Archive for the ‘graphic design’ Category


Freaky Fairy Tales with a twist of graphic design

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Fuffys are short fairy tales with a twist, combined with outspoken illustrations. They’re the work of one of our dear regular customers, Bryan Paul Rechards.

Some of them are based on well-known fairy tales (Li’l Red in Da Hood, Rapunzel). Some of them are brand new stories (A Wigs Love, Joe No Tear) from the mind of a rather peculiar writer. Told with black humor, absurdity and lots of references to popular culture, these ‘effed-up’ fairy tales are complemented by unique illustrations that add depth or just a touch of the macabre. Bryan’s Fuffys book is available in our Amsterdam store, priced € 19.95.

ABC Meets: Design expert Ellen Lupton

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ellen Lupton is a writer, designer, curator, and educator. She is the author of numerous books about graphic design. Her book Thinking with Type is used by students, designers, and educators worldwide.

She is director of the graduate program in graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, and she is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. Committed to expanding public understanding of design, Lupton believes that all creative people can benefit from exploring the tools and methods of graphic design.

Ms. Lupton will be visiting ABC Amsterdam for two events this month for aspiring self-publishers and indie designers.

Lecture: 10 Ideas: How to Make Beautiful Books

Today many writers, poets, and artists are trying their hand at designing and publishing their own books. In this practical and inspirational lecture, writer and designer Ellen Lupton will talk about how to choose fresh and appropriate typefaces, how to create an elegant page format, how to design a simple and effective book cover, and how to work with page layout software and print-on-demand technologies. Her lecture is illustrated with compelling examples of contemporary books from the international publishing scene.

Book Design Clinic

Book design projects take many forms, from handmade chapbooks or photocopied zines to mass-produced volumes. Bring your manuscript, sample page layouts, self-published book, or other materials for a free consultation about how to approach designing, redesigning, or starting over with your publishing project. In these intensive one-on-one sessions, Lupton will give you personalized pointers on how to improve the typography, layout, format, or production of your book or just how to get started.

Ellen Lupton’s Books

Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things is the Lupton twins’ latest book, showing how design is about much more than what’s bought at high-end stores or the modern look at IKEA.

Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book and Thinking with Type: A Guide for Designers, Editors, Writers, and Students takes you step-by-step through the process of designing a book to give it personal style as well as visual coherence and authority.

Thinking With Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students is the definitive guide to using typography in visual communication, from the printed page to the computer screen.

DIY: Design It Yourself co-authored with her graduate students at MICA, explains design processes to a general audience.

DIY Kids, co-authored with Julia Lupton, is a design book for children illustrated with kids’ art, encouraging young readers to use basic design principles and onhand materials to express their individuality through more than eighty imaginative projects

ABC Meets: Art Director Anneke Krull

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Amsterdam-based art director Anneke Krull has worked with such acclaimed fashion magazines as Marie Claire, Avantgarde and Elegance for over 12 years.

She has directed numerous advertising campaigns for clients such as the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Jeunesse Jewelry.

Finding new illustration talent is a devoted passion for Krull—she is constantly culling the globe for new illustrators to work with and writes about this brilliant artists on her blog www.iloveillustration.nl.

Illustration is one of today’s fastest growing creative disciplines. Its versatility has made it a key visual element in fashion, lifestyle, editorial design, and advertising.

Illustrations depict and enrich content in magazines and other publications. They help advertisers to address target audiences more precisely. Illustration appears more and more frequently in fashion and packaging design, and the combination of illustration and photography has resulted in a new, more complex visual language.

The Beautiful is a sumptuous  new book  edited by Anneke Krull, presenting the work of today’s 100 trendiest and most promising illustrators in the areas of fashion, lifestyle, editorial design, and commercial illustration. You can see some sample pages on the  publisher’s website.

Anneke will be at our Amsterdam store to launch The Beautiful on Saturday September 25th  at 3pm. Let everyone know you’ll be there on our Facebook event page.

Photos from The ABC Urban Arts Festival 2010 edition

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

The ABC Urban Arts Festival 2010 was a dazzling success!

We had great weather, huge amounts of buzz, lots of artists creating pieces live on the Spui, and hundreds of visitors watching and joining in. We had so much fun that we’re already brainstorming about the next one!

As well as artists on the Spui, we had free workshops at The ABC Amsterdam Treehouse, including one on using mixed media, by Ginni Fleck. The ugly tiled wall outside The Treehouse got a UAF makeover, and our main store window became a funky work of art!

See the photos of the event on our flickr stream, Skewed Magazine’s flickr stream, or on the Skewed Magazine website.

Saturday June 26: The ABC Urban Arts Festival 2010!

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Following  the success of similar events in 2008 and 2009 The American Book center is thrilled to announce:

The ABC Urban Arts Festival 2010!

On Saturday June 26 2010, from 1pm to 6pm, the large square in front of  The American Book Center Amsterdam will be transformed into an outdoor atelier, with artists showing and creating work on-site for the public to enjoy.

These ‘creatives’ have been chosen to participate because they represent a cross section of graphic designers, illustrators, graffiti artists, fiber artists, paper-toy designers – all with an urban edge.

Across the square, in the ABC Treehouse, workshops will offer free ‘hands on’ lessons to the public and discussions with artists, publishers and other industry professionals covering subjects such as design, crafts, illustration  and practical crossovers between the areas.

The ABC Urban Arts Illustrated Book panel URBAN will be the first panel in the Netherlands to emphasize “street art / urban art “ as part of the world of visual / illustrated books, and trace the journey of a design book from idea to book shelves. The panel will be moderated by Buzz Poole, managing editor of Mark Batty Publisher (NY).

The ABCUAF2010 Line-Up

  • Pia Jane Bijkerk internationally acclaimed stylist, photographer and author specializing in interiors, still life & food. Pia is the author and photographer of Paris: Made by Hand, and will release Amsterdam: Made by Hand at the American Book Center on June 5th. Pia will be signing her books at the festival.
  • Kate Bingaman-Burt is active in the indie craft and craftivism movements. She provided all of the illustrations for the bookHandmade Nation:The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design, and has drawn for IDEOMadewellReadyMade MagazineThe New York Times, and Wieden + Kennedy.  Kate will be personalizing her first book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? ? for you at the festival, and participating in the Illustrated Book Panel at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Autobahn: Jeroen Breen, Maarten Dullemeijer and Rob Stolte design special graphical projects, often with an illustrative and typographical angle. Autobahn is characterized by an analytical approach in the beginning and a strong sense of form at the end of the process, combined with passion and ambition. For the Urban Arts Festival, they will create Stone Carved Tweets. The pace of modern communications is very high. Autobahn reflects on this fact by combining Twitter with a highly contrasting and much older communication method: stone carved texts. Autobahn has expanded the font of Dom Hans van der Laan – a Dutch monk and architect – with the numerals 0 to 9, the @ – and #-sign. A mini-website shows a Twitter stream (e.g. # Stonecarvedtweets) in the font of Van der Laan. Using this stream, they print out the message and place it in the ‘inbox’ of the stonecarver(s). They’ve created a workplace for stonecarver(s) that produce live tweets.
  • Marshall Alexander is Dutch paper engineer, based in Arnhem, whose work mainly focuses on the creation of papertoys.

Xstreets Collective

  • Maarten Janssens has rediscovered the world of paper kits. His lifelong fascination with pictures, characters and paper-material came together in what soon became his project-of-love 3EyedBear. He’ll be on hand to lead a workshop, and to sign the book We Are Paper Toys: Print-Cut-Fold-Glue-Fun.
  • Matthijs [MCK] Kamstra is a young Dutch designer, specializing in paper engineering, who has worked for huge Dutch names like Albert Heijn, Het Rijksmuseum, D-Reizen, and TPG Post.
  • Straat Papier Holland Klik – Workshop promo from Matthijs Kamstra on Vimeo.

  • The Ladies Fancywork Society – the Amsterdam based, internationally notorious crochet street art group. Famous for their crocheted yarn ‘tags’, they will be at the Festival with their book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. Expect to see an Amsterdam-appropriate example of their yarn bombing on the square.
  • MAOMA was born in Amsterdam in 2004 from a love between two partners, Giulia Laura and Rocco Pezzella. The collaboration consists of using the best of their individual skills and strengths in order to create artworks that reflect their own imaginary world.  Melting together illustrations, toys and fabric, Maoma’ s Dolls reflect the interests in which help Rocco & Giulia to remain young in the spirit, helping people to smile and to inspire.
  • MACHINE is one of the leading design agencies in the Netherlands, Machine (Mark Klaverstijn & Paul du Bois-Reymond) excels in adapting to the design possibilities ushered in by “new media” – websites, video performances, record covers, T-Shirts, installations and music. Their book Designed by Machine was published in 2009. Machine is an Urban Arts Festival partner, designing our poster for us.
  • Maki is a small design and illustration studio, with a big client list all over the globe.Their work can be described as wacky, edgy, humorous, urban and intelligent. It looks good on almost everything, from clothing to posters, from walls to human bodies. MAKI is featured in the books Tees: The Art of The T-Shirt and Custom Kicks. For the festival, they’llbe customizing all kinds of different objects. Think lamps, teapots, cups and vases. All non-wearables.

Dolly OblongBuzz PooleMACHINE

  • Buzz Poole has been the managing editor of Mark Batty Publisher for over five years. He has worked in various publishing capacities for more than 10 years, including retail, running a DIY literary journal, and the book arts. He has written about books, art, music, and culture for numerous outlets, including The Village Voice, The Believer, Print, Grafik and San Francisco Chronicle. The New Statesman named his illustrated book Madonna of the Toast one of 2007’s Best Underground Books. Mr. Poole will be moderating the Illustrated Book Panel at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Mark Batty Publisher is an independent publisher dedicated to making distinctive books on the visual art of communicating, showcasing the visual power and innovation of contemporary culture in all of its varied poses.
  • Daniel Jarosch and Henrik Klingel set up their design studio, PKNTS, in Berlin in 2006. Their clients include Onitsuka Tiger/Asics, Big Fish Games, the BenQ-Siemens Explore Room and Messe Frankfurt. Their work has been awarded the Commerzbank Design Prize and the Nike Play Award 2008. They will be supplying oversize pages from The Sneaker Colouring Book for you to get creative with. It’s a colouring book for grown-ups which collects 100 black-and-white line drawings of popular sneaker designs, shown in side view, to colour, alter or customize. The models featured are the most popular designs from 1916 to the present day.
  • Nancy Marchant will be joining the Fiber Arts circle, and signing her book Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch.
  • ABC Treehouse Craft Community is a diverse group of “Fiber Artists” meets on Tuesday evenings at the ABC Treehouse to knit, crochet, and “stitch-n-bitch”. They will be anchoring the “Fiber Arts” circle, and invite you to bring your knitting or crochet problems to them for ‘clinic’ assistance – or to just join them to loop a few rows.
  • Dennis de Groot is a  freelance graphic & interactive designer for his independent studio PunchDouble. Dennis also makes music under the alias Sterile Action Figures, and is a VJ/DJ at clubs throughout the country. He’ll be making custom poster designs and will have prints of his work available.
  • The ABC Treehouse Craft Community will be anchoring the “yarn arts” circle and offering knitting and crochet workshops throughout the afternoon at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Eva has been an obsessive glitter knitter for many years! She’ll be joining the Fiber Arts circle and leading a knitting workshop at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Lil ‘Shy is an urban textile artist, who will demonstrate her process of creating a new piece of work: designing, cutting, assembling and hand sewing through the day. She’ll have a small showcase of her work as well, so that visitors can understand the final result of what she is creating.
  • Tania Grace Knuckey gives a modern twist to old fashioned tapestries, making some by hand, and translating hand made graphics, typography and illustrations onto fabrics. She’ll be sharing the process of creating and crafting the tapestries, and will be creating a large scale tapestry during the day. Material will be available for the public to get a feel for the overall process.
  • Heart On Stage (Leena Yliportimo & Luiz Risi) is where poems and illustrations unite. The upcoming book of the same name is still in the middle of its creative production.: as the book progresses, new spreads are presented on their site. They will be exhibiting their work at the ABC Treehouse in September 2010, and will be helping people play/create with images and words at the ABC Urban Arts Festival.  For more information contact heartonstage@gmail.com.

MakiPia Jane Bijkerk

  • Akut (a.k.a. Falk Lehmann) For four remarkably productive years, the graffiti loving and street art affiliated “storytellers,” Hera and Akut, have combined their artistic skills and individual specialties in order to create one odd but always exquisitely beautiful, instantly recognizable style: Herakut. It’s an extremely contradictory mix of ingredients — Akut’s autodidactic but top-level photorealism and Hera’s classically educated though Don’t-Give-A-Shit-roughness — that results in a surprisingly well-balanced fusion of respect for each other’s qualities and the shared urge to capture life’s anecdotes with brush and spray can. Their book, Herakut, is available at ABCAKUT will be at the UvA-Aula / Luthersekerk, to talk about his work from 16:00 to 18:00, courtesy of the Premsela Foundation. He will also create a live performance art piece on the Spui.
  • Molly Crabapple is an American artist, author and entrepreneur.who began her art career doing covers for the pornographic newspaper SCREW Magazine. She has since illustrated for the The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Marvel Comics and Playgirl. She was at one time a regular contributor to Coagula Art Journal. The AP Wire once compared her work to “limerick shared amongst good company in a Victorian parlor.” She is also the author (with John Leavitt) of The Official Dr. Sketchy’s Rainy Day Colouring Book. Caberet will meet art school when Molly leads a Dr. Sketchy workshop at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Dolly Oblong is a crafty designer who creates cute quirky characters in all shapes and sizes, preferably while drinking tea and munching away cookies. The colourful world of Dolly Oblong is 100% handmade out of plush, paper and occasional bits of vinyl.
  • Loulou & Tummie is a Dutch illustration duo who spend their days building an ever expanding empire of colourful graphics and characters that  that can be found in magazines, books, advertisements, plush, papertoys, on walls and interiors, t-shirts and shoes  around the galaxy.
  • Donna Wilson has been quoted as being ‘wonderful with wool’, a ‘material marvel’, a ‘textile designer extraordinaire’ and even an ‘All round textile legend’. As these descriptions suggest, her distinctive designs have won her an army of dedicated fans around the world and given her a reputation as one of Scotland’s brightest design stars. Characterised by a playful nature, tactile aesthetic and multicoloured palette Donna Wilson’s work ranges from colourful knitted creatures to striking upholstered furnituredesigns. See more in her book, The Knitted Odd Bunch, or her website: www.donnawilson.com

Marshall AlexanderThe Ladies Fancywork Society LouLou and Tummie

  • XStreets Collective are diverse group of young international (street) artists based in Amsterdam and Basel.  With their different styles, they channel the feel and thoughts of life on the streets in modern day suburbia. Xstreets Collective members are: IVES.one (NL), Bustart (CH), Zaira (CH), Skatin’ Chinchilla (UK), MLSS (NL), Karma83 (UK), Seifrei (CH) and Shez (CH). They cheer up the city with their colorful drawings on canvas, stickers and walls. The XStreets Collective is fresh from exhibits at the ABC Treehouse and around Amsterdam. They will be painting a mural on the Treehouse as part of the Festival activities.
  • Achilleas Giannissis is a designer working with low-impact fabrics and art supplies. His clothing is a favorite of the environmentally conscious urban crowd. He will be creating a mural using environmentally friendly water based inks, brush, and markers.
  • Belinda Parten is a ceramic artist and has been working with porcelain for over 15 years in an attempt to create objects that are not only functional, but also inspire one to remember their own stories, their own history. She will be at the festival making porcelain tablets on which you can inscribe your thoughts or feelings about whatever you think is important, whatever you want to say. The finished tablets will be used part of an upcoming exhibit.

 Kate Bingaman-Burt

  • Robert Pennekamp started out as a painter but branched out into other disciplines like installations, sculpture, collage, interventions and video. Pennekamp is the organisor of various projects with other artists like Art Date,  het Post Moderne Spookhuis, het eerste Kunst Museum, het project Bekende Nederlanders, de KunstBAR, community art projecten als het Levend Hekwerk, Maak wat moois van al die rotzooi en het Kindermonument Joubertstraat.
  • Fake is a well-known name in the Amsterdam street art scene, and will be painting a fresh stencil for the Urban Arts Festival.
  • Marie-Louise Plum is a British illustrator based in London.  She will be designing and illustrating (pre-made) masks, and will happily pimp clothing or shoes.  She loves to draw on found objects, emphasizing the ‘urban’ aspects.  She’s also a deft hand at book illustration and making fanzines. Marie-Louise will be leading a mask making workshop at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Pieter Ceizer from Pimpalicious – Pimpalicious Living is a fashion label from the Amsterdam streets. All of the Pimpalicious products are child labor free, 100% fair-trade and fine combed cotton. The graphic- and typographic designs are all hand drawn by Ceizer, and worked out and digitalized by computer. All products are produced in limited quantities. Ceizer’s work is featured in Tees: The Art of The T-Shirt, published by Laurence King Publishing; he will be creating a live drawing at the Urban Arts Festival.

  • Gabrielle van den Bovenkamp is a painter and illustrator from Amsterdam. In her work she combines everyday life experiences with the never-ending stream of information people are subjected to nowadays.
  • Malia Mather Penelope Craft is an online craft shop run by Malia Mather offering a variety of supplies to keep you a happy crafter.  Its  virtual doors opened in 2008, and  new and different products are constantly being added to the selection.  Ms. Mather will be joining the Fiber Arts circle, and teaching a beginners crochet workshop at the ABC Treehouse.
  • Pipapiep (Esty Gertzman) from Amsterdam makes all kind of plush monsters and creatures, all hand-made and crafted from fabric. Working in the tradtion of cute and familiar with a twist, she creates a fantastic world in which nothing is what it is seems at first sight.
  • Laura Amiss produces contemporary textile art in the form of wall-hung canvases. All Laura’s handmade canvases are unique and are created using a selection of new and reclaimed fabrics. Her work is composed of subtle lines and color combinations produced through layering, piecing and sewing fabrics together. Laura draws inspiration from her every day environment and hopes that the way in which she recaptures the landscape or moments of ordinary life allows people to look at them with a fresh perspective.
  • Audrey WeerenLabel 3 – recycles jackets, couches and anything which feels good, to design bags, belts, shoesocks, wallets and bracelets. Working in this way makes every piece unique in color and texture. For the lining of the bags she mostly uses new, but also beautiful vintage fabric. “Why not re-use what’s not in use?”
  • Ginni Fleck is an Amsterdam-based mixed-media and textile fanatic starting the new DIY Textile School. With a masters in creativity, she loves to inspire and teach others all that can be done with cloth, paper and glue. She’ll be joining the Fiber Arts circle and teaching a Mixed Media (Paper & Cloth) workshop at the ABC Treehouse.

For further information on the ABC URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL please contact :

Rick Lightstone (lightstone45@zonnet.nl) or Donna DuCarme (treehouse@abc.nl)

The ABC Urban Arts Festival 2010 is sponsored by these fantastic companies: