Piet Zwart

A pioneer of modern typography, designer Piet Zwart was influenced by Constructivism and De Stijl. His influence shows in his work and in this quote: ...to make beautiful creations for the sake of their aesthetic value will have no social significance tomorrow... . Zwart worked as a designer, typographer, photographer and industrial designer in the Netherlands in the 1920s and 30s. Primarily working for the NKF Company, he created many works of graphic design before retiring from the company to spend the rest of his days as an interior and furniture designer.

Also influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, Zwart began his education at the School of Applied Arts in 1902. He spent most of his career moonlighting as an architect and photographer, as well as a designer and for several years he was very successful. His design career came to a halt when he was arrested by German soldiers in 1942. He was eventually released after the war, but the experience affected him drastically. He spent the rest of his life primarily working in interior design. His excellent use of color, typography, composition and photography are reminiscent of the Bauhaus and his influence on the future generations of graphic designers lives on through the Piet Zwart Institute at the William de Kooning Academy.