Unrealized Archive 7

Text to Image


iuav Identity, 2003

Mevis & van Deursen

Unrealised graphic identity proposal and font

The IUAV (International University of Architecture, Venice) invited different design agencies to come up with a proposal for a new identity. The designers were not invited to discuss the project but were given existing brochures and books about the university. Since there was no communication, it was hard to understand what they were looking for.

Mevis & van Deursen used the idea that different typefaces could almost stand in for different types of architecture, and created a font that drew from eight fonts that they thought represented “type history.” They were Garamond, Bodoni, Rockwell, Akzidenz Grotesk, Futura, Clarendon, American Typewriter, and Bauhaus. With the type designer Peter Bil’ak, they adjusted the structures of all these fonts to be in proportion to each other, and created a font that randomly alternated characters from all eight fonts simultaneously. This was the identity.

Graphic designers Linda van Deursen and Armand Mevis live and work in Amsterdam, where they worked as the studio Mevis & van Deursen from 1986 to 2023. Mevis & van Deursen have been influential in the development of contemporary Dutch design and were known for their intelligent and innovative work for cultural clients, producing the identity for the Stedlijk Museum, publications for fashion duo Victor & Rolf, and numerous books on architecture and design. They also worked on several Dutch cultural publications, including Metropolis M, and won the competition for the graphic identity for the City of Rotterdam as a designated Cultural Capital of Europe. Their work has been shown in museums and educational institutions internationally. Van Deursen is the former head of the graphic design department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, while Mevis is a director of the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem; both are critics at Yale University’s School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut.