There have been a few publications on Crouwel over the years. Would you describe this as the definitive one? If so, what makes this one different?
Whether or not this is THE definitive Crouwel monograph is for others to say, but yes, I would like to think that this is the most complete book on Crouwel to date. It deals with all aspects of his career, it shows most of his work and it provides more background to it.
What are the main challenges involved with writing a book like this one?
The challenges are many. First of all the organization of the pictures, since only a small number of works had been digitized properly. Then there is the problem of getting the money together, and the enormous task of getting the translation right. In the writing there is always the issue of how to organize the material in a fairly logical way. And of course you try to do as much research as possible.
What can we expect from the book? Are there any surprises?
For this: see the description of the contents in the preface (page 9). The difficulty in answering this question is that I do not know how much non-Dutch readers actually know about Crouwel, apart from some interviews in magazines and online, and the smaller publications that have appeared. I do think there is attention for some lesser known aspects such as: Crouwel’s exhibition design, the account of the genesis and development of the famous New Alphabet, the sources of his work and his thinking, the problems of running a design studio like Total Design, the Crouwel revival and how to look at modernism.