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Exhibition: Helmut Salden, book and type designer


Typography Events
Ralf Herrmann

Event details

Exhibition with original drawings of lettering, dust-jackets and monograms, covering a period of more than 50 years.

Helmut Salden (Essen, 1910 – Amsterdam 1996) was a student at the Folkwangschule für Gestaltung, also known as the ‘Bauhaus des Westens’. Already in 1931 he became a teacher of Photography at this institute. As an opponent to the Nazi Party he was fired in 1933. In 1934 he fled the country and eventually went to Holland. After a short period working for Piet Zwart, Salden started as a designer of book covers. In 1942 he was arrested, and was condemned to death in 1943. After his sentence was commuted into imprisonment, he spent the rest of the war in several prisons and concentration camps. In 1946 he returned to the Netherlands, were he became a prolific bookdesigner, working for more than seventy publishing houses in the Netherlands and abroad.

Salden is known for his excellently designed bind­ings and dust-jackets. In addition, he was a skillful typographer. His book designs received many awards; over one hundred of his books were deemed to be among the best-designed books in the Netherlands. Around 1975 Salden decided to concentrate on designing monograms and experimented with hundreds of letter combinations. In 2000 his archive was donated to Museum Meermanno. This consists of original sketches and drawings of book-jackets and monograms, proofs, personal papers and correspondence with publishers, writers and colleagues, including Jan Tschichold, Gerrit Noordzij en Herman Zapf.

The exhibition is on view from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Catapult, Antwerp (www.catapult.be). Admission is free.

Helmut Salden (1910-1996). A prolific lettering artist was organized in close coopera­tion with Studio Catapult.

This exhibition is part of the program of the House of the book, a joint venture of Museum Meermanno, the oldest book museum in the world,  and the KB, National Library of the Netherlands. These institutions have started an ambitious pro­gram to connect people around the cultural, social and historical significance of the book, preferably with external partners.


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