Willem Hendrik Crouwel is a Dutch graphic designer who was born in Groningen in 1928, and died in Amsterdam in 2019. He studied at the Academy Minerva from 1947-1949. In 1952, he founded his design agency, and in 1963, he created the Total Design agency together with four others. In 1967, he created his New Alphabet for cathode ray tubes---it had only vertical and horizontal strokes. It was used in the Dutch pavillon at the World Exhibition in Osaka in 1970. Crouwel became professor of industrial graphic design in 1973 at the Technical University of Delft and was also professor of art at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. From 1963 until 1984, Crouwel managed all posters and catalogs for Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. In 1981, he became director of Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, and remained director until 1991.
Besides New Alphabet (1967), he also designed Stedelijk (1968, for his poster for Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), and the Fodor Alphabet (1969, pixelish). He led Total Design in the 70s.
His typeface Gridnik (1974), an octagonal typeface made for a typewriter, was never released as a font. Crouwel's love for grids had earned him the nickname Gridnik or Mr. Gridnik. This name is well-deserved: he once stated, I am a functionalist troubled by aesthetics.
Creator of Dutch postage stamps in 1976.
In 2009, Crouwel won the Gerrit Noordzij prize. In 2019, he won the TDC Medal. Biography.
In 2007, there was a special Crouwel event in Paris. Pictures of Crouwel by Michael Levy: Crouwel with Pierre Bernard, Crouwel and Étienne Robial, Crouwel signing books, portrait.
Many have continued along the path shown by Crouwel:
- Jay Vidheecharoen made the font Atmosphere based on Wim Crouwel's New Alphabet.
- Architype New Alphabet 1 through 3 by The Foundry are also based on Crouwel's New Alphabet. The Foundry also made Architype Stedelijk and Architype Fodor based on Crouwel's work.
- A free version of New Alphabet was made by Matt McInerney (2008). As mattmc over at FontStruct, he made a number of New Alphabet lookalikes in 2008 such as Neuescreen, Pentagrid Alkphabet, and Pentagrid v2.
- Klean Regular (2011, Gershon Paul) is an octagonal take on New Alphabet.
- Funk King used FontStruct in 2008 to make a series of fonts based on posters by Wim Crouwel: Edgar Fernhout (based on a 1963 poster), Amsterdamse School (1975, art deco lettering), Kalender 1976 Letters (octagonal), Kalender 1976, Brusselmans, Rabobank.
- The pixel typeface Amsterdam (2008, Fizgig at FontStruct) was based on Wim Crouwel's hand lettering for the 1968 Vormgevers poster.
- Jonathan Hill's LineWire (2009) is an octagonal typeface influenced by Crouwel's work.
- Nate Navasca's piano key typeface Shima (2011) is based on Wim Crouwel's Hiroshima poster (1957). So are Oscar Cobo and Wete's UT Morph (2018), Sean Kane's Suzuka (2012), Hello Muller's Nagasaki, and Sasha Iacob's Nagasaki (2012, free font).
- Igor Rossi used FontStruct in 2009 to make Crouwel's Paper Cuts and Crouwel's Stedelijk Alphabet.
- Antonio Morata fontstructed ztedelijk-Crouwel eYe/FS (2011) based on the same Stedelijk Museum poster.
- Michael Hernan's 1996 typeface New Alphabet is also influenced by Crouwel.
- In 2011, Boris de Vries weighed in with two typefaces. Wim Crouwel's Hiroshima poster (2011) served as a model for Boris's unnamed piano key typeface created in 2011. And a 1968 poster for Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam was the model for another typeface created by Boris in 2011.
- Paul Hunt designed New Alpha BBit, New Alpha 1 Line, New Azbuka, and New Alpha Dot using FontStruct.
- Mrman created New Alphabet Substance Style (2008, FontStruct).
- Shawn Grima's squarish typeface Architect (2012) was inspired by Crouwel as well.
- Duncan Robertson developed a 42-cut typeface family called New Alphabet 13, in one of the best researched attempts to date to push Crouwel's ideas even further.
- Fabio Furlanis made the octagonal C-Alphabet (2013, collaboration with Roberto Duse).
- Tom Seddon's typeface The Empty Space (2013) was inspired by Wim Crouwel's New Alphabet.
- th3lonius created Gendai Block and Gendai round in 2013 based on Crouwel's Hiroshima poster.
- Darren O'Driscoll's Newer Alphabet (2013) is based on New Alphabet.
- Foundry Gridnik (2016, by David Quay at The Foundry): Foundry Gridnik was developed from the single weight monospaced typewriter face, originally created by Dutch designer Wim Crouwel in the 1960s.
- For FIFA's World Cup 2014, the Dutch team played in Case Crouwel, a bespoke octgaonal and inline typeface by Wim Crouwel done for Nike.
Flickr group on Wim Crouwel. Wim Crouwel Exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 28 September 2019-22 March 2020.
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Dutch type design ⦿
Pixel/bitmap fonts ⦿
Octagonal typefaces ⦿
Unicase type design ⦿
Art deco typefaces ⦿
Piano key typefaces ⦿
Typewriter fonts ⦿
Corporate typefaces ⦿
Soccer typefaces ⦿