Spans six decades and covers an extraordinary journey from designer, teacher, curator to museum director.
- His education began at the Minerva Academy, Groningen where he studied fine art.
- Crouwel found inspiration in the concrete, glass and steel of what was one the first modernist buildings in the Netherlands, this was the beginning of a life-long passion for architecture.
- Crouwel began his career in design as an exhibition designer.
- Began work for an exhibition company Enderberg, learning from the designer Dick Ellfers.
- He then set up his own studio with the interior designer Kho Liang Ie.
- He learnt the principles of typography through his tutor, Charles Jongejans (who also exposed him to modernist graphic design for the first time)
- Crouwel established a consistent and distinctive visual language creating striking design solutions for a range of clients.
- Crouwel was influenced by Swiss design, structure and the employment of grids became key aspects in his visual language.
VAN ABBEMUSEUM, EINDHOVEN
- In 1954, one of the most significant and long-lasting working relationships began when he met the then director of the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Edy de Wilde.
- De Wilde & Crouwel, shared an interest in abstract art and appreciation for the value of good design.
- De Wilde appointed Crouwel as the sole designer for the museum, giving him complete creative autonomy and fully supporting his approach to design.
- The posters and catalogues designed for the Van Abbemuseum saw a significant conceptual development in Crouwel’s approach.
- Crouwel created bespoke, hand-drawn, typographic images to evoke the subject matter or work of the artist.
- Crouwel was one of the five founders of Total Design.
- The name Total acknowledges the mixed skill-set of the partners.
STEDELIJK MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM
- Crouwel established a grid-based methodology for the Stedelijk, a system which he applied rigorously from 1963 to 1985.
- This approach gave the Museum’s publicity material huge flexibility, while retaining a recognisable visual language.
- Crouwel is recognised for the creation of radical, modular letterforms. Pushing the boundaries of legibility.
- Crouwel’s innovative type was often supported by easily read sans serif typefaces within a carefully structured framework.
- His typefaces were digitised by the Foundry in the late nineties and are available for designers to use digitially from the type library.
DESIGNER, DIRECTOR, TEACHER
- In 1985 Crouwel’s career as a director at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.
- He commissioned the British studio 8vo to fulfil the design requirements of the museum.
- He retired from this position in 1993.
- Crouwel continues to design intermittently on a diverse range of projects for both graphic and exhibition design commissions.
Here is a link where Wim Crouwel talks brief about his life and Typography! Check it out 🙂