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A Tribute to Anthon Beeke: Dutch Posters 1997-2017

25 October 2018

During the Dutch Design week in Eindhoven, the book Dutch Posters 1997-2017 will be presented. Because Anthon Beeke died shortly before the publication, this book is also a posthumous tribute to one of the best post-war poster designers in the Netherlands.

Dutch Posters 1960-1996

For this presentation, 100 posters from the book have been selected, which will be on display from 20 October until 4 November at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. In 1997, Anthon Beeke published Dutch Posters 1960-1996. This book is now a collector’s item. Since then no overview book on Dutch posters has been published. Time for part 2, according to young designers Janneke Smale and Omar Saiid, who initiated this edition.

Beeke loved photographic posters in which the image really conveys the message

For Dutch Posters 1997-2017, 150 designers have been invited who have submitted 3,500 posters together. About 350 posters have been included in the book. This selection of twenty years of cultural posters represents the development of the Dutch poster in an inspiring way. It says something about the time in which we live, about the art we make, and overall about what design is. Beeke shows that Dutch poster makers are part of a rich tradition, including Piet Zwart, Dick Elffers, Willem Sandberg and Wim Crouwel.
The selection was partly determined by the visual narrative that is told, by showing images that reinforce or react to each other. In this line of thinking, three examples are shown below made by studio Jona (2006), studio Matusiak (2004) en buro RuSt (2005). Omar Saiid: ‘While looking at these posters and the rest of the selection, you will notice that Beeke loved photographic posters in which the image really conveys the message. Typography, colour planes and other graphic elements were subject to the image. Beeke often designed his posters while taking pictures.’

After everything was approved and Dutch Posters 1997-2017 was ready to print, Anthon Beeke unexpectedly died of a cerebral infarction on 25 September 2018 in his hometown Amsterdam.

Who was Anthon Beeke?

As a graphic designer, Anthon Beeke (1940-2018) was Deputy Director at Total Design and started his studio Anthon Beeke in 1981. He is known for his controversial posters for Zuidelijk toneel Globe, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Holland Festival, the Theatercompagnie and the Kunstrai. Many of his designs have been awarded.

If you're at Dutch Design Week and want to join the book presentation on 26 October, please register by sending an e-mail to