The Debate, Wim Crouwel & Jan van Toorn
The first English publication of a famous 1972 debate between Dutch graphic designers Wim Crouwel and Jan van Toorn. A public clash of subjectivity versus objectivity, originally published in Dutch by [Z]OO producties in 2008.
The debate was held in response to an exhibition of Van Toorn’s work at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. Crouwel defended his approach of neutrality and austere rationalism, attention to typography and worksmanship, and professionalism in service of the client’s message. Van Toorn argued for his use of chaos, collage, and photographs of everyday life; that a designer’s ideas, personality, and political commitments are integral to the work.
Along with the transcript, this pocket-sized clothbound book contains a foreword by design critic Rick Poynor, and essays from Dutch design historian Frederike Huygen and curator Dingenus van de Vrie. A color gallery juxtaposes a representative selection from the oeuvres of Crouwel and Van Toorn.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 the first copy was presented to Wim Crouwel and Jan van Toorn. The presentation was organized by the Wim Crouwel Instituut, [Z]OO producties en the Bijzondere Collecties of the University of Amsterdam.
‘The Debate. The Legendary Contest of Two Giants of Graphic Design’
Author: Frederike Huygen
Contributors: Wim Crouwel, Jan van Toorn, Rick Poynor
Design: Office of CC, Amsterdam