Hosted by the city of Eindhoven, DDW (Dutch Design Week) is the biggest design event in Northern Europe. With over 2,500 designers, scattered over 110 locations, showcasing their work to more than 350,000 visitors from across the globe. DDW coordinates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates and other festivities.
For the visual identity of the 20th edition of the event, the “tulip” from the event logo was expanded into a complete typeface based on a famous poster of the local Van Abbemuseum.
Fernhout is a new typeface designed by David Quay and Stuart de Rozario of The Foundry Types in collaboration with Amsterdam design agency Thonik. The new display face is based on the simple primitive forms, rectangles, and quarter-circles by the late great Wim Crouwel’s Edgar Fernhout exhibition poster and catalogue for the Van Abbemuseum in 1963.
It’s a rather big step from two words that were used only once to a fully-fledged typeface, Widdershoven admits. “Crouwel never meant it to be a font so we allowed ourselves some leeway.” The resulting typeface will be commercially available. Its use is open to all, except festivals in the Netherlands and design events worldwide. Animating the newly developed font for the DDW site felt natural, according to Roy Terhorst, partner at Thonik. “When the letters started moving, the underlying grid became visually present. A bridge was forged between the aesthetics of the past and the design language of the future: motion design.”