|Training||Academie Minerva, Groningen, NL
Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, NL
Piet Zwart Prizes
BKVB Funds Oeuvre Award
Gerrit Noordzij Prize
Willem Hendrik (Wim) Crouwel (Groningen, 1928) is a Dutch graphic designer and typographer. Between 1947 and 1949, he studied Fine Arts at Academie Minerva in Groningen, The Netherlands. In addition to that, he studied typography at what is now the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.
In 1963, he was one of the founders of the design studio Total Design (currently named Total Identity). From 1964 onwards, Crouwel was responsible for the design of the posters, catalogues and exhibitions of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1967 he designed the typeface New Alphabet, a design that embraces the limitations of the cathode ray tube technology used by early data display screens and phototypesetting equipment and thus only contains horizontal and vertical strokes. Other typefaces from his hand are Fodor and Gridnik. In 1970 he designed the Dutch pavilion for Expo '70 (Osaka, Japan). A design of Crouwel that is well known in the Netherlands is that of the Number Postage Stamps for the Dutch PTT (in circulation from 1976–2002).
In the years Crouwel was working for Total Design, he designed many geometric wordmarks, one of which is the wordmark for the Rabobank, designed in 1973. The lettershapes have been influenced by the fact that the wordmark had to be used as a 3D light box. After the 3D application was finalized, the 2D design for print was adapted from it.
According to Wim Crouwel, New Alphabet was ‘over-the-top and never meant to be really used’. However, as unreadable as it was, it made a comeback in 1988 when designer Brett Wickens used a version of the font on the sleeve of Substance by Joy Division.
In addition to his work as graphic designer, he was also active in the educational field. In the 1950s he worked as a teacher at the Royal Academy for Art and Design in 's-Hertogenbosch (currently called Akademie Voor Kunst en Vormgeving St. Joost or AKV|St. Joost) and at the predecessor of what is now the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Between 1965 and 1985 he was connected to the department of industrial design of the Delft University of Technology. From 1987 to 1993 he was extraordinary professor in the fields of History, Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In the years 1985–1993 he was director of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.
- 1958 and 1966 – De H.N. Werkmanprijs
- 1965 – The Frans Duwaerprijs
- 1991 – The Piet Zwart Prize
- 1991 – The Anton-Stankowski-Preis (Germany)
- 2004 – The BKVB Funds Oeuvre Award (National Foundation for Art, Design, and Architecture)
- 2009 – The Gerrit Noordzij Prize
- Frederike Huygen, Hugues Boekraad, Wim Crouwel: Mode en Module, 010 Publishers, Rotterdam (1997), (ISBN 90-6450-310-9), (Dutch).
- Kees Broos, Wim Crouwel: Alphabets, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam (2003), (ISBN 90-6369-037-1), (English).
- Catherine de Smet, Emmanuel Bérard, Wim Crouwel: Architectures Typographiques / Typographic Architectures, Editions F7, Paris (2007), (ISBN 978-2-916796-02-4), (French/English).
- * Kerry William Purcell, "Wim Crouwel: Modern Method", Eye Magazine, No. 79, Spring, 2011.
- Wim Crouwel 'in his own words' a selection of lectures and articles delivered by Wim Crouwel between 1973 and 2006, ISBN 978 94 90628024 Lauwen Books waysofthinking.nl
- Wim Crouwel bio at Iconofgraphics.com
- Postage stamps designed by Wim Crouwel
- Wim Crouwel works at Kludge.it
- Architype 3 Collection containing Crouwel's typefaces on Foundrytypes
- Definitive digital version of Gridnik on Foundrytypes
- *Kerry William Purcell, "Wim Crouwel: Modern Method", Eye Magazine, No. 79, Spring, 2011