01 Lettering Large

02 25 jaar Stadscollectie R’dam

03 Blended

04 NRC Weekend

05 Graduation Show 2012

06 ED Awards Catalogue 2012

07 Typography

08 Celebrate 65

09 Drawing for Graphic Design

10 Women in Graphic Design

11 Typography Referenced

12 ED Awards Catalogue 2011

13 The 3D Type Book

14 Playful Type 2

15 Staging Space

16 Left, Right, Up, Down

17 Typography 31

18 DPI Magazine

19 Brno Biennale

20 étapes:181

21 Print

22 ED Awards Catalogue 2010


24 Typography 30

25 Adbusters

26 IdN

27 Metropolis M

28 Graphic Design, Referenced

29 étapes:171

30 items

31 Atlas of Graphic Designers

32 Design

33 Women Of Design

34 icons of graphic design

35 Brno Biennale Catalog

36 Eye: Beyond the canon

37 AREA 2

38 European Design Awards 2007

39 Super HD: Holland Design

40 Tactile

41 Handjob

42 Typography 28

43 Le Monde: Design & Typo le Blog

44 Contemporary Graphic Design

45 Designprijs Rotterdam

46 Page Magazine 05.07

47 Hollands Diep


49 Experimenta

50 Exploring Typography

51 I.D.


53 Int. Yearbook Com. Design 05-06

54 Typography 26

55 items

56 Visual Communication

57 2+3D

58 Typography 25

59 21st Brno Biennale Catalog

60 Page Magazine 06.04

61 designNET

62 Typography 24

63 Art Directors Annual 82

64 Dutch Type

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Strange Attractors

If you would still need proof that good old modernism is on its way out, then Strange Attractors provide ample support. Quoting Tschichold’s damnation of ornament — in any style — as coming “from an attitude of childish naiveté”, they seem to set out doing exactly that. But beware, Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk may be young (30-ish), they are no kids, and certainly not naive. You don’t get a Red Dot Award for high quality design for being childish. Masters from Cranbrook (both) and The Hague’s Type]media (Ryan), they know their trade and its history — they just happen to disagree with some of its bedrock doctrines. Take legibility. Strange Attractors do not intend to make you forget about reading and start looking. But their position is to look with new eyes to what modernism rebelled against: the traditions of craft, of calligraphy, of ornamentation as cultural expression. In their hands, the digital becomes material again. Both Van Middelkoop and Pescatore showed that in their Cranbrook graduation projects by translating hand drawn lettering to the computer and back to 3D material again — glass and resin respectively. Whether typography, type designs, posters, catalogues, digital animations, CD-covers or 3D installations, Strange Attractors’ work polemicizes against the unifying and de-personalizing tendencies of modernist based typography and design. Van Middelkoop and Pescatore are often decried for being overtly decorative — i.e. ‘superficial’ —, but that criticism misses the point. In today’s visual cultures, the surface very often is the message. Strange Attractors, therefore, are not simply embellishers — they are ‘decorationalists’ (I borrow the term from Denise Gonzales Crisp), who want to rediscover the joy and cultural potential of expressive ornamentation in the digital age. Their rationale is to use the computer, not just as the McLuhanesque extension of the ordering brain, but as a true instrument of the expressive hand.

(Max Bruinsma)


Strange Attractors