Willem Sandberg

Renowned icon of graphic design.

De La Warr Pavilion is proud to present Willem Sandberg: from type to image, the first UK survey of an internationally renowned icon of graphic design. Sandberg was director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam from 1945 to 1963 where he championed new artists, developed one of the most important collections of modern art in Europe and implemented radical transformations of the Museum’s environment. He designed hundreds of posters, catalogues and cards for the Museum’’s exhibitions, as well as stationery and other publicity materials.

As World War II began, Sandberg secreted the Stedelijk Museum’’s collection in a vault inside dunes located close to the sea. He was actively involved in the Dutch resistance movement, designing forged identity cards and planning an attack with other artists on the Central Civil Registry Office that held records of the city’’s Jewish residents. Though the attack was partly successful, almost all of Sandberg’’s co-conspirators were betrayed and executed. He escaped and went into hiding where he began the Experimenta Typografica, handmade booklets in which he collected inspirational quotes in diverse typographic styles, which laid the foundation for his future design work.

Willem Sanbergs work and life is fascinating, he seemed to be a ball of energy never wasting a moment, he sadly lost friends close to him in WW2 but managed to pay homage to them in a specially designed book made form scraps when he was in hiding. His strong use of colour and shape created a unique style in it’s simplicity and clarity. He has influenced many designers, catch this show if you can as it has a good display of magazine layouts and a film.

Willem Sandberg

dlwp exhibitions
I really loved the work he did for the Israel Museum with bold geometric shapes softened by rough edges, they suggest ancient artifacts.

Willen Sandberg



In Dutch

In French but good typographical examples

English subtitles

De La Warr Pavilion
Bexhill on Sea