Gary Hustwit, the director of the documentaries Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized, is directing the first feature-length documentary about the life of legendary product designer, Dieter Rams. He has put together a Kickstarter to fund the rest of the filming and production. The backer rewards are great, including posters designed by Michael C. Place of Build. This is a great project that will preserve Rams’ life and work. I’ve backed it.
The documentary will include in-depth conversations with Dieter, and detail the process behind some of his most iconic designs. We want to get past the legend of Dieter, and get into his philosophy, process, inspirations, and even his regrets.
Monacelli Press has published the first English translation of an historic 1972 debate between Dutch graphic designers Wim Crouwel and Jan van Toorn, at Amsterdam’s Museum Fodor.
Held in response to an exhibition of Van Toorn’s work at Stedelijk Museum, including student posters protesting the Vietnam War—in an era of youth culture and increasing resistance to authority, capitalism, and the power of media—the stakes were aesthetic, ethical, and politically charged.
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.
Order vs. Disorder. I vaguely remember reading about this debate, but I’ve never seen a transcripts of it. Definitely interested in checking this out.
The clothbound book also includes a foreword by Rick Poynor, and a gallery of work from Crouwel and Van Toorn.
Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem — the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible — his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints. Constraints of price, of size, of strength, of balance, of surface, of time and so forth.