From Stedelijk Museum to Design Museum: two tributes for the iconic Wim Crouwel
Iconic and unconventional Dutch designer Wim Crouwel passed away last week and his legacy is remembered with a film and two tributes destined to remind us the importance of Mr. Gridnik's design philosophy for the decades to come.
“The career of Dutch designer Wim Crouwel spans six decades and covers an extraordinary journey from designer, teacher, curator to museum director” notes London's Design Museum in its tribute to Crouwel.
“Based on modernist principles, Crouwel's lucid and systematic approach to design is underpinned by a grid-based methodology. His process, logical yet experimental, distills a subject down to its absolute essence and in doing so he achieves great impact and purpose in both his exhibition and print design. Through his long and productive career he has produced exemplary work in exhibition design, and designed posters, calendars, typefaces, trademarks, and stamps” adds the museum whose latest Font Sunday Twitter fest was inspired and dedicated to the Dutch designer.
“Based on modernist principles, Crouwel's lucid and systematic approach to design is underpinned by a grid-based methodology”
On a more personal note, the Stedelijk Museum launched an online project dedicated to the legendary Dutch designer in which people who were influenced by the great designer share their memories.
“On Thursday, 19 September 2019 Wim Crouwel died at age of 90. With his passing the world loses a visionary thinker who was an eminent authority in the field of design” writes Stedelijk urging those who want to pay their respects to Crouwel to submit their sympathies, memories and condolences here.
“In case you would like to add a photo to the gallery, please send it to us via e-mail, if possible including the name of its author and the year it was taken” adds the museum of this online tribute to the master of Dutch Functionalism and one of the major graphic designers of the 20th century.
“A phone book changed my life. Wim Crouwel typeset the 1972 edition in lower case only. It was the first time I became aware of something called graphic design. A simple decision. A beautiful result. And so many social implications. It was a declaration for a new society. Thank you, Wim” wrote Thomas Widdershoven.
“It is humbling to send this post into the air, but reassuring that this seismic loss is shared by so many. What arrogance on my part to assume that such greatness would and could live forever, for someone so inextricably tied to our profession, and our best hopes of what 'visionary' could mean in the context of form-giving. Thank you Wim, you will be missed, but never forgotten” noted Forest Young.
Also, from the 28th of September through the 22nd of March 2020, Stedelijk pays tribute to the iconic designer with a selection of his typographic oeuvre with its Wim Crouwel: Mr. Gridnik survey exhibition.
“Wim Crouwel (1928), co-founder of the first multidisciplinary design agency in the Netherlands, Total Design in 1963, is one of the Dutch best-known designers. He is internationally renowned for creating projects for numerous organizations and institutes including the Van Abbemuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, designing fonts such as the 1967 New Alphabet, company logos etc. Crouwel was also a notable spokesperson for the profession and was always forthright in sharing his own views. He was the sole designer of the Stedelijk Museum’s visual communications from 1963 to 1985” adds the Museum of Mr. Gridnik.
“Throughout his career, Wim Crouwel was a fervent advocate of the grid system, a tool he considers one of the most important in the designer’s toolbox. His practice was profoundly influenced by the Swiss school of graphic design, whose rational, minimalist approach was organized around a grid system. Crouwel employed the grid structure in his designs for the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1956-1964) and later for the Stedelijk Museum.”
“At Total Design, grid sheets provided templates for the abundance of typographic work produced for the Stedelijk. Crouwel has always favored an analytical approach, believed in technology and progress, and promoted design as an independent profession. His preoccupation with grid systems was the subject of the exhibition Wim Crouwel: Fascinated by the Grid, which was on show in Japan in 2017 and 2018. Crouwel’s design projects for the museum comprise a monumental oeuvre that has cemented his reputation.”
“Wim Crouwel (1928) started his career in 1952 as an exhibition designer but became best known as a graphic designer. In addition to being a designer, he was also a lecturer, professor, organizer and spokesperson. From 1985 to 1993 he was director of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam” notes the introductory text to the upcoming must-see exhibition.
A leading figure in Dutch design and in Dutch cultural life, Crouwel's work “still shapes the practice of many young designers throughout the world” whilst the Wim Crouwel Institute will share his wisdom and heritage to the younger generations.
The exhibition will also screen the new documentary on Wim Crouwel: Wim Crouwel Modernist by graphic designer and filmmaker Lex Reitsma.
“Crouwel has always favored an analytical approach, believed in technology and progress, and promoted design as an independent profession”