Piet Zwart, ‘Tree’, ClampArt

About Piet Zwart

Dutch graphic designer and industrial engineer Piet Zwart was a pioneer of modern typography. Rather than adhering to rigidity of traditional typography, he drew on his background in architecture and pulled freely from Constructivism, De Stijl, and Dada. Over the course of his long and diverse career, Zwart favored combinations of vivid colors and abstract geometry with photography and a style of drawing derived from axial planning in architectural drawing. He saw no conflict with the use of his art for commercial ends, once remarking, “to make beautiful creations for the sake of their aesthetic value will have no social significance tomorrow, will be non-sensical self-gratification.” Zwart created posters, book covers, brochures, sales catalogues, advertisements, and calendar cards. He is most widely recognized for his classic advertisements for the Dutch Postal Telegraph and Telephone Company.

Dutch, 1885-1975