bn: pages

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bn: pages

  1. 1. prologue bruce naftel is retiring. bruce was a professor in graphic design at the frostic school of art for over thirty years. don’t you all agree: is n’t that a real long time . . ? check me. google: ‘bekende nederlanders’. look for images. jez, is n’t that a strange coincidence . . ? (applause!) i guess the literal translation is ‘known dutchman’. but be aware, most bn’s are popular dutch celebrities who appear over and over on television and fill our tabloids & glossies all the time . . . except of course beatrix who is best known. the queen is beyond, and can’t be classified. besides the people only know her first name. her majesty seems to prefer her royal palace instead. by the way she resigned, and will be retired by the end of this month as well. i first met bruce two years ago via skype. we never minded the gap of approximately 4000 miles . . . soon i discovered bruce really seems to know the netherlands. yes, he is well informed . . . no, not only about gardening. it’s quite exceptional – bruce actually met some dutch leading designers, and he visited some studios in amsterdam, den hague and rotterdam. bruce was amongst the first to collect their work, to personalize cultural exchange. at wmu professor naftel taught every design course you can imagine. most recently a crafty one as well. during ‘the book concrete’, students were challenged to show some sensitivity. some time ago i started wondering if the graphic design program should not surprise bruce with a farewell present? of course the dedicated gift should be handmade . . . but what would be an interesting proposal? early one morning, out of the blue, during showering, i realized b n not only represents bruce naftel’s initials. the mystic letter combination is also the commonly used autonomous abbreviation of a typical dutch concept. anyhow to replace bruce naftel’s initials by any applicable substitute was an exciting typographical assignment. the final studies are stacked, stiched, and protected by a beautiful handmade box. the book is unique. we only produced one. bn is yours. bruce! almost forgot to mention. i mediated: the queen approved! you are now a ‘bekende nederlander’ as well. awesome. congratulations!

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