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PTT…Operatie bedrijfsstijl 1988/1989

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It took over 2 years to realize and implement a new style for PTT NEDERLAND. This took place at the end of the Eighties and after many years of preparations, this completely new style for the dutch company was effective by the end of 1989.  I counted almost 180 people who were involved in executing this operation. The result was another new and completely modern, almost timeless house style, after many years of illustrious and classic house styles  ( Piet Zwart ao) . Another classic and impressive house style was realized. Studio Dumbar was responsible for this new dutch design classic and it was the last house style before PTT was split up into a number of private companies of which KPN and TPG were the main ones.

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With this split up the design department for which PTT was famous, ceased to exist. This department was solely responsible for many of the designs for which PTT became famous. Piet Zwart would not have had the chances as a graphic designer were it not for the orders PTT has given him. The portrait at the head of this article is the self-portrait of Piet Zwart. The greatest of all PTT designers.

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http://www.ftn-books.com has the beautiful publication on this change of house style of PTT , published by PTT publishing, with the text of Paul Hefting available.

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Władysław Strzemiński (1893-1952)

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I had almost forgotten this great artist until recently I discovered a great monograph on him at the local bookmarket (sold). Just quickly leafing through it i noticed the resemblance with some of the greatest Piet Zwart designs and even, after searching on the internet  I discovered his influence in some recent Japanese designs. His art is truly avant-garde. When you look at Minimal Art from the Sixties and Seventies and the hard edge paintings from the Sixties you can only draw one conclusion. All the great artists from these decades must have known, Władysław Strzemiński and drawn inspiration from his art.

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An excellent biography on the artist can be found here:

https://culture.pl/en/artist/wladyslaw-strzeminski

Władysław Strzemiński (Belarusian: Уладыслаў Страмінскі; 21 November 1893, Minsk – 26 December 1952, Łódź) was a Polish avant-garde painter of international renown.

In 1920 he married Katarzyna Kobro.

In 1922 he moved to Wilno (now Vilnius), and in the following year supported Vytautas Kairiūkštis in creating the first avant-garde art exhibition in what is now the territory of Lithuania (then under Polish rule).

In November 1923 he moved to Warsaw, where with Henryk Berlewi he founded the constructivist group Blok.

During the 1920s he formulated his theory of Unism (Unizm in Polish). His Unistic paintings inspired the unistic musical compositions of the Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze. He is an author of a revolutionary book titled “The theory of vision.” He was co creator of unique avant-garde art collection in Łódź gathered thanks to the enthusiasm of members of the “a.r.” group as Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Stażewski (the artists) and Julian Przyboś and Jan Brzękowski (the poets).

In postwar Łódź he was an instructor at the Higher School of Plastic Arts and Design .Neoplastic Room in Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. where one of his students was Halina Ołomucki, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. His Neoplastic Room was installed in the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź in 1948 but was removed in 1950 as it failed to fit in with the socialist realism aesthetic imposed by Włodzimierz Sokorski, the minister of culture of the Polish United Workers’ Party.

His works have been exhibited in such museums around the world as Centre Pompidou, Museo Reina Sofia Moderna Museet Malmö and Whitechapel Gallery

The following Strzeminski publications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Jacob Jongert (1883-1942)

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Jac ( Jacob ) Jongert is one of the classic dutch designers. It is highly likely that you once have seen a design of his , since his van NELLE box has grown into a world famous design object from the Twenties/Thirties.

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It has been one of those iconic design objects executed in a style which have been of great influence to designers in the following decades. Look at the second poster and you will recognize that this typography and design elements must have influenced the POP ART designs from the Sixties.

But beside the avant garde designs there are so much more beautiful designs by Jongert and for those interested in Jongert and his design career i truly recommend the book which has been published in 2009 for the Jongert  special exhibition at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum. A book which shows why Jongert is important as a designer and what is more . The book itself is one of the best and most beautiful published books which i encountered in recent years. This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

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100 Meesterwerken by Willem Sandberg

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This is arguably one of the best Willem Sandberg publications of all time. An impressive cover, the use of multiple kinds of paper, the best art works from the Paris Modern Art Museum and an unbeatable price, because these are still available, but become more rare every year. I managed to collect 4 copies of this excellent 1952 catalogue of which 2 are now for sale at a special price of USD 35.00.

Please inquire at wvdelshout@ziggo.nl for a direct sale at this price.

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Josephine Rutten (1950)

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I did not know Josephine Rutten, but found a very nice and excellent designed publication on her, which was published in 1995 by de Jong/ van Mourik . An edition of only 500 copies of which not many must have found their way to collectors and bookstores, because this is the first i encountered in 15 years. Rutten has found a language of her own and if there is one artist her works remind me of, it is Dubuffet. The use of colors and in some of them vague human shapes in her paintings made me think of this artist. Still the “art language” of Rutten is one of her own and i can truly recommend this nice publication on this artist.

available at http://www.ftn-books.com

rutten

 

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The greatest men and women in dutch graphic design.

I have had the pleasure to suggest this site in earlier blogs, but it still expands and contains the very best of dutch graphic designers over the last 50 years or so. Of course i have books available by all these gifted dutch designers and i can not recommend enough to visit their excellent site at: https://www.dutchgraphicroots.nl

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Company design

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People almost forget that every publication and every outing by a larger company has been designed by a designer. In the tine that i worked at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, i have witnessed that every director wanted a change in company style. It was a bit like the french presidents always want to erect a building to show the people in the country that he once was their president ( Pompidou, Mitterrand, Chirac they all had their building projects and are now remembered in the name of the building.

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It was the same with the directors i worked with at the Gemeentemuseum. First there was Theo van Velzen who was very fond of Donald Janssen, followed by Henk Overduin who continued with Donald. After Henk Overduin the museum had Rudi Fuchs as a director. Fuchs trusted Walter Nikkels , but after a few month he decided for Gracia Lebbink as a designer and young and saspiring designers who had the “style’ he desired for the publications of the museum and i must admit, personally i think this period produced the best and most beautiful publications. Gracia continued to design some 8 years for the museum. In the time of some 20 years i had witnessed and worked with 4 designers and as many of 4 times every printed outing of the museum was redesigned. Posters, books, printing paper , entrance tickets, shopping bags every aspect of printing was designed agin with the coming of the new company style. It the meantinme i had also witnessed 3 name changes of the museum itself. To show some of the bags that were published over the time i show you the most famous plastic bags of the museum , which are both available at www.ftn-books.com 

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Otto Treumann (1919-2001)

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Treumann is certainly one of the greatest designers from last century and has designed some of the most iconic images in the Netherlands from the last 50 years, but he has been specially important for the designs of the Joods Historisch Museum and the Jewish community.

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Born in Bavaria in a German Jewish Liberal family in 1935 he came as an immigrant to Amsterdam fleeding Nazi Germany. He followed his education at the “NIEUWE KUNSTSCHOOL” in Amsterdam he educated their students according to the Bauhaus principles. During the occupation in WWII, Treumann became part of the resistance and forged ID’s and food stamps. After the war his posters for the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht became very famous . He also made some striking designs for AKU, which are now sought after and collected. In 1948 he received the H.N. Werkman price.

Treumann made designs for the Stedelijk Museum, the Anne Frank foundation and the Gasunie. His designs can still be found at reasonable prices and some of these pubications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Lion Cachet ( 1864-1945)

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C.A. Lion Cachet (1864-1945) is considered, together with G.W. Dijsselhof and Th. Nieuwenhuis, as pioneer of the Dutch Art Nouveau. He introduced a completely new visual language of forms, font styles and patterns. One of the things he introduced was the batik technique from Indonesia that he experimented with. His style was almost un-Dutch because of his preference for labour-intensive techniques and luxurious materials.

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Lion Cachet worked as a teacher before he developed himself as a decorative artist in 1890. He decorated a large variety of objects, among them books, jewellery, furniture and posters. Besides this he worked on Gesamtkunstwerken. An example of this was the commission from StoomvaartMaatschappij Nederland (‘Netherlands Steamship Company’) to design the interiors of the passenger ships. Additionally, he was co-founder of Wendingen, an art magazine in the Netherlands that advocated the Amsterdamse School style.

http://www.ftn-books.com has a beautful publication on Lion Cachet, Nieuwenhuis and Dijsselhof now available . Sublime in every aspect. printing design  and an edition size of only 500 copies

 

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Mario Negri (1916-1987)

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Almost forgotten this sculptor from Italy, but because of a recent addition to my inventory i rediscovered the sculptures by Negri.

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Mario Negri had a dutch exhibition in 1970 in the van Abbemuseum, curated by Hammacher who made a publication possible which is quite scarce. The 8 page fold out is designed by Jan van Toorn and depicts several works by Negri and a photograph of his studio.

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A bright green is chosen as a cover to draw attention and it oozes Seventies design. I love this great fold out and it even comes with a handwritte price list in Lire for those who want to complete their archives on the sculptor this is an absolute musey. A great sculptor and a great publication are brought together in this typical early Seventie van Toorn design. The Negri publication is now available at www.ftn-boooks.com