Typocon 2004, Type High

Max Kisman

Congress logo and identity for Typecon 2014 to be applied on a variety of printed matter and digital carriers.

Images of Typocon 2004, Type High

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    Max Kisman, Netherlands (2002)

    Max Kisman (1953) pioneered with digital technology in the 1980s for magazines, book design, typography and illustration. His work for a.o. Vinyl music magazine, Paradiso, VPRO TV and Wired magazine...

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    • Typocon 2004, Type High, 2004

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    Congress logo and identity for Typecon 2014 to be applied on a variety of printed matter and digital carriers.

    • Client:

    • Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA)
    • Sector:

    • Countries:

    • Disciplines:

    • Details:

    • Interface
    • Lettering
    • Logo
    • Website

    Max Kisman (1953) pioneered with digital technology in the 1980s for magazines, book design, typography and illustration. His work for a.o. Vinyl music magazine, Paradiso, VPRO TV and Wired magazine in the 80s and 90s founded his "Complexity of Simplicity" approach. After living and working on and off in Amsterdam, Barcelona and San Francisco (USA), Kisman returned in 2006 back to Amsterdam. His practice covers illustration, graphic design, identities, typeface design, television graphics and education. His vision and influence is internationally recognized and appreciated by his peers and his work has been published worldwide. Kisman is member of BNO (Professional Association of Dutch Designers) and AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).



    Vlinder wijst de weg (Butterfly points the way)


    • Max Kisman

    By Kisman

    Sam flies. The wind whizzes in his ears. He lands in a clearing in the woods. There he sees a butterfly that glows. When he chases the butterfly, he gets lost. You're not lost though, a bear, a whale and a raven say, Butterfly always points the right way. They take him on an adventure until he comes back to where his journey began.

    I am a slave of your freedom


    • Max Kisman

    By Kisman

    ‘I am a slave of your freedom’ includes the short cartoons ‘The lost hat that was found again’ and ‘The shadow of your smile.’ The third story ‘I came by boat’ is the description of the triptych ‘Ancestral Migration’ in three scenes: ‘The lost kingdom‘, ‘The symmetry of life’ and ‘Sons and heirs’. The first edition of 75 copies in Dutch and 75 copies in English is released for the occasion of the exhibition ‘Indonesian DNA‘ in CODA museum, Apeldoorn, NL

    Word of Image


    • Jan Middendorp,
    • Frans Oosterhof,
    • Gert Staal,
    • Max Kisman

    Nijhof & Lee, Amsterdam

    Word or Image is an impression of visions and work of fifty Dutch and American graphic designers, type designers, visual artists and writers. They have in common that the theme of the book - metaphorical thinking - implicitly or explicitly in their work plays a role. Word and Image is the description of the visual words and creates the space in which words can be images. The visual poetry in a language that stimulates the imagination and pushes the boundaries of reality.



    Das tragische Schicksal de Heldentums


    Moving Gallery, Utrecht

    Solo exhibition

    Sex Only – The Max Kisman Diary Documents 1987-2017


    Meermanno Museum, Den Haag

    Exhibition accompanying book with the same title. A selection of 30 years of diary drawings.

    Voor altijd jong (Forever young), Fiep Westendorp and Max Kisman


    WG Kunst, Amsterdam

    In 2016, Fiep Westendorp - the creator of Jip and Janneke - would have become 100 years. For the children’s book week (5 - 16 October, theme grandfathers and grandmothers) the iconic images of Fiep will be shown at WG Kunst in Amsterdam. Max Kisman takes a significant part in the exhibition with an installation: how would Jip and Janneke look like if they would be an aged grandfather and grandmother. There also will be a wall-filling wallpaper with the work of Fiep Westendorp and Max Kisman.

    Célébrer la terre


    Champs Elysées, Paris

    Miffy Art Parade


    Museumplein, Amsterdam

    Celebrating the 60th anniversary of miffy (nijntje), a hugging boy and girl were painted on a 5'10" (1.80 m) model of miffy.

    Fête du Graphisme


    , Paris

    Indonesian DNA


    CODA and ACEC, Apeldoorn

    For the exhibition Max Kisman designed and produced te triptych ‘I Came By Boat’ with cotton Jacquard woven tapestries ‘The Lost Kingdom’, The Symmetry Of Life’ and ‘Heirs and Sons’, reflecting his lost ancestral heritage. Kisman also designed the exhibition poster.

    Max Kisman Time Spirit


    Lenoirschuring Printers, Amstelveen

    Solo exhibition

    Max Kisman Beeld Taal


    GR-ID, Groningen

    Solo exhibition, curated and designed by Karin van der Heiden (ParkC.nl).

    Indomania 4


    Melkweg, Amsterdam

    Quintych Bloodline, banners

    Grafist 16


    Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul

    International graphic designers exhibitions as part of the symposium and workshops with Andrea Dezsö, Elisabeth Kopf, Max Kisman, Nermin Er - Turgut Akaçık

    The complexity of Simplicity


    Erasmushuis, Jakarta

    Solo exhibition

    Indomania 3


    Galerie Malasch, Amsterdam


    Roam is my Home


    CM Studio, Utrecht

    Interactive internet exhibition/event of one week in CM Studio, Centraal Museum Utrecht. Continuous updates of ten artists world wide were constantly projected as ten windows on the world. Visitors could login to the system and interfere with their messages and images. A daily program consisted of live art and music by invited artists, presentations and panel discussions.

    Diga – Image en Text


    Jan Knigge Boek & Galerie, Hengelo

    Works by Max Kisman en Frans Oosterhof




    • Undergraduate

    2011 – 2012

    • KABK Royal Academy The Hague (the Netherlands)

    Letterform in editorial context


    • Undergraduate

    2012 – 2012

    • Design Academy Eindhoven (the Netherlands)

    Free style type design in editorial context


    • Undergraduate

    2007 – 2009

    • Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Beeld en Taal (the Netherands)

    Typographic digitally animated poetry


    • Undergraduate

    2006 – 2006

    • HKU Utrecht Art College (the Netherlands)

    Graphic design


    • Undergraduate

    2000 – 2005

    • California College of the Arts, San Francisco (The United States)

    Graphic design, animation, type design, typography, drawing


    • Postgraduate

    1992 – 1993

    • Jan van Eyck Academy (the Netherlands)

    Animation, computer


    • Undergraduate

    1986 – 1989

    • HKU Utrecht Art College (the Netherlands)

    Graphic design, typography, drawing, computer


    • Undergraduate

    1984 – 1986

    • Gerrit Rietveld Academy (The Netherlands)

    Graphic design



    The Complexity of Simplicity and the creative process


    • De.Sign5 series at Instituto Cervantes, Prague, Czech Republic
    • De.Sign5 series at Faculty of design, Ladi­slava Sut­nara University, Pilzen, Czech Republic

    Ancestral migration and the influence of Wayang Kulit


    • Inkfest, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • CODA, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
    • AGI Open, São Paulo, Brazil

    I am a lousy musician, I can’t sing and I don’t care


    • Music Art and Design Festival, Deventer, the Netherlands

    Digital natives and digital immigrants; exploring the territory


    • Art College Utrecht, HKU, the Netherlands

    The animated image as editorial form


    • Image Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    The graphic language of Max Kisman


    • Gr-Id, Groningen, the Netherlands

    The complexity of Simplicity


    • Lenoirschuring printers, Amstelveen/The Netherlands (2013)
    • Orange and Green, Dublin/Ireland (2013)
    • Grafist 16, Istanbul/Turkey (2012)
    • , Rijeka/Croatia (2012)
    • Studium Minerva, Groningen/The Netherlands (2012)
    • Art College St. Joost, 's Hertogenbosch/The Netherlands (2012)
    • Emzin Institute for Creative Production, Ljubljana/Slovania (2010)
    • Papier Komplizen, Zürich/Zwitserland (2010)
    • BNO Noord, Groningen/The Netherlands (2009)

    A letter can be anything, anything can be a letter (lecture and workshop)


    • Grafist 16, Istanbul/Turkey (2012)
    • IKJ Art College Jakarta, Jakarta/Indonesia (2009)
    • Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam/The Netherlands (2008)
    • CCA, San Francisco CA/USA (2005)
    • VCU, Richmond VA/USA (2004)

    Music and design


    • BNO Design Tallks, De Zwijger Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    The graphic language of Max Kisman


    • Illustratie Biennale, Haarlem, the Netherlands

    Designing or Typographic Matchmaking


    • Khatt foundation, Amsterdam/The Netherlands
    • AGI congress, Istanbul/Turkey
    • Khatt foundation, Dubai ‎United Arab Emirates


    • Kismanstudio, Amsterdam, NL

      2006 – present

    • ByKisman, Amsterdam, NL

      2014 – present

    • KismanVerhaak, Amsterdam, NL

      2010 – 2012

    • Holland Fonts, Mill Valley, CA/Amsterdam, NL

      2002 – present

    • MKDSGN, Mill Valley, CA

      1999 – 2005

    • Wired Television, San Francisco, CA Hot Wired, San Francisco, CA

      1997 – 1998

    • VPRO Television, Hilversum, NL/VPRO Digital, Hilversum, NL

      1991 – 1996

    • MKDSGN, Barcelona, E

      1988 – 1990

    • Max Kisman studio, Amsterdam, NL

      1985 – 1988

    • Kisman&Timmermans, Bloemendaal, NL

      1977 – 1985


    • 2016

    Hall of Fame, Art Directors Club Netherlands
    • 2010

    European Design Awards for City One Minutes website design
    • 2010

    Cover of the Year and Best Customer Media for Schretlen magazine illustrations
    • 1996

    H.M Werkman Award, Netherlands for VPRO television graphics
    • 1996

    Rotterdamse Design Award, Netherlands for VPRO television graphics
    • 1989

    Compres Calendar Awards, Netherlands for RIGO calendar
    • 1988

    International Book Fair, Leipzig, Germany for Ed van der Elsken's De Ontdekking Van Japan
    • 1998

    Japan Air Systems for B777's Rainbow Design Competition
    • 1988

    Compres Calendar Awards, Netherlands for RIGO calendar

    Other Professional Activities

    • Jury Fiep Westendorp Awards, Amsterdam NL

      2015 – present

    • Work field advisory board KABK, the Hague NL

      2015 – present

    • Jury Fiep Westendorp Awards, Amsterdam NL

      2013 – present

    • Jury IDI Awards, Dublin, IRE

      2013 – present