Wim Crouwel, Netherlands (1957)
Studied fine art (1946–49) at the Academy Minerva in Groningen. Joined an exhibition design firm (1962) where he gained his first experience in graphic design. In 1956 Crouwel set up a studio with industrial designer Kho Liang Ie; they collaborated on 3D and graphic design projects. He experimented with letterforms, graphic systems and a rigorous examination of the grid. During the 50s he met with leading Swiss colleagues and witnessed the emerging International Style. Became the first general secretary of Icograda (1963). In that year with Benno Wissing, Friso Kramer and the Schwarz brothers he founded the first multi-disciplinary Dutch design group, Total Design. Wim extended the grid to become a matrix within which he constructed his New Alphabet. At Delft University Crouwel became a part-time professor (1972) and, after leaving Total Design (1980), a full-time professor. He received the British OBE, is a RDI, Knight of the Dutch Lion, Officer of Orange Nassau.