Amsterdam ✖ ✖ ✖ Classtrip

After the short but intense visit to Berlin last weekend I finally have some time to write about the Amsterdam trip I’ve done together with my colleauges from my graphic design class some time ago. The one-week holiday voyage was completely self-organised but more or less payed by our school (actually the money came from earnings of a school mandate project, anyway …) — sweet!
We had a really good time enjoying some leisure after the first busy phase of the new semester. And nevertheless it was quite an “educational” (definitely motivational) tour — we had the chance to visit a lot of great museums, schools, exhibitions and design studios on our way …

Side note: Vincent and me were lucky: since the first day we felt like (we were!) locals cruising around all day with our own bicycles and sleeping in the charming appartment of good fellow Johannes (who is currently in Amsterdam for one semester at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie) while the rest of our classmates were housed in a catholic hostel in the middle of the red light district, which was — of course — good fun too!

One of the highlights was a trip the city of Arnhem to visit the Werkplaats Typografie, a school that provides one of the best graphic design master programs in the world.


Founded by Karel Martens and Wigger Bierma in 1998, the WT is located in “a small building in Arnhem, where ten to twelve participants work in a fully equipped studio that becomes like a second – or first,
or home-away-from – home for the two-year duration of the course” (source)

Once we got there we were given a very charming guided tour and a lot of background infor-
mation which gave us quite a good insight into the atmosphere and energy of the school … we even got some books and other printed matter as presents — overall a very nice experience.

Second highlight: A studio visit at Mevis & Van Deursen, a design studio founded by Linda van Deursen (1961) and Armand Mevis (1963) after graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 1986. They are mainly designing printed matter for cultural clients for example the MoMA, Viktor & Rolf, the Stedelijk Museum, the New Museum, or the city of Rotterdam — and there even is a complete Idea Magazine issue dedicated to them …

We were warmly welcomed by Linda who is also a design critic at Werkplaats (see above ↑). She took over one hour of her time to explain to us — with a fascinating passion — the 15 most important and/or interesting books her studio has made in the last 20 years. Super inspiring … and a pretty fascinating woman to be honest!

Last highlight: we visited the mutual studio of Veronica Ditting and Bart de Beats!

Such a chance. It felt great to discuss two of my absolute favourite magazines Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman with the main designer herself … Well, all I can say is that Veronica is a gentlewoman herself!
(Stay tuned for the upcoming interview!)

Bart was very cool, too. He presented all kinds of projects from the past and the present, fueled with great wit …
I loved his response when we asked him how do you start a project?

1. “I start producing directly, because then the rest really just comes naturally — works out pretty good for me!”
2. “I always write about what I have to do to get a clearer image of what I want to create and say.
That’s always a good way for me to illustrate my concept. Or to define the problem!”

NoteI: It’s a bit of a pity that I wasn’t able to make more photos — thanks to my classmates for providing some of their material … (I have to get a new camera!).

Note II: The guy in the second picture (at the right) at the beginning is Harry Bloch, a former teacher of us, also based in Amsterdam.