Typ09 Mexico City

Speaker details

Jan Middendorp

Owner Jan Middendorp Design Type Writing | Germany

Jan Middendorp is a Dutch type writer and page maker working in Berlin. He wrote the acclaimed Dutch Type and co-edited Made with FontFont. He is a contributor to Eye and was one of the 10 curators of Area2 (Phaidon). He works as consultant and editor for companies such as Linotype, MyFonts and LucasFonts.

Presentation details

Hand-lettered book jackets in the 1950s and 1960s. The Ietswaart case.

Session 48 | Room MIDE
Monday 26 October | 11:10 – 11:30

Duration: 20 minutes

During my research for Dutch Type, I chanced upon the work of Boudewijn Ietswaart, an extremely talented lettering artist and illustrator whose work is virtually unknown in his native Netherlands. Further research led to my locating him – now retired – in Amsterdam, where I interviewed him and made photographic reproductions of some of his work. Ietswaart spent most of his professional life as a graphic designer in Mexico, Venezuela and Barcelona and only did a small portion of his work for Dutch publishers. He later became a scientific illustrator and abandoned lettering altogether. Ietswaart was extremely prolific during his two years in Mexico, c. 1960, where he had gone to assist UNESCO collaborator Alexander Stols – a well-known publisher – as the typographic specialist. After I mentioned Ietswaart to my contacts of the Circulo de Tipografos in Mexico last year, they researched what information they could find, and also located many of Ietswaart’s works in antiquarian bookshops. They soon warmed up to the idea of reviving some of his alphabets as fonts, and present the work during ATypI 09 in the context of the cultural climate of the era. A separate proposal regarding this presentation has been sent to you.

Boudewijn Ietswaart en México

Session 44 | Room MIDE
Wednesday 28 October | 16:40 – 17:00

Duration: 20 minutes

In 1961 a young Dutch designer named Boudewijn Ietswaart arrived in Mexico City on a UNESCO mission assisting famed book designer Alexandre Stols. For two years he worked at the heart the Mexican publishing industry when the country’s letters were at their apogee. Stols lauded Ietswaart’s “flawless taste” and Jan Middendorp speaks of his “unrecognized genius”. Nonetheless Ietswaart’s work in book design remains unknown. In 2009 the Círculo de Tipógrafos, a group of Mexican typedesigners, created revivals of several of the fonts Ietswaart drew for book covers. We hope to present this project and its historical context during the ATypI.

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