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

Monday 26 October, 11:10 (20 minutes)

Mr Jan Middendorp, Owner, Jan Middendorp Design Type Writing

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.