Based on Bas Oudt – 1/3 – Background & Process

This is Bas Oudt, one of my former teachers at the Gerrit Rietveld academie.

Being both offset printer and graphic designer, Bas Oudt (1956 -2014) was one of the few people who really knew how to create graphic design work that is informed by printing technique in both a physical and creative way. In that respect he’s been a rolemodel who stimulated me to do what I’m doing today.

Some examples of the work by Bas Oudt: delicate W139 (the renowned artist-run gallery space at Warmoestraat 139, Amsterdam) invitation-posters, sent by regular mail during the late eighties.

Poster for Live Magazine event, De Balie; Modular stationary for Impuls. Photography Jozee Brouwer.

The legendary (and now very rare) W139 DESK Book (1991), partly printed in opaque white and metallic inks on cheap heavy cardstock. As the book ‘ripens’, the colour of the cardstock (with a high % of wood-particles) becomes more yellow, causing the photography to stand out better due to higher contrast.

One of Oudt’s collections: green A.D. Copier glass
(detail from Uta Eisenreichs photographic essay in the book)

Spring 2008, a group of Oudt’s former students including me, started a project based on his graphic work, plus the many interests, collections and fascinations he liked to share with us at the Rietveld academie (and still does). Every 2 weeks, during our so-called ‘Summerschool’ sessions, we discussed about each others’ ideas for the intended book and the project’s progress.

All participants had to find their own way to discuss a specific aspect of Bas Oudt’s work, by either choice of subject, materials, and use of specific papers, colours, and printing- or finishing techniques.

After severe testing with Lenoirschuring, a high profile printing company in Amstelveen with a warm heart for cultural projects, a ‘toolkit’ of possible papers and ink was compiled. This should lead to a rich variety of ‘printed matter flavours’ that would honour the spirit of Bas Oudt’s graphic oeuvre.

Custom made inks and unusual combinations made for much overtime…

Richard Niessen keeping a watchful eye on overprinting sheets (in offset) that had previously been screenprinted. Because of the unexpected extra drying time needed, this completely messed up our planning.

For budget reasons, the dustjacket had to be cleaned, folded and applied manually by… us. Jozee, Katja and me spent several days doing good old production work to get all 1.000 books out in time for distribution.

This can only be a brief introduction to this multifacetted project. It’s a limited one-of-a-kind production (no reprints – ever), so I recommend you to order your copy of the book NOW!

See also Based on Bas Oudt – Book, Presentation & Show
See also Based on Bas Oudt – Poster

April 14th, 2009
, Posted in Techniques, Other projects