Michiel Schuurman

Michiel Schuurman graduated from the renowned graphic design department of Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2002. As a graphic artist, he specialises in typography, pattern and poster design, embracing a fearless and bold approach.

The base of his graphic work is a certain logic – whether natural, scientific or historical. Geeky algorithms, natural phenomena or historical patterns are applied in his design process in innovative new ways. The divine mandala pattern or fungal growth can be a starting point. Schuurman takes the essence of these ‘logics’ and adds new contexts by layering, twisting and adding his signature alienating bold colour schemes. It results in visually dazzling graphics that feel completely sensible, yet include a mean dose of visual friction. “People are shocked by the extreme logic of my work”, says Schuurman.

After graduating, Schuurman’s career took off with his remarkable poster design – challenging the medium’s restrictions and communicative value. Boundaries between the second and third dimension are pushed, blurred and combined into original typographic statements. Hacking the prismatic colour wheel, Schuurman creates new colour schemes that have strong references to pop-culture – cartoons, graffiti and skateboarding. Often screen-printed by himself, these graphics created a strong fan base for Schuurman. Many of his designs are part of public collections including the one of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. His illustrations have been featured in publications such as tech-magazine Wired and the Dutch quality newspaper De Volkskrant among others.

Unsurprisingly, in 2012 Schuurman was asked to contribute as a textile designer for the legendary Dutch wax fabric company Vlisco - known for their intricate prints. Rather than working from their heritage, Schuurman applied his pattern-skills to create abstract and radically new designs for the company. With success – his prints are being worn across the world.

Currently, Schuurman is interested in applying his skills in the third dimension – ranging from collaborations in exhibition design to fashion. For an overview exhibition of Vlisco’s fabrics, he created the exhibition- and spatial design, covering the entire space in wild patterns that left visitors impressed. Next to that he has been collaborating with emerging fashion designer Liselore Frowijn, bag brand Susan Bijl and cycling apparel manufacturer Manual for Speed.

In the meantime, Schuurman keeps on developing new techniques and visual eye-candy in his personal work, which serves as a free space for experimentation. His first book, a collection of his applied and personal work, is set to be released in 2018. Michiel Schuurman lives and works in Amsterdam.

Teacher at the following studies