Graphic designer Jurriaan Schrofer died pretty much at the very moment the computer made its entrance in the daily practice of his profession. Until then, design had been largely drawing and the designer principally a draughtsman. The activity of drawing gave the design process a physical, craft aspect that is lacking in the creation of drawings on a computer. After the appearance last year of a comprehensive monograph on Schrofer, the idea was conceived of dedicating a separate publication to his sketch drawings, countless numbers of which remain in his estate.
These drawings have now been turned into an A4 sketch pad, which by way of Swiss binding has been cast easily into the form of a book. Members of the shadow panel wondered if it was really appropriate for an initial phase in the design process to be presented in such abundance.
In the end the matter was decided in the affirmative. In the first place the feeling was that it was precisely thanks to the numbers of examples that, browsing through the book, one was swept into the concentration – the flow – that must once have held the designer in its grip. Second, by displaying such a varied wealth of paper surfaces, drawing styles and drawing instruments, the book documents the design process in the years of analogue make-up for offset printing. And finally the result is also, on occasion, unashamedly beautiful – partly because the book’s designer bent the chronological order to his own direction. In so doing he has also applied to the original material only four reproduction ratios, which are indicated by coloured bullets before the captions. His role has clearly been cast in the spirit of Schrofer, who also liked to see himself as a director.