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Published on Jun 26, 2013
Jan van Toorn, born in 1932, is one of Holland's most influential graphic designers. Central to his approach is the application of content-based strategies, resulting in a design practice as a form of visual journalism. Opposite to the more self-contained designs of the modernist tradition, Van Toorn is always striving for designs that are open to different ways of seeing... Van Toorn's view on the role of design manifested itself clearly during passionate debates with Wim Crouwel, one of Holland's other great design heroes, and a absolute advocate of pure functional design. Here at the University of Amsterdam Van Toorn's enormous body of work is being persevered for future generations. From the late sixties to late seventies, Van Toorn made special calendars in which he explored different ways of visual communication. For the famous 72 edition Van Toorn collected hundreds of portraits. During Van Toorn's long and longstanding career education has played an important role. With positions at prestigious universities and art institutes worldwide, Van Toorn trained generations of students to conceive their design practice as a quest for creative autonomy. And still, at the age of 80, Van Toorn continues to pass on his love for critical reflection to young graphic designers. Like here at the Saint Joost Academy in Breda where he reviews the work of master students.
CREDITS: Commissioning editor: Geert van de Wetering Line producer: Janneke van de Kerkhof Production assistant: Anjet Blinde Research: Liselotte Francken Director: Geert van de Wetering Camera: Pierre Rezus Sound: Benny Jansen Editor: Geert van de Wetering Voice-over: Micha Westera Color correction: Maurik de Ridder Music sound design: Pastelle Music Archief: NTR en Beeld en Geluid