Unit Editions – Jurriaan Schrofer

Unit Editions – Jurriaan Schrofer

Jurriaan Schrofer, restless typographer. I have to confess my ignorance of Dutchman & Total Designer Schrofer before this beautiful book landed on my desk. As a fan of Unit Editions (Run by Adrian Shaughnessy and Spin’s Tony Brook) I had seen the previews and pre-release press, but I was still clueless. In the essay included, design writer Frederike Huygen (writer of the sold out monograph Wim Crouwel: Mode en Module) refers to him as ‘a computer-designer before the computer’ and its easy to see why. Typographic perspective and grid structure are pushed to dizzying limits – all the more impressive in a pre-Adobe age.

Designed by Spin, the book brings together a series of commercial and experimental projects alongside corporate identities, editorial projects and magazine design (for architecture mag Forum). As with previous printed Unit Editions (retrospective of Ken Garland & the mammoth Herb Lubalin tribute) the book is a stunner – 144 pages of tactile and luxurious print – complete with fluro spot Pantone, textured papers and a truly lovely stripped printed spine. If only more books would make use of lay-flat binding, the world would be a better place.

I recently saw Schrofer’s creations described as dated but I’d suggest it’s the opposite – flicking through the book you get a sense of the modernity of his work – and as a new generation of designers rediscover the work of past masters Crouwel et al this book will help Schrofer take his rightful place amongst them.

Juriaan Schrofer (1926-90) – Restless Typographer, edited by Tony Brook and Adrian Shaughnessy, is published by Unit Editions, priced at £25.

Luke Tonge