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Basic math for designers

Most people function best with business as usual. Regular salary, vacation in a familiar place, television series with a predictable plot, church on Sundays, and a reserved spot in the restaurant. Change implies danger. With that attitude we’ve been able…

The 17 threats and opportunities of 2017

With the risk that you’ll read something similar over a dozen times, here is an overview of what the upcoming design year is about. Naming the issues is half of the work, so a little extra retrospection cannot hurt. The…

Design: the social context

The ways of representing information and content are increasingly dominated by the interactive technologies of digital media. Today design professionals must navigate the constantly changing world of digital technology in order to give consumers a positive aesthetic experience. This interview…


We use them for everything we make, including the text of this lecture. Yet, we know so little about them. Words. Where does meaning come from? Or betekenis? Or the eppnophonics of a story? Why is writing so hard and…

ATypI 2013 keynote: what we need…

Welcome in Amsterdam, welcome to ATypI 2013. I’d like to invite you on a small virtual journey in the world of type and typography. We’ll explore areas that are common to you all. And we also will visit some places…

Typographics 2016 June 13-23

This year again, TypeLab—moderated by Petr van Blokland—took place as a lively side-program at Typographics. You were invited to participate. While on the main stage topics can only be formal presentations, at TypeLab they may be put into practice.

The making of Bitcount

The Bitcount project started in the late 1970s as an experiment to find the minimum amount of pixels necessary to make a full set of ASCII characters. As normal as that may seem today, it wasn’t then.

Design cannot be frictionless

Designers have an important role in the streamlining of communication. A badly designed message does not reach its target group. The designer acts in the interest of the customer by making the design and production process more efficient, while at…

Original Proforma brochure for Purup Electronics

Back in 1988, the Danish company Purup Electronics was one of the world’s leading manufacturers of laser based typesetting system. PE Proforma was announced as the first typeface design exclusively for forms.

Poem on the wall

“Stichting Archipelpoëzie” – Foundation to encourage the use of poems on architecture in The Hague) used Productus Book and Medium in their 9th project, located in the “Nieuwe Schoolstraat” in The Hague. For each poem a different type…

The Gerrit Noordzij cube

The animated cube it the ultimate result of Gerrit’s theory building up over the years. Originally starting as two squares, he combined the separate principles of contrast later by interpolating between them.

Typeradio interview with Petr van Blokland

Typeradio got Petr van Blokland talking about design processes and other life style attitudes at the ATypI 2005 conference in Helsinki.