Jan van Eyck Academy
department of design, 1998
frame: The designer's terms
Armand Mevis

The reader's terms

The following text was conceived and written for a workshop at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, department of design. The assignment for the participants, given by project tutor Armand Mevis, was to explore the (im)possibilities and materials and contexts of design in relation to printing. The results were collected in an offset printed booklet, The designer's terms. The title and the cover design were taken from a small book of printer's terms in four languages, with schematic drawings of printing processes and examples of type families. The book, aptly titled The printer's terms, was written by Rudolf Hostettler and designed by Tschichold. The cover of its 1969 edition was adapted for this publication with 'designer's' printed over 'printer's', to symbolize Armand Mevis' question: 'What is the relation between designers and the printing process, and what implications does this have for the meaning of print?'

I was charmed by the careful beauty of the original booklet, and, when asked to write an introduction, proposed to take a choice of pages from the booklet and use (or peruse) them as templates for my text. The result, a hybrid of essay, copywriting and free association, as designed by Zeina Maasri, re-inserted the written-to-fit passages back into the original page lay-out, keeping the illustrations and caption lines as they were. Other passages were typeset by Maasri in a bitmapped letter on blank pages.

Since the essence of this project is the close connection between form and content, the text is reproduced here in a separate window (as jpegs) in the form it appeared in The designer's terms, partly inserted into the old lay-out. Click on the text or image in the pages for next page.

max bruinsma