In memory of graphic designer Ad Werner (1925-2017)
On 17 June 2017, Ad Werner died at the age of 92 years.
Ad Werner (1925) was educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague in accordance with the principles of the Bauhaus. To the dismay of his former teacher Paul Schuitema, as a young graphic designer he started with creating movie posters. He worked for many years for the HEMA, designed for popular weekly magazines like Margriet, Elegance and Nieuwe Revu and drew cartoons.
‘Someone who managed to capture the Zeitgeist perfectly and give it a pure expression that was attractive to a large public’ (Jan Middendorp). However, it earned him little prestige from colleagues or design critics. Within the world of Dutch graphic design Ad Werner was called an outsider, someone who is completely uninterested in intellectualism and conceptual thinking.
Yet his influence on the graphic appearance of the Netherlands in the 1970s and 1980s was significant, thanks to his work for Fokker, Philips and Citroën, his corporate identity for the City of Amsterdam, his famous little Mexican for the cigarette brand Caballero and his logos and type designs which also made him internationally known.
Text: Paul van Yperen