designs by Gerd Arntz, Jac. Jongert, Louis Kalff, Jan van Krimpen, Anton Kurvers, Jan Lavies, Ootje Oxenaar, Paul Schuitema, Johann von Stein, Peter Struyken, Karel Suyling and Piet Zwart. Since the opening of the museum in June 2008, this is the third, and until now most extensive change.

of the ‘Dutch Collection’ for its permanent exhibition. For the exhibition, the Graphic Design Museum has entered into loan agreements with around twenty institutions, including museums, archives and libraries. An equal number of private collectors and companies were prepared to add several objects from their collection to our selection from the Dutch Collection.

100 Years of Dutch Graphic Design is a permanent exhibition in which components are replaced every three to four months. Approximately half the objects on show are from collections that are seldom if ever exhibited. With this unusual, dynamic set up for the exhibition the Graphic Design Museum achieves its aims to make hidden treasures from the ‘Dutch Collection’ visible, to place them in a broader frame and so present to a broader public the multifaceted face of graphic design. The term ‘Dutch Collection’ refers to all collections in public Dutch ownership and was introduced in the 1990 policy memo Choosing for Quality. It is the first time that a museum has made such intensive use 24

In addition, since 2001, there has been intensive collaboration with the foundations Het ReclameArsenaal and the Dutch Archive Graphic Designers (NAGO) both of which work for the preservation and administration of the graphic design heritage. New is the development of ‘Partnerships’ with heritage institutions that have very special sub collections in the field of graphic design. In this way, the Graphic Design Museum can count on the long-term expertise of and cooperation with, for example, Museum Meermanno in The Hague and the Money Museum in Utrecht.

NS The house style of the Dutch Railways has proved to be one of the most stable and powerful image builders of the Netherlands and of ‘Dutch Design’. In the house style, which arose in the second half of the sixties, the professionalism of the client, engineers and design world stumble across fresh creativity and daring. In response to the Dutch Design Database, the museum is paying its respects to this example from the history of the growing professionalism of Dutch graphic design. We are exhibiting material that documents the design process and implementation between 1966 and 1969; in addition objects relating to the timetable (19681970), the list of departure times (19711973) and the signposting (1971-1975).

In addition the signposting has been used within the building and a small children’s exhibition has been developed about the NS pictograms. For its exhibition 100 Years of Dutch Graphic Design, the Graphic Design Museum undertakes regular research in the most diverse private and public collections, looking for unusual objects and stories. In 2003, Wibo Bakker [2], then working at the museum as an apprentice and involved in researching the NS house style, for example, tracked down some archive papers of Tel Design. The visuals used are from the NAGO archives which have since, at the insistence of the Graphic Design Museum, been unveiled. [2] On 12 June 2009, Wibo Bakker defended his thesis at the University of Utrecht, which is entitled Dream of clarity. House styles, design agencies and modernism in the Netherlands 1960 and 1975.


THE FACE OF THE STATE The Graphic Design Museum, in collaboration with the Think Tank of the Dutch School for Public Administration (NSOB) developed the publication The face of the state; an essay in which the motives for arriving at that specific logo are researched and turned over in a surprising way.

When the external visual language of the state is derived from the internally organised differentiation, the government changes for the outside world into a mirror. Every new unit has its own logo. That seems helpful, that seems to show an open and varied government, but it ultimately makes the civil government invisible; whoever looks in the mirror, will see himself. The authors argue that the state should exude a certain strictness. It is, after all, a dangerous institution. This is also a way to interpret the state-wide logo. It is no direct reflection, no visual reproduction from all organisational components of the civil government. It is rather - or that is what it should be - an aesthetic illusion. The state is not like the citizen. And the citizen is not like the state. Contrary to current ideas, the authors argue that the logo should emphasise the distance, the gap between citizen and state. If this becomes larger, that is productive for the proper functioning of

the Dutch democracy. It is this aesthetic principle that must inspire the organisation philosophy of the Dutch Civil Government. The state has a new face. One face: the state-wide logo appears proudly on façades of ministries in The Hague, features on websites of state institutions and is printed on the calling card of every civil servant. But the logo is more than a letterhead. It symbolises simultaneously the ambition of politicians and the civil service apparatus to make the Dutch government into an efficiently operating organisation. The logo wishes to make things uniform and wants to give the state one single face. This will have to make the state recognisable for the citizen but also for the civil servant. The civil servants no longer work for a department, but are employed by the one and only State. The introduction of the state-wide logo is part of the programme known as Renewing the Civil Government, and like a large number of 27

other cost-saving actions, is intended to make the government ‘smaller and better’. The state-wide logo will, it is claimed, save costs. The large number of commissions from the Civil Government for the design of new logos now seems to be, thanks to the introduction of the logo designed by Studio Dumbar, a closed chapter. But it is not only about efficiency. There is much to be experienced - both politically and philosophically - in that one logo. Why does the government want one face? Is it not extremely polymorphic, just like the society it tries to serve? Such questions are discussed in the essayThe face of the state, in which authors investigate how the government in the eyes of policy-makers could become ‘invisible’ to society. That single logo has been introduced because the citizens could no longer ‘see the wood for the trees’. From now on, the government is recognisable and adopts a central place in society, just as the logo is in the middle of the letter paper. The authors argue that the Dutch bureaucracy has come to resemble society far too much, because the civil service departments try to differentiate themselves to reflect society. In recent years, that society has become much more multicoloured. T H E FAC E O F T H E S TAT E , A P UB L I C AT I O N O F T H E D U TC H S C H O O L F O R P UB L I C governing board ( T H E H AGUE ) A N D T H E G raphic D esign M useum ( B reda ) 20 0 9 W I T H C O N T RI B U T I O N O F: Jaap van der S pek , Paul F rissen , Rien R ouw, M artijn van der S teen en E sther C leven T H E P UB L I C AT I O N I S F O R S A L E I N T H E G raphic D esign M useumwinkel

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NPN drukkers uit Breda heeft een duizelingwekkende bundeling van drukproeven uitgebracht. Een ongekend hulpmiddel NPN drukkers uit Breda heeft een duizelingvoor iedereen die te maken krijgt met het wekkende bundeling van drukproeven ontwerpen en drukken van grafisch werk. uitgebracht. Een ongekend hulpmiddel NPN drukkers uit Breda heeft een duizelingvoor iedereen die te maken krijgt met het De rijke publicatie zien hoe ingrediënten, wekkende bundeling vanlaat drukproeven ontwerpen en drukken van grafisch werk. zoals rasters, inkten, papiersoorten uitgebracht. Een ongekend hulpmiddel en bindtechnieken, opmaken elkaar inwerken. voor iedereen die te krijgt met Ze hetgaan De rijke publicatie laat zien hoe ingrediënten, een interessante fusie aan, of werk. leiden juist ontwerpen en drukken van grafisch zoals rasters, inkten, papiersoorten en bindtot een visuele catastrofe. Het boek laat technieken, op elkaar inwerken. Ze gaan bewust beidelaat zien. De rijke publicatie zien hoe ingrediënten, een interessante fusie aan, of leiden juist zoals rasters, inkten, papiersoorten en bindtot een visuele catastrofe. Het boek laat NPN Proef zal deinwerken. liefhebber grafisch technieken, op elkaar Zevan gaan bewust beide zien. ontwerp in fusie het algemeen bekoren, een interessante aan, of leiden juist maar ook ontwerper die eenHet concreet antwoord tot eendevisuele catastrofe. boek laat NPN Proef zal de liefhebber van grafisch opbeide zijn vraag bewust zien. zoekt. Of beter gezegd: ontwerp in het algemeen bekoren, maar ook een voorbeeld van zijn idee. de ontwerper die een concreet antwoord NPN Proef zal de liefhebber van grafisch op zijn vraag zoekt. Of beter gezegd: ontwerp in het algemeen bekoren, maar ook een voorbeeld van zijn idee. de ontwerper die een concreet antwoord op zijn vraag zoekt. Of beter gezegd: een voorbeeld van zijn idee.

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The new children’s exhibition will open in the middle of October. This exhibition will be made in collaboration with design studio Strange Attractors, a young international agency that handles typography, graphic designs and new media in a particularly headstrong manner. The exhibition is about typography. Letters are not only used for writing, they are also shapes. In this exhibition, children will discover what typography is and how it works - naturally by working with it themselves.


The museum lab is the knowledge heart of the Graphic Design Museum and is located above the museum shop. The museum lab is a dynamic spot for research into and knowledge about the broad field of image culture. The visitor has free admission to the multimedia library, when present-day and historic material can be consulted in the research files and in a digital database. The museum will, in the coming years, play an important role in the development of an influential and special significance for the term image culture. The room is also suitable as a teaching environment, for organising workshops and for producing work assignments.



The Graphic Design Museum also organises by appointment special children’s parties. The children begin in the museum café with cake or muffins. There is a special exciting work folder for each child and together with an assistant from The museum, the whole group sets to work in the exhibition halls. The children spend at least two hours there, working hard as real designers. The young party-goers can, during the party, also enjoy lemonade, poffertjes or pancakes and design a large birthday day in the Kids Design Corner in the museum café.

SUMMER HOLIDAYS During the summer holidays (25 July - 6 September) a holiday workshop for children will be held every Wednesday and Friday afternoon in the Graphic Design Museum. The workshops are for children aged from 6 to 13. There is also a special for children from June about the design of the Dutch Railways. Here, children can test their knowledge of the NS in the NS quiz. After completing the quiz, a diploma immediately comes out of the NS machine. Children are challenged to create a pictogram story using the pictograms of the NS. It is also an exciting quest for the whole family. Go to children for the programme for the summer holidays.

In order to decimate internal and external knowledge, the Graphic Design Museum is starting a series of lectures. This is taking place in collaboration with the various art academies. The aim of this series is to offer established and starting designers a platform for discussions, lectures and presentations.



Graphic designer Michiel Schuurman has completely restyled the museum café and turned it into a cross between Starbucks and sixties psychedelia. Schuurman has this to say about his design. ‘As starting point for the design, I went in search of the original forms that can be found in disposable packagings. At first sight, the patterns seem perfectly normal, but a closer inspection shows they are more organic and subtler. The interaction between organic growth and computer-driven patterns plays a major role in almost all my designs. I want the viewer TO BE amazed and decide for himself what precisely is being communicated.’ 29


GET CONNECTED! BUSINESS CLUB The Business Club of the Graphic Design Museum is made up of a network of innovative, creative entrepreneurs. A place where business acquaintances can meet and develop cooperations in a relaxed way. One of the characteristics is the innovative and modern setting for the meetings.

The Business Club has as its most important aim, generating more funds for the museum and for special programming, stimulating collaborations with partners and creating and maintaining an active network of partners/sponsors at the museum. Why have a business club? There are already more than 70 entrepreneurs from various branches represented in the museum’s still young Business Club. It is a warm and dynamic group of entrepreneurs who meet around five times a year for small and large events.

The Business Club wants to expand to 200 members. The contribution is € 1000 per year. Membership advantages Each year, additional special facilities are offered to each member of the Business Club. You can find these advantages and facilities on our website

BECOME A BUSINESS CLUB MEMBER? Send an email to Carola Drontmann: or phone (076) 529 99 00

ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS The Graphic Design Museum has an active association of friends which has around 400 members. The friends are actively involved in the activities that take place in the museum.

By becoming a friend, you support the educative aims of the museum! The museum naturally wants to do something in return: free entry to the museum, friends receive a personal invitation for new exhibitions and lectures, can participate in excursions, the New Year’s Reception at the museum, and members have access to the annual family day for friends and their guests.

The membership of the Association is a minimum contribution of € 20. A member at the same address pays at least € 10.

BECOME A FRIEND? Send an email to Rineke van der Hoeven: Or fill in the form on our website





Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

Tickets € 7.50 Children under three free Education / students De Nieuwe Veste course participants / holders Breda pass / BNO members € 3.75. Museum Year Card valid 65+ pass not valid

Boschstraat 22 4811 GH Breda

The museum is closed on Monday. It is possible to open the museum on Monday for hall rental and for groups of more than 100 people; such groups should apply at least one month in advance.

All prices are per person.

T +31 (0)76 529 99 00 F +31 (0)76 529 99 29

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