Jan Van Toorn: Critical Practice
Jan van Toorn is one of the most significant and influential Dutch graphic designers to have emerged since the early 1960s. His designs persistently call attention to their status as visual contrivances, obliging the viewer to make an effort to process their complexities. Van Toorn wants the public to measure the motives of both the client and the designer who mediates the client's message against their own experiences of the world. He hoped in this way to stimulate a more active and skeptical view of art, communication, media ownership and society. Projects such as Van Toorn's posters and catalogues for the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and his long-running series of calendars for the printing firm Mart.Spruijt are powerful demonstrations of graphic design used as a means of commentary and as a tool of critique. Later, as director of the Jan van Eyck Academy, Van Toorn drew together all the strands of his critical practice into a multi-levelled educational initiative that urged designers to think harder about design's role in shaping contemporary reality.
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010 Publishers Abbemuseum Eindhoven Amsterdam Architecture Today Bertolt Brecht Beyerd Brattinga Brecht Catalogue cover Client colour cover and spreads critical cultural Delta-Expo design beyond Design Design Education designer’s dialogic director Documentaires Dutch Art Dutch Design Eindhoven epic theatre essay exhibition Eyck Akademie Editions Functie van Museale Godard Grafisch Graphic Design Ibid images Institute issue Jan van Eyck Jan van Toorn Jean Leering joins studio Journal Karel Martens Kunst London Maastricht magazine montage Mulder & Zoon Museale Overdracht Museum Fodor Nederlandse Postzegels Netherlands Ontwerpen Jan Ootje Oxenaar Paul Hefting Paul Schuitema Peter Bilak photographs picture Piet Zwart Pieter political poster Poynor printed printer produced reality reflexive Rhode Island School Rick Poynor Rietveld Academy Rob Schröder Rotterdam School of Design Sikkens social Spruijt stamps Stedelijk Telecommunicatie Industrie Thames & Hudson theory typography viewer Visual Communication Willem Willem Drees Wim Crouwel