“Evoking meaning rather than boldly presenting truth is the essence of typographer Karel Martens work” says the disembodied voice of this eight-and-a-half minute profile film following the Dutch pedagogic graphic designer, created by the Submarine Channel. What Martens has achieved in his extraordinary career would not fit into a film 100 times as long but what this short does do is shed a renewing light on the importance of play as a mode for thought.
As a stalwart of Dutch modernism, this is not an established idea of “playful” but more looking at regular systems for irregular, unexpected elisions in form, information and meaning. Which is in some way explained by his constant experimentation with colour – “I have always marvelled at the fact that with the three primary colours, you can make all the colours in the world” – and with subjects like maths and science which are introduced to inform his work, rather than merely displaying the information of that particular subject.
Martens does not disappoint in the personality scale either, he’s a joy to watch and I for one will be quoting him the next time I drink a mug of red: “I think it’s important that like good wine, a design has a lingering flavour.” (Exit scene.)
- Paul Sahre chats to us about his new book Two Dimensional Man: A Graphic Memoir
- How can we connect young, diverse talent with the agencies who crave it?
- Ricky Leung’s illustrations capture the quiet moments of everyday life
- Photographer Chris Maggio palpably documents America’s current “emotional climate"
- Seoul-based Shrimp Chung’s dynamic designs are bright and full of impact
- Choreographer and director Holly Blakey on making work for everyone
- Peter Funch has photographed the same people on the same street for nine years
- North reveals full Science Museum rebrand, and reacts to online criticism
- GraphicDesign& outline three projects that successfully support and impact mental wellbeing
- Dove apologises and removes advert showing a black woman becoming a white woman
- Apple announces launch of gender neutral emojis
- “It needed to be functional, a workhorse”: Arket’s in-house team on its brand identity