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Irma Boom



Irma Boom (1960) is a book designer. She studied Graphic Design at the AKI Academy for Art and Industry in Enschede (now part of ArtEZ). She then spent five and a half years working at Staatsdrukkerij en Uitgeverij Sdu (the Dutch Government Publishing and Printing Office) in The Hague, where she designed her famous stamp booklets. In 1991 she founded Irma Boom Office which produces designs for mostly international clients in the cultural and commercial sectors. Her books were the inspiration for the production of a collection of wallpaper and textiles.

Irma Boom approaches book design as a quest for renewal of form, structure and content. She endeavours to develop the concept of print so as to keep it alive. The Special Collections Department of the University of Amsterdam has been collecting her work for its so-called ‘living archive’ since 2003. Her work has also been added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Prestigious clients include the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Chanel, KnollTextiles, Bard Graduate Center (NYC), Phaidon and OMA / Rem Koolhaas. In 1992 she was appointed as Senior Critic in the Yale University School of Art Graduate Program in New Haven. Major retrospective exhibitions of her work have been held at the Special Collections in Amsterdam (2010) and at the Institut Néerlandais (Dutch cultural centre) in Paris (2013).

She has received many awards for her unique designs, including the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts 2012 for the quality of her work and the Johannes Vermeer Award 2014 (the Dutch state prize for the arts) for unparalleled achievements in the field of graphic design. Her magnum opus - the SHV Thinkbook published in 1996 – is an icon of contemporary Dutch graphic design. She presents lectures and workshops worldwide.
Miffy for peace
‘I wanted to reduce the three-dimensional statue of Miffy to a two-dimensional image, like Dick Bruna’s drawings. But every time I looked at her and saw her ears, I couldn’t help but think of the victory sign, which is a symbol of peace. So I used the black outline of the Miffy drawings to create a new statue, one that waves the victory sign. Miffy is a powerful image as a symbol of peace and can help create a better world: young people have a future. This resulted in Miffy for peace.’