] Contributors
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Within the Test Press Room there was a curated selection by Åbäke, a transdisciplinary graphic design collective, founded in 2000 by Patrick Lacey (UK), Benjamin Reichen (FR), Kajsa Ståhl (SE) and Maki Suzuki (FR) in London, England, after meeting at the Royal College of Art.


Bart de Baets

Bart de Baets (b. Knokke, 1979) is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam. He has currently designed the identity and a bimonthly bulletin for Kunstverein Langenhagen, and Forum, an architecture magazine, with Sandra Kassenaar. Past commissioners include The New Institute, AFK, TAAK, De Appel, The Weight of Colour, A New Divide?, Paradiso, Ace & Tate and the Cobra Museum, and a small hand full of bands.

Kate Banar

Within the Test Press Room there was a curated selection (together with Orin Bristow) by Kate Banar, graphic design graduate from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague 2019.

Nóra Békés

Nóra Békés is a graphic designer, visual storyteller and researcher. she studied graphic design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, from where she graduated in 2018. in her applied work she focuses on typography and editorial design complemented with a strong interest in type design. Békés designed the third of the four Letters to the Minister.

Juan Luis Blanco

Juan Luis Blanco is a graphic designer, type designer and calligrapher based in San Sebastian (Spain). He has worked as a freelance graphic designer from 1997, and in 2013, he attained an MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading. During the MATD he developed Amaikha, a multi-script font family comprising Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic and Tifinagh. Currently he combines calligraphy classes and graphic design with typographic projects that focus on the Basque lettering style. As a specialist of the Tiffinagh script he wrote an essay for The Labyrinth of Scripts.

Matthijs van Boxsel

Matthijs van Boxsel (Amsterdam, 1957) is a Dutch writer and “domgeer”. He graduated cum laude from the University of Amsterdam in 1983 with a thesis about stupidity. He believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. His most important work is The Encyclopedia of Stupidity, which shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization. Matthijs van Boxsel is regent of the Collège de ‘Pataphysique, an institute for ‘pataphysics. He guides the vistors through the 'Cosmographic Chambers'.

Orin Bristow

Within the Test Press Room there was a curated selection (together with Kate Banar) by Orin Bristow, graphic design graduates from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam 2018.


Tony Côme

Former student of the Design Department of the École Normale Supérieure of Cachan and Associate of Applied Arts, Tony Côme teaches history and theory of design at the School of Fine Arts in Rennes. His thesis, entitled The Brigades of Projection: Learning to Cooperate questions the relationships that were established between French architects and designers from 1969 to 1989. A reworked part of it was published in 2017 by B42 editions. He co-founded the review Strabic.fr (2011), took part in the editorial board of L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (2010-2014) and then joined the editorial team of Back Cover (2016). He is also the author of several exhibition catalogs (Richard Niessen, A Hermetic Compendium of Typographic Masonry, Franciscopolis, 2014, Didier Faustino, MY CRAFTS, 2016). Tony Côme wrote essays for the Building Brick Storage and The Typotectural Suites.

Cleo Tsw

Singapore-born graphic designer and writer based in Amsterdam, Cleo Tsw runs the publishing imprint Off Course, and is currently assistant coordinator at the Graphic Design department, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, where she graduated in 2019.


Vanessa van Dam

Vanessa van Dam (Amsterdam, 1971) is an independent graphic designer. She graduated in 1996 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) and since then works with artists, architects, photographers, writers and curators. Besides running her studio, she teaches graphic design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund (Germany) and has participated in several commissions and juries.




fanfare is a platform and design studio for cross-disciplinary collaboration and visual communication. Through an active programme, fanfare generates, explores, and curates environments for visual interactions. fanfare represents The Playground of the In-Between.


Joel Galvez

Joel Galvez designs and builts websites. In collaboration with Meeusontwerpt he developed this labyrinthical website.

Goys & Birls

Goys & Birls is an Amsterdam based design and research studio. Their work – both commissioned and self-directed – reflects on contemporary culture and developments in society. Goys & Birls designed the second of the four Letters to the Minister.

Henk Groenendijk

Henk Groenendijk has been a professor at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie since 1986. He himself graduated from the audiovisual department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and started a career as an independent graphic designer whilst also developing his methods as a teacher, researcher and curator. He founded the Test Press Room , together with Elisabeth Klement and Matthias Kreutzer.

Studio Joost Grootens

Next to designing digital information environments, maps, typefaces and spatial installations Studio Joost Grootens (SJG) works primarily in the field of book design. SJG is constantly challenged to develop appropriate formats that justify the production of printed material, acknowledging the growing need for visual representation of data. The books SJG makes present knowledge, but they also question the relevance of typologies such as catalogues, indexes and atlases as part of an ongoing research process.


Hansje van Halem

Hansje van Halem (1978) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and started her own studio in Amsterdam in 2003. She is a designer of books, decorated endpapers, stamps, posters and recently also architectural objects. Her experiments with letter shapes and patterns, often in combination, move between applied and autonomous. An example of this is the visual identity for the Lowlands Festival, which was launched in 2017. In Von Wersin’s Kitchen she had a talk with Mienke Simon Thomas.




Kapitaal Utrecht

Kapitaal is a place for creative image makers where design, craftsmanship and pop culture come together. Run by Carlien Peijsel en Ramon Goedvree it not only has a creative workplace, but also exhibition rooms and a bar. Kapitaal gave a lecture in The Modest Masters' Mesmerizing Screen Print Shop.

Matthias Kreutzer

Matthias Kreutzer (DE) is a typographer and type designer. After his studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie he founded Our Polite Society together with Jens Schildt (SE), a studio for graphic design, type design and typographic research based in Amsterdam and Stockholm. He founded the Test Press Room , together with Henk Groenendijk and Elisabeth Klement.

Elisabeth Klement

Elisabeth Klement (EE) is a graphic designer based in Amsterdam. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut. Her practice encompasses various activities such as teaching, curating, organizing, and publishing. She founded the Test Press Room , together with Henk Groenendijk and Matthias Kreutzer.

Els Kuijpers

Trained as art historian in Leiden, Els Kuijpers is specialized in graphic design from 1945 with great interest in editorial design. Kuijpers made exhibitions about Jan van Toorn (Kunsthal 2004, MICA Baltimore 2007), Pierre di Sciullo and Letterror (Jan van Eyck Academy 1995 and 2000). Between 1992 and 1999 she was attached to the Jan van Eyck Academy as head of the knowledge center and editor of the production and exhibition office. She works as a lecturer in design theory and design history and conducts workshops at various academies. She regularity publishes books and articles in magazines. Els Kuijpers gave a lecture in The Modest Masters’ Mesmerizing Screen Print Shop and was part of the conversation in The Playground of the In-between.


Steven Lenoir

Graphic designer, graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2017, interested in making beautiful and sensible interfaces for products and infrastructures. Currently based in Amsterdam, Lenoir designed the first of the four Letters to the Minister.

Harmen Liemburg

Harmen Liemburg is a graphic artist/designer currently based in Arnhem. Usually regarded as one of the applied disciplines, he likes to see graphic design as a vehicle for imagination, storytelling and expression, regardless if it’s a commissioned or a self-initiated project. Liemburg contributed to Tracing Board Treasury, The Modest Masters’ Mesmerizing Screen Print Shop and The Pavillions of Honour


Kees Maas

Kees Maas was part of 'De Enschedese School', founder of graphic publishing house Interbellum, made posters for Paradiso, ran the workplace at Rietveld and much more. A unique and important figure with a good excuse not to have to start his own art, central in The Modest Master's Mesmerizing Screen Print Shop.

Meeus ontwerpt

Twinsisters Janna and Hilde (Arnhem, 1980) are working together since 2007. In their work they combine an interest in poetry, journalism, science and typography. Meeus ontwerpt created this website, in collaboration with Joel Galvez. They did the design and short movie of The Modest Master's Mesmerizing Screen Print Shop and made movies for the Test Press Room.


Metahaven is a strategic design studio operating on the cutting blade between communication, aesthetics, and politics. Founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven ingeniously creates odd assemblages into a variety of art forms ranging from installation work to apparel. Their work, both commissioned and self-directed, approaches branding and identity in such a way to depict contemporary forms of power, in an age where power is especially designed to exclude as many people as possible from its operating system, its code.


Moniker is an Amsterdam based interactive design studio. They work on commissioned design projects while also investing in projects of an autonomous and experimental nature. The studio works across various media for a diverse range of clients ranging from those in the cultural field to commercial companies. With their projects, we explore the social effects of technology – how we use technology and how it influences our daily lives. Moniker specialises in interactive, print, video, physical installation and performance work. For the Palace they created a workshop for the Gameboard Corridor.

Fanette Mellier

Specialising in print design, Fanette Mellier (1977), a Paris-based designer creates mainly atypical works in the cultural field. She has contributed to many magazines and graphic festivals and her works have been displayed in numerous contemporary art museums and centres, such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Fanette Mellier was a guest in The Gridded Section and contributed with her ‘Waltzing Grids’


Richard Niessen

As the founder of The Palace of Typographic Masonry Richard Niessen made the whole structure of this imaginary building and initiated and filled many rooms. In the role of ‘governor’ he now acts as an ambassador of the craft (Letters to the Minister) and as catalyst of new rooms realized by fellows.



Nejc Prah

Graphic designer Nejc Prah (1989) works with vibrant colours and crazy shapes creating work that combines 80s club typography with fourth dimension landscapes. The Slovenian-born, New York-based designer has produced work across print and digital that is disruptive, vibrant and unique. Having first studied at the Academy of Arts and Design Ljubljana, Prah graduated in 2013 and headed to Yale to study an MFA at the Graphic Design department. he imagined the Tracing Board Treasury as a tableaux representing the Masonic universe.




RNDR is a design studio for interactive media that develops ‘tools’ that are only finished by how they are used. Their work explores and engages with hybrid space as it embraces both the digital and the physical. RNDR was founded in 2017 in The Hague, (NL). Its main members have a background in graphic design, computer science, art, coding, interaction design and data visualisation.

The Rodina

The Rodina is a critical design studio with an experimental practice drenched in strategies of performance art, play and subversion. For The Palace of Typographic Masonry they built The Chamber of Transformation.

Lies Ros

Within the Test Press Room there was a curated selection by Lies Ros, member of design studio Wild Plakken. In the seventies, this collective made startling activist posters. The message was clear and was written in primary colors, surfaces, bars, photos and letters.


Mienke Simon Thomas

Since 1993, Mienke Simon Thomas has been working as a curator at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, where she made exhibitions on subjects in the field of applied art and design from the 20th century (a selection: Dutch Art Nouveau and Art Deco ceramics, Jaap Gidding, Art Deco in the Netherlands, Jac. Jongert, Tasting is buying). Her PhD research at the Free University in Amsterdam with Carel Blotkamp resulted in her dissertation The Doctrine of the Ornament in 1996. Decorate according to regulation 1850 - 1930. In Von Wersin’s Kitchen she had a talk with hansje van Halem.

Mathias Schweizer

Graphic designer based in France, Mathias Schweizer creates visual identities, books or posters for cultural & commercial projects.


Team Thursday

Graphic design studio Team Thursday, founded by Loes van Esch and Simone Trum, collaborating as a duo since 2010. TT focusses on the design and art direction of visual identities varying in scale and complexity – from festivals to books and exhibition design. TT worked on Von Wersin’s Kitchen.

Jelle van der Toorn Vrijthoff

Graphic designer Jelle van der Toorn Vrijthoff was director of Total Design from 1982 to 2002, has taught at the Rietveld Academy, and the academies in Den Bosch and Rotterdam. Now he has his own "management and consultancy agency" QuinX. Van der Toorn Vrijthoff talked about the origin and use of the symbols in Freemasonry in the Tracing Bioard Treasury.

Jan van Toorn

Jan van Toorn, born in 1932, is one of the most influential graphic designers in the Netherlands. A substantive strategy is central to his approach; this results in a design practice as a form of visual journalism. van Toorn designed the last of the four Letters to the Minister.



Julius Vermeulen

Julius Vermeulen was advisor on art and graphic design at the communication department at PostNL (1988-2017). He was responsible for the important characteristic brand elements of Royal TNT Post on graphic and industrial design such as housestyle and corporate items. His dream of creating his own gallery is finally fulfilled after many years (even if it is only for one work of art): Eenwerk opened in 2017 at the Koninginneweg in Amsterdam and shows work by artists like Steve McQueen, Stanley Brouwn, Berend Strik and many others. Julius Vermeulen took part in the conversation in The Playground of the In-between.

Dirk Vis

Dirk Vis (1981) is a writer and creates fiction, columns, scenarios and essays. Vis studied Beeld & Taal at the Rietveld Academy and Design at the Sandberg Institute. He published Bestseller (2009) in a limited edition, and with De Gids he published the ebook Het reality essay (2017). Vis presents texts in various forms such as performances, chapbooks and moving poems for leading institutions and occasions. He introduced and maintains the Hallway of Reflections.

Esther de Vries

is a bookdesigner. She did the design of the book about the Palace: The Palace of Typographic Masonry - a guided tour, published by Spector books.


Edgar Walthert

Edgar Walthert is a Swiss type– and graphic-designer based in Amsterdam. He works across a range of design-fields with a focus on logotypes and music. Walthert added the Annex of Universal Languages to the Palace.

Alex Walker

Currently based in Amsterdam (after his study for a Master’s degree at the Sandberg Institute) Alex grew up in Shelley, West Yorkshire, of which he recalls an early interest in CD artwork, graffiti, skateboarding and so on; which served as an initial introduction to graphic design.

Dirk van Weelden

Dirk van Weelden (1957) grew up in Alkmaar, studied philosophy in the 1970s and 80s at the University of Groningen. After graduating in 1983, he moved to Amsterdam. In this period he published in various magazines and worked as a writer together with visual artists. With Martin Bril he formed a writers’ duo. In 1987 they made their debut with Arbeidsvitaminen. The ABC of Bril & Van Weelden. For Mobilhome (1991), Van Weelden received the Multatuli prize in 1992. In 1999 he received the Frans Kellendonk prize. Since 1999 he has been a member of the editors of the literary magazine De Gids. Van Weelden is a prominent member of the Dutch Academy for ‘Pataphysics. In ‘The Palace of Typographic Masonry - a guided tour' he took up the role as ‘guide’.

Daniel Wiesmann

is a berlin-based graphic designer. he focuses on the conception and design of books, exhibition catalogues, and posters, as well as the development of visual identities. He created the Pavilion of Honour honoring Niklaus Troxler.

Riet Wijnen

Within the Test Press Room there was a curated selection by artist & curator Riet Wijnen, who works mostly in the media of photography, sculptures, video, and text writing. In her work, she explores links between abstraction, perception, language, and structures through the historiography of abstraction in different fields.

Uzume Wijnsma

Egyptologist / Assyriologist Uzume Wijnsma is part of the research project "Persia and Babylonia: Creating a New Context for Understanding the Emergence of the First World Empire" (PI: Prof. Dr. Caroline Waerzeggers). Her PhD research focuses on the Egyptian and Babylonian rebellions against the Achaemenid Empire. She gave a talk about the relationship between writing and power in The Labyrinth of Scripts.