Dutch Profile: Jan van Toorn

Jan van Toorn, born in 1932, is one of Holland’s most influential graphic designers. Central to his approach is the application of content-based strategies, resulting in a design practice as a form of visual journalism. Opposite to the more self-contained designs of the modernist tradition, Van Toorn is always striving for designs that are open to different ways of seeing…
Van Toorn’s view on the role of design manifested itself clearly during passionate debates with Wim Crouwel, one of Holland’s other great design heroes, and a absolute advocate of pure functional design.
Here at the University of Amsterdam Van Toorn’s enormous body of work is being persevered for future generations.
From the late sixties to late seventies, Van Toorn made special calendars in which he explored different ways of visual communication. For the famous 72 edition Van Toorn collected hundreds of portraits.
During Van Toorn’s long and longstanding career education has played an important role. With positions at prestigious universities and art institutes worldwide, Van Toorn trained generations of students to conceive their design practice as a quest for creative autonomy. And still, at the age of 80, Van Toorn continues to pass on his love for critical reflection to young graphic designers. Like here at the Saint Joost Academy in Breda where he reviews the work of master students.
Dutch Profiles is a series of short documentaries produced by Submarine commissioned by DutchDFA about architects, graphic, product and fashion designers in the Netherlands. Dutch Profiles focuses on the conceptual, context-oriented and research-based practice of Dutch designers and includes interviews with, among many
others: Rem Koolhaas, Marcel Wanders, Studio Job, MVRDV, Jurgen Bey, Claudy Jongstra, Wim Crouwel, Irma Boom, Marlies Dekkers and G-Star.
Produced by Submarine, Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix
, Commissioned by DutchDFA
, Commissioning editor: Geert van de Wetering, 
Line producer: Janneke van de Kerkhof 
Production assistant: Anjet Blinde, 
Research: Liselotte Francken
, Director: Geert van de Wetering
Camera: Pierre Rezus 
Sound: Benny Jansen
, Editor: Geert van de Wetering, Voice-over: Micha Westera, 
Color correction: Maurik de Ridder, 
Music sound design: Pastelle Music
, Archief: NTR en Beeld en Geluid

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