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• • • • • • on letters, words, books and graphic design • • • • • •

De Muze en het Meisje Dutch gift

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This beautiful little book cost me a few euros in a bookstore in the Hague, but to the first owner it was completely free. A gift, presented during the dutch book week in 1957.

Each year the CPNB (Stichting Collectieve Propaganda voor het Nederlandse Boek or foundation for the Collective Promotion of Dutch Books) publishes a book (or books) around a varying theme, that booksellers then can present to their customers as a gift. They do this since 1930. From the late fourties to the early sixties a side series was produced four young readers, carrying de Muzethe Muse – in its title.

This one, the Muse and the Girl, was designed and illustrated by Jan van Keulen, who designed de Groene Amsterdammer as early as 1945 and taught graphic design and typography at the Academy of the Hague in the sixties. Take some time to look at the archive the NAGO website dedicated to his work.

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The details below might help to explain what I meant when talking about spot colour printing and manual colour separation on the spinsels page of this blog. The density of the yellow and red and their overlaps with the greyish blue-green can not be achieved in CMYK printing. The power of solid colour on paper amazes me every time. On top of that, the black plate was first slightly embossed in the paper, which gives it an extra tactile dimension. This little book is very precious to me.

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De Muze en het Meisje – 1957
Poetry collected by Ad den Besten and Bert Voeten
Design and illustrations Jan van Keulen
Book format: 135 x 215 mm

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Filed under: book design, ,

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