Autumn 1990

Modernism by mail

A two-part examination of design at the Dutch post office

For 70 years, the Dutch postal and telecommunications company, PTT, has been an exemplary patron of graphic design, with a commitment to modernism that once provoked cries of “anarchy”. Today the very being of the PTT pervades Dutch life, and the organisation’s highly flexible identity is everywhere apparent on literature, buildings, vans, uniforms and trains. As a retrospective exhibition opens at London’s Design Museum, Eye reconsiders the historical achievements of the PTT (see ‘Official anarchy’ by Gerard Forde) and analyses the new identity devised by Studio Dumbar for the recently privatised company (see ‘Flexible geometry’ by Hugh Aldersey-Williams).

First published in Eye no. 1 vol. 1, 1990

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