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Max Kisman





Max Kisman (1953) is a graphic designer, illustrator and font designer. After completing a degree in Graphic Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, he set up his own graphic design and illustration studio and began working for various publishers, institutes and museums. His work became famous in the 1980s when he started experimenting with new digital technologies. He designs various magazines, including the music magazine Vinyl, and founded the typography and art magazine, TYP/Typografisch Papier. He also designs posters for the pop venue Paradiso and postage stamps for PTT (the national postal service of the Netherlands, now PostNL). In the 1990s he created the leaders and bumpers for the Dutch broadcasting organisation VPRO, became involved in interactive media for the VPRO digital department and worked as art director at Wired Television in San Francisco.

His motto ‘the complexity of simplicity’ led to the development of his own visual language. When creating designs he goes back to the essence of the information in both text and image. Much of his work is produced in the form of silhouette drawings. His designs resemble pictograms. In 1993 he was presented with the audience award at the Design Awards Rotterdam and the H.N. Werkman Award for television work for VPRO. His work is featured in the Het Financieele Dagblad newspaper and the Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Ordening [Urban and Spatial Planning] magazine published by Platvorm 31. It can also be seen at Schiphol Parking and PostNL, among other places. He has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) since 2002.
Miffy Hug
The title of Max Kisman’s Miffy statue is Miffy Hug. He says: ‘Miffy is an icon. So the challenge was to come up with something that goes beyond mere decoration. I wanted to find a way to make this life-size Miffy my own. I found it by working with shapes that separate from the icon while simultaneously affirming the iconic. An embrace by two children: a girl and a boy. They press their faces against Miffy’s face and create a new form. Image and meaning coincide. The use of black and white silhouettes is consistent with my work. To take it a step further, I reversed the colours, making the children white and Miffy black. The figures were drawn on Miffy by hand and blocked out with paper and tape. Miffy was then spray painted by automotive spray painter, Mark van Wijk, and finished with a glossy coating to add an extra sheen.’