A profile of Wim Crouwel: the graphic designer

The Dutch designer reflects on key projects, inspirations and his approach to design.
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"For me it is always a question of thinking before sketching," explains Wim Crouwel, the Dutch graphic designer. "A design ripens in my head, and then I see it more or less in front of me, before I take a pencil and do it on paper".  

Phaidon.com caught up with Crouwel in Utrecht at Schröder House - designed by Gerrit Rietveld, a name that was familiar to Crouwel as a student at art school and someone who would later become an acquaintance. Crouwel more recently designed the latest English monograph Gerrit Rietveld, published by Phaidon.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Crouwel discusses how he was influenced by the Swiss design movement of the 1950s and how he became a graphic designer, known to his friends as 'grid-nick': "I developed a kind of grid in which my design would take shape. It's very architectural because I'm influenced as much by architecture as by other graphic designers and artists."

 

Wim Crouwel: A Graphic Odyssey is at the Design Museum London from 30 March - 3 July. The exhibition explores Crouwel’s innovative use of grid-based layouts and typographic systems to produce consistently striking asymmetric visuals.


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