Max Kisman, Netherlands

AGI member since 2002

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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).

Design work by Max Kisman


    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...

    Read full biography
    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 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).

      Publications

      plus

      Vlinder wijst de weg (Butterfly points the way)

      (2016)

      • 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

      (2014)

      • 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

      (2012)

      • 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.

      Exhibitions

      plus

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

      2016

      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

      2015

      Champs Elysées, Paris

      Miffy Art Parade

      2015

      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

      2014

      , Paris

      Indonesian DNA

      2014

      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

      2013

      Lenoirschuring Printers, Amstelveen

      Solo exhibition

      Max Kisman Beeld Taal

      2013

      GR-ID, Groningen

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

      Indomania 4

      2012

      Melkweg, Amsterdam

      Quintych Bloodline, banners

      Grafist 16

      2012

      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

      2009

      Erasmushuis, Jakarta

      Solo exhibition

      Indomania 3

      2008

      Galerie Malasch, Amsterdam

      Drawings

      Roam is my Home

      2006

      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

      2006

      Jan Knigge Boek & Galerie, Hengelo

      Works by Max Kisman en Frans Oosterhof

      Education

      plus

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      2011 – 2012

      • KABK Royal Academy The Hague (the Netherlands)

      Letterform in editorial context

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      2012 – 2012

      • Design Academy Eindhoven (the Netherlands)

      Free style type design in editorial context

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      2007 – 2009

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

      Typographic digitally animated poetry

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      2006 – 2006

      • HKU Utrecht Art College (the Netherlands)

      Graphic design

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      2000 – 2005

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

      Graphic design, animation, type design, typography, drawing

      Teacher

      • Postgraduate

      1992 – 1993

      • Jan van Eyck Academy (the Netherlands)

      Animation, computer

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      1986 – 1989

      • HKU Utrecht Art College (the Netherlands)

      Graphic design, typography, drawing, computer

      Teacher

      • Undergraduate

      1984 – 1986

      • Gerrit Rietveld Academy (The Netherlands)

      Graphic design

      Lectures

      plus

      The Complexity of Simplicity and the creative process

      (2015)

      • 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

      (2014-2015)

      • 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

      (2015)

      • Music Art and Design Festival, Deventer, the Netherlands

      Digital natives and digital immigrants; exploring the territory

      (2014)

      • Art College Utrecht, HKU, the Netherlands

      The animated image as editorial form

      (2014)

      • Image Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

      The graphic language of Max Kisman

      (2013)

      • Gr-Id, Groningen, the Netherlands

      The complexity of Simplicity

      (2009-2013)

      • 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)

      (2004-2012)

      • 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

      (2010)

      • BNO Design Tallks, De Zwijger Amsterdam, the Netherlands

      The graphic language of Max Kisman

      (2010)

      • Illustratie Biennale, Haarlem, the Netherlands

      Designing or Typographic Matchmaking

      (2009-2010)

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

      Agencies

      plus
      • 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

      Awards

      plus
      • 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

      plus
      • 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