The influence and legacy of De Stijl is most often considered in the context of fine art and architecture. However, the movement—which was founded in Leiden, Netherlands in 1917 with the launch of a journal of the same name—has also had a significant impact upon graphic design in the century since its inception, particularly within the work of Dutch designers. To mark the centenary of De Stijl, a new exhibition has just opened in the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam which showcases the breadth of Dutch modernist graphic design as influenced by De Stijl and the international avant-garde.
As the first retrospective of this work to be held in the Netherlands, Modernism: In Print includes a broad selection of print items, from posters to type specimens and sketches and plans, which demonstrate the manner in which modernism came to visually dominate our daily life over the course of the past century. The exhibition features the work of designers including Piet Zwart, Wim Crouwel, Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner and Experimental Jetset, among many others, and is designed by Studio PutGootink, who have also created a set of commemorative stamps for the Dutch postal service to mark the centenary, based on the work of prominent De Stijl member Piet Mondrian.