Starting in 1963 and continuing into the 1980s, Total Design designed almost all the posters and catalogues for the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum. The agency also designed stationery, leaflets and even the layout of exhibitions for the museum.
It was thanks to Wim Crouwel that Total Design acquired the museum’s commissions. Prior to 1963 he had designed the posters and catalogues for the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. In 1963, Eric de Wilde, its director, moved to the Amsterdam museum to become Willem Sandberg’s successor and he took Crouwel along as his regular designer.
For the Stedelijk Museum, Crouwel aimed at creating a style that would be clearly recognizable and could be applied to any number of subjects. He developed a typographic pattern that served as a base for the layout of texts and as illustrations of the catalogues and posters.
Typical of the museum’s house style is its neutral, timeless character with an esthetic shape language. It contrasted strongly with the more personal style of Sandberg, who was not only the museum’s director, but also its ‘in-house’ designer and often used torn-out shapes and letters.
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- Collection Dutch Graphic Designers Archives Foundation
- for information contact: Nederlands Archief Grafisch Ontwerpers