Off the Grid: Sara De Bondt documents the origins of Belgian graphic design
Design Museum Gent presents Off the Grid, the exhibition.
Curated by Sara De Bondt, graphic designer, teacher, researcher and publisher, the exhibition explores the origins of graphic design in Belgium in the 1960s and 70s, a typographic history which has largely been undocumented until now.
Set against the background of the new Graphic Designprogramme series focused on historic and contemporary Belgian graphic design within an international context, Off the Grid starts from a turning point in Belgium, i.e. the iconic 1958 World Expo in Brussels, and ends in the early eighties, with the emergence of PCs.
The works by designers such as Paul Ibou, Corneille Hannoset, Luk Mestdagh, Fernand Baudin, Boudewijn Delaere, Sofie Alouf, Rob Buytaert, Herman Lampaert and Jeanine Behaeghel among many others, are contextualised by Sara De Bondt’s own experience as a practising graphic designer today and "explore how contemporary aspects of graphic design, such as hybridity and authorship, can be better understood from a historical perspective."
Sara De Bondt staged the objects, a wide and rich array of printed matter, logo objects, self-published book sculptures and poster designs most of them never exhibited before, in the exhibition according to ten key principles that are also relevant in her own work.
Economy of means, format, colour, education, pattern, surface, collaboration, seriality, social relevance, and typography.
A typophile's motive to travel to Gent till the 16th of February, the exhibition curated by De Bondt documents the origins of Belgian visual language.
De Bondt has given lectures in design conferences around the world, and is a member of AGI. She previously taught at Central Saint Martins and The Royal College, both in London, and currently teaches at KASK – School of Arts Ghent.
Some of her recent commissions include the identity of Taipei Biennial 2018, a catalogue for Jessica Stockholder at Centraal Museum Utrecht, exhibition graphics for the Wellcome Collection London and books for Kunsthal Bergen, Haus der Kunst Munich and MO.CO Montpellier.
In 2008 De Bondt founded the publishing company Occasional Papers, a non-profit publisher of affordable books devoted to the histories of architecture, art, design, film and literature, together with Antony Hudek, and since then has co-edited three of its books: The Master Builder: Talking with Ken Briggs, The Form of the Book Book and Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983–2011).