Online magazine Fontanel, a purveyor of Dutch creative culture since 2006, recently published its first book, a hardcover tome titled Dutch Design Talents 14. Touted as ''the definitive showcase of the best design graduates of 2014'', the book highlights the talents of a select group of individuals graduating from the Netherlands’ many influential art schools.
In all, nineteen talents from such revered institutes as Eindhoven’s Design Academy, Amsterdam’s Rietveld and The Hague’s Royal Academy of the Arts, feature across 208 colourful and expansive pages. Furthermore, Dutch Design Talents 14 incorporates additional themes that are both perceptive and useful for the reader. They include: several insightful and personal short stories written by leading creative individuals, a series of studio visits that chronicle the range and diversity of Dutch creative spaces, and ''a dialogue on the dynamic between (design) education and work'' that involves individuals from various Dutch creative professions. This conversation focuses on ''the gap'' that exists between graduating from art school and working within the creative industries.
Fontanel choosing the finest graduates from a varied selection of art academies across the Netherlands is a yearly tradition; the distinguished ‘Fontanel Dutch Design Talent’ badge is an honour bestowed upon the magazine’s favourite graduates in the fields of graphic design, digital creativity, fashion, illustration, product design and art. Dutch Design Talents 14 is something of a milestone for the popular online magazine however as it marks a new direction with respect to printed media as Willem van Roosmalen, Fontanel’s founder and Editor in Chief, explains: ''After five years, we decided the stage for these talents deserved an upgrade - they deserved an international stage, a physical stage, an elegant stage - which resulted in our first ever printed publication.'' (Source)
Dutch Design Talents 14 was designed by DRAWSWORDS Studio, an Amsterdam-based graphic design and art direction agency. Rather than settling on one specific front cover, the agency chose to feature the design graduates across a series of front covers together with selected works on the rear. The folio sheets within give prominence to a wealth of talented individuals, concepts and convictions. From Bob Schiller’s futuristically framed EPO bicycle to Jasmijn de Nood’s illustrations on the 'We Want More' Generation Y and Milou van Esch’s geometrically abstract clothing, the overall body of work is both curious and thought-provoking. Yet whilst the differences in the chosen designers are striking, for Willem van Roosmalen it is ''the combination of a promising attitude and unspoilt creative thinking'' that unites each talent. (Source)
In one short story written for Dutch Design Talents 14 titled ''Dutch Cannon Fodder'', Joachim Baan, the creator of and impetus behind the online publication Another Something & Co, expresses: ''I never went to art school so I don’t know what it feels like to be a Dutch Design Talent… [and moreover] I witness the gap between school and real life.'' Ergo, this brand new publication has the job of sharing that exact feeling with the reader – in other words, just what is it like at art school, of inspiring new and existing talent and of helping to bridge that gap between the safety of college and the reality of life.