Ruud van der Lans
Voorburg, The Netherlands
|Education||Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK)|
|Known for||Graphic design|
Rudy VanderLans (born 1955, Voorburg) is a Dutch graphic designer, photographer, and the co-founder of Emigre Fonts with his wife Zuzana Licko. Emigre Fonts is an independent type foundry in Berkeley, CA. He was also the art director and editor of Emigre magazine, the legendary journal devoted to visual communications from 1984–2005. Since arriving in California in 1981, he has been photographing his adoptive Golden State as an ongoing side project. He has authored a total of 11 photo books on the topic, and staged two solo exhibits at Gallery 16 in San Francisco.
Education and graphic design
VanderLans studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague (KABK) and graduated in 1979. He worked as an apprentice designer at Wim Crouwel's Total Design in Amsterdam and as a junior designer at Form Vijf and Tel Design in The Hague. In 1981, he moved to California and studied photography at the University of California, Berkeley where he met Licko.
VanderLans was first introduced to type design while at KABK, where the well-known Dutch type designer and teacher Gerrit Noordzij had started an ambitious and influential type and lettering program in 1970. When asked in 2001 for a contribution to a Noordzij tribute, VanderLans wrote: “Noordzij is a very distant memory for me. Although any wisdom regarding type that I carry with me must have come from him.
From 1983–85, he worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in the art department at the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
VanderLans has received honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Rhode Island School of Design (2004) and California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California (2005).
From 1984 until 2005 VanderLans published, edited, and designed Emigre magazine, a quarterly publication devoted to visual communication and known for its inclusion of design discourse. Andrew Blauvelt, whose writing often occurred in the magazine, wrote that "Emigre covered emerging graphic designers and typographers seldom profiled in typical industry publications. It also published spirited design criticism in its pages–finding itself to be both the message and the messenger of many debates.”
Licko and VanderLans were early adopters of the personal computer, and Emigre's launch coincided with the release of the Macintosh computer. They used the new technology to create some of the very first digital layouts and typeface designs. Their experimental design aesthetics earned them equal amounts of praise and criticism in the 1990s.
Exposure of Zuzana Licko's fonts through the magazine led to VanderLans and Licko founding Emigre Fonts in 1985. VanderLans’ main contribution to Emigre Fonts continue to be his type specimen designs. In a review of the book Emigre Fonts: Type Specimens 1986-2016, critic Kenneth FitzGerald remarked that “Emigre’s specimens are notable for the negotiation of practical considerations and creative idealism—the essence of all graphic design. They demonstrate an adept dovetailing of these concerns, crafting a format that stimulates desire then provides an efficient vehicle for satisfying it. A balance is struck between providing an enthusing context for the type while not overwhelming it. Though far from 'neutral,' the framework is evocative and clear.”
- Emigre (The Book): Graphic Design into the Digital Realm, New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold; John Wiley & Sons, 1993
- Emigre: Rosbeek 43, Charles Nypels Award, 1998, Netherlands: Drukkerij Rosbeek, 1998
- Emigre No.70, Selections from Emigre Magazine #1 – #69, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2009
- Departures: Five Milestone Font Families by Emigre, Berkeley, CA: Emigre, 2011
- Emigre Fonts: Type Specimens 1986 - 2016, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2016
As a parallel interest to his design ventures, VanderLans has been photographing the California environment since he moved there from the Netherlands in 1981. He has authored a total of eleven photo books on the topic, and staged two solo exhibits at Gallery 16 in San Francisco.
- Positively Palmtree, small artist book created as an artist in residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY, 1985.
- Picture the Southwest, small artist book, part of Emigre No. 7, 1987.
- Palm Desert, Berkeley, CA: Emigre,1999
- Cucamonga, Berkeley, CA: Emigre, 2000
- Joshua Tree, Berkeley, CA: Emigre, 2001
- Supermarket, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2001
- Pages from an Imaginary Book, Paris, France, Onestar Press, 2003
- Bagdad, Californie, Berkeley, Rodez, France, Éditions du Rouergue, 2004
- Still Lifes, California, 2015
- Still Lifes, U.S.A., Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2017
- Still Lifes, Tokyo, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2018
- Anywhere, California, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2020
- Oleander Sunset, Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press, 2021
- MacUser Desktop Publisher of the Year Award, 1986
- Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, 1994
- Publish Magazine Impact Awards, 1996
- American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal Award, 1997
- Charles Nypels Award for Excellence in Typography, 1998
- Honorary members of the Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, 2010
- Society of Typographic Aficionados Annual Typography Award, 2013
- 29th New York Type Directors Club Medal, 2016
- “Emigre Magazine: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 1997
- “Charles Nypels Prize,” Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, Netherlands, 1998
- “Emigre in Istanbul,” Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey, 1999
- “Emigre in Norfolk,” Old Dominion University Gallery, Norfolk, Virginia, 2005
- “Emigre at Gallery 16,” Gallery 16, San Francisco, 2010
- “Emigre magazine: design, discourse and authorship,” University of Reading, UK, 2017
- “Pacific Wave: California Graphic Design,” Museo Fortuny, Venice, Italy, 1987
- “Graphic Design in America,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1989
- “Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture,” Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 1996
- “Designer as Author, Voices and Visions,” Northern Kentucky University, 1996
- “Design Culture Now: National Design Triennial,” Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2000
- “East Coast/West Coast” at Centre du Graphisme, Echirolles, France, 2002
- "D-Day:le design aujourd'hui," at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2005
- “Digitally Mastered,” MoMA, New York, 2007
- “Quick, Quick, Slow,” Experimentadesign Lisboa 2009, Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon, Portugal, 2009 (featured Emigre magazine issues10–24)
- “Typographic Tables,” Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano, Italy, 2011
- “Deep Surface: Contemporary Ornament and Pattern,” Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, 2011
- “Graphic Design: Now in Production,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2011 (featured "Emigre No. 70: The Look Back Issue" and Base 900)
- “Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990,” Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2011
- "Standard Deviations," MoMA, New York, 2011 (featured 23 digital typefaces for their permanent collection, including five Emigre font families: Jeffery Keedy's Keedy Sans, Jonathan Barnbrook's Mason Serif, Barry Deck's Template Gothic, Zuzana Licko's Oakland—renamed Lo-Res in 2001—and P. Scott Makela's Dead History)
- “Work from California,” 25th International Biennial of Graphic Design, Brno, Czech Republic, 2012
- “Revolution/Evolution,” College for Creative Studies, Detroit, 2014
- “Typeface to Interface,” Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2016
- “California Graphic Design, 1975–95,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2018
- “Between the Lines: Typography in LACMA’s Collection,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2019
- Denver Art Museum holds a complete set of Emigre magazine in their permanent collection.
- Design Museum in London holds a complete set of Emigre magazine in their permanent collection.
- Letterform Archive holds the Emigre Archives in their permanent collection.
- Museum für Gestaltung (Museum of Design, Zurich) holds Emigre magazine issues in their permanent collection.
- Museum of Modern Art in New York holds a complete set of Emigre magazine, and five digital fonts from the Emigre Fonts library in their permanent collection.
- Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco holds a complete set of Emigre magazine in their permanent collection.
- Rudy VanderLans was born Ruud van der Lans, but adjusted his name when he emigrated to the USA.
- Middendorp, Jan (2004). Dutch type. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. ISBN 90-6450-460-1. OCLC 54880333.
- Sherin, Aaris. "Grove Art Online: Emigre Inc". Oxford Art Online.
- "Emigre: About". www.emigre.com. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
- Thrift, Julia (Summer 1992). "Reputations: Rudy VanderLans". Eye Magazine. 2 (7).
- Middendorp, Jan (2004). Dutch type. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. ISBN 90-6450-460-1. OCLC 54880333.
- Graphic design : now in production. Andrew Blauvelt, Ellen Lupton, Rob Giampietro, Åbäke, Walker Art Center (1st ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center. 2011. ISBN 978-0-935640-98-4. OCLC 727701655.CS1 maint: others (link)
- FitzGerald, Kenneth (30 November 2016). "Character References: On Emigre type specimens". Ephemeral States.
Additional online resources
- Eye (Website), “Cult of the Ugly,” by Steven Heller, 1993
- Letter to Emigre Magazine, (PDF) by Gunnar Swanson, 1994
- 2x4 (Website), “Designer as Author,” by Michael Rock, 1996
- SpeakUp (Website), Interview with Rudy VanderLans by Armin Vit, 2002.
- Typotheque (Website), “Context in Critique,” review of Emigre #64, Rant, by Dmitri Siegel, 2004
- Typotheque (Website), “Rudy VanderLans, editor of Emigre,” interview by David Casacuberta and Rosa Llop, 2004
- AIGA (Website), “An Interview with Rudy VanderLans: Still Subversive After All These Years,” by Steven Heller, 2004
- Design Observer (Website), “Emigre: An Ending,” by Rick Poynor, 2005
- TapeOp (Website), “Rudy VanderLans: Emigre No. 69: The End,” review by John Baccigaluppi, 2008
- Eye (Website), “The farewell tour syndrome,” book review by Emily King, 2009
- Communication Arts (Website), “Emigre No.70: The Look Back Issue,” book review by Angelynn Grant, 2009
- Dwell (Website), "Emigre No.70,” book review by Miyoko Ohtake, 2009
- Print (Website), “Emigre’s Lucky Number,” by Steven Heller, 2009
- Print magazine (Website), “Design Couples: Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko," interview by Caitlin Dover, 2010
- Fast Company (Website), “Type Master: An Interview with Emigre’s Rudy VanderLans," by Alissa Walker, 2010.
- The Atlantic (Website), "Can the Rule-Breaking Font Designers of Three Decades Ago Still Break Rules?,” by Steven Heller, 2012
- Plazm Magazine (Website), "In Conversation with Emigre" by Sara Dougher and Joshua Berger, 2013
- Communication Arts (Website), “Emigre Fonts,” book review by Angelynn Grant, 2016
- Print (Website), “The Legibility Wars of the ‘80s and ‘90s,” 2016
- AIGA, Eye on Design (Website), “Emigre Type Foundry Pretty Much Designed the ‘90s—Here’s What it Looked Like,” book review by Angela Riechers, 2016
- MyFonts (Website), interview with Zuzana Licko by Jan Middendorp, 2016.
- Fontstand (Website), “Emigre: Time and Time Again,” by Sébastien Morlighem, 2016
- Klim Type Foundry (Website), “Tilting at windmills,” Rudy vanderLans replies to “Welcome to the infill font foundry,” 2016
- University of Reading (Website), “Emigre magazine: design, discourse and authorship,” an exhibition curated by Francisca Monteiro and Rick Poynor, 2017
- Typography & Graphic Communication (Website), "Emigre magazine: design, discourse and authorship,” exhibition, 2017
- Huffington Post (Website), “One of Today’s Most Popular Fonts Has a Wild Centuries-Long History,” by Maddie Crum, 2017
- ReadyMag Stories (Website), “Emigre,” by Zhdan Philippov and Vitaly Volk, 2020
- “Typography and Legibility: An Analysis of Tschichold, Licko, and VanderLans,” (PDF) by Chaney Boyle, 2020
- MoMA (Website), Emigre Magazine, issues 1-69, permanent collection
- MoMA (Website), Oakland typeface, permanent collection
Additional print resources
- Bouvet, Michel, East Coast West Coast: Graphistes aux États-unis, Paris, France, Les Éditions Textuel, 2002. Essay on history of Emigre.
- Dawson, Peter, The Field Guide to Typography: Typefaces in the Urban Landscape, New York, NY, Prestel, 2013. Interview with Rudy VanderLans & Zuzana Licko.
- Eskilson, Stephen J., Graphic Design: A New History, London, UK, Laurence King Publishing, 2007. Essay on Emigre in chapter on “Postmodern Typography.”
- Heller, Stephen, ed., Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design. New York, NY, Allworth Press with School of Visual Arts, 2014. Essay on Emigre in chapter on "Mass Media.”
- Lupton, Ellen, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture, New York, NY, Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. Short profile of Emigre and Zuzana Licko’s typefaces. Book published in conjunction with exhibit at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
- McCarthy, Steven, The Designer as Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator & Collaborator: New Models for Communicating, Amsterdam, Netherlands, BIS, 2013. Emigre referenced throughout, and short profile of Emigre in chapter on “Typographic Design Authorship.”
- Meggs, Philip B., ed., A History of Graphic Design, New York, NY, John Wiley & Sons, 1998. Profile of Emigre in chapter on “Pioneers of Digital Graphic Design.”
- Poynor, Rick, Design Without Boundaries: Visual Communication in Transition, London, UK, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1998. Emigre referenced in essay “Cult of the Ugly,” and one essay, “Into the Digital Realm,” on Emigre.
- Poynor, Rick, No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2003. Emigre referenced throughout.
- Shaughnessy, Adrian, How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul, London, UK, Laurence King Publishing, 2005. Interview with Rudy VanderLans.
- Emigre official site
- Emigre Archives at Letterform Archive (all issues are available in full online)
- Emigre Magazine Index created by Jessica Barness for The Goldstein Museum of Design
- Emigre Fonts at Adobe Fonts