the complexity of simplicity
All images ©Max Kisman/Kismanstudio
unless otherwise stated

Molenwerf 40-42
3514 BR Utrecht
the Netherlands

Max Kisman [bio]
studio [at] kismanstudio [dot] nl

Illustration catalogue
Typeface catalogue
Max Kisman Twitter and Facebook
Max Kisman Beeld Taal Facebook
Max Kisman on Illustration Daily


8 June 2017: Fiep Westendorp/Talens day Two lectures and meet & greet. Apeldoorn NL
23&24 May 2017: WDCD Life action, drwaing speaker portraits and congress impressions. Amsterdam NL
17&18 May 2017: Plug&Play Porto
Congress on illustration, typography, editorial design, motion design, web design and multi media.
24 February 2017: Salon de Pinto With Roos van Rijswijk, Max Kisman, Thomas Verbogt en Nadia Strijbos. Huis de Pinto, Amsterdam
6&13 February 2017: Kingdom Regained Traces of origing in visual graphic language, talk/workshop. Wold's End/Spacial, Bandung Indonesia
14 October 2016: The beautiful world of Max Kisman presentation at Artez, Zwolle NL

Kingdom Regained

Vlinder wijst de weg
Short trailer 29"

Vlinder wijst de weg
A children's book

Sam flies. The wind whizzes in his ears. He lands in a clearing in the woods. There he sees a butterfly that glows. When he chases the butterfly, he gets lost. You're not lost though, a bear, a whale and a raven say, Butterfly always points the right way. They take him on an adventure until he comes back to where his journey began.

This first limited edition will be released in Dutch on the occasion of the exhibition 'Forever young - Fiep Westendorp and Max Kisman' in WG Kunst in Amsterdam, 17 September - 30 October 2016

32 pages, hardcover, 21x21 cm
Two color offset, blue en red
Published byBykisman
ISBN NL: 978-90-823058-2-1
NUR 271
125 regular copies, 75 numbered and signed with unique signed Kisman riso print.
Prices regular issue €17,50, special €27,50.
Will be available from 17 september 2016 during the exhibition and at
see also >>

City Theatre Utrecht

(2016_0430) In collaboration with with Marieke Griffioen of Edenspiekermann, I created five theatre figures that combine in different compositions and colors for the 2016 season campaign of the Utrecht City Theatre on posters, ads, banners, flags, program guides, flyers, and narrow casting.

We fly. Mural Beverwijk NL
We fly every day
back and forth from here to there
in our dreams sometimes too at night

(2016_0225) As part of the reclassification of the ‘head of the harbor’ in Beverwijk NL. Kisman got the contract for the decoration of the connection on the Viaductweg between the old port and the town center.
The design refers to the need to move fast. In haste we say we fly. So we fly every day from here to there, and sometimes we fly at night in a dream.
Tunnels and viaducts are perfect metaphors for "from here to there." They are inevitable obstacles in the way to the other side.
The project will be deliverd end April 2016.
See also (Dutch).

Kisman at work

Painting a Kisman

Photo's by Peter Mertens

Get Kisman products from

Côte d'Amour set
Go to: Côte d'Amour, set of three dish cloths.

By Kisman webshop in its Dutch version was launched on Thursday 27 November. More at

Also available: The Triptych ‘Ancestral Migration’ of textile wall hangings was exhibited at the Indonesian DNA exhibition and is available at

The lost kingdom

The symmetry of life

Heirs and Sons

Until September 2014
Max Kisman's Time Spirit

Lenoirschuring Kuiperij 13,
metro 51, halte Spinnerij, Amstelveen
At the opening of the exhibition Max Kisman discussed the motto TIJD GEEST/ZEIT GEIST and how to stay in business as a creative mind, with Frank Bloem (fine artist, co-founder of The Ferris Wheel and Frank Dean -, Madeleine van Lennep (managing director of BNO -, René Knip (graphic designer, founder of Atelier René Knip and Gebroeders Knip - and Arie Lenoir (Lenoirschuring -
Musical intermezzo's by Maya For Sale ( featuring fPcM Enhanced Remix (

Download the LR invitation here. You also can request a printed version of the invitation, BEWOLKT (overcast) by Max Kisman and Wim Brands via

Max Kisman appeared:

17 October, 6:30 hrs, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, Ireland:
The IDI presents Oranje & Green #1.
Max Kisman + David Rooney.

I am a slave of your freedom

(2013_0704) The recently restyled magazine De Boekenwereld released a special issue entitled "Slavery Imagined". This year marks that 150 years ago slavery was abolished in the Dutch colonies. Each issue of De Boekenwereld has a poster produced by a different designer. This time the collectible is made by Max Kisman. Available at a.o. Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, Nijhof & Lee and online through
Price € 12.50.

Max Kisman te gast bij Jelie Brouwer van Kunststof
Radio 1, maandag 25 maart 2013. Hij tovert met beelden en knutselt met taal. Max Kisman wijst ons de weg op Schiphol, beïnvloedt onze openbare ruimte en de beelden die we via televisie en krant binnenkrijgen. Nu is er een overzicht van hem te zien in het GR-ID in Groningen. Beluister het interview met Jellie Brouwer.

Kisman, de man die tekens maakt. Interview in DZONE
available as PDF

(2013_0305) With his kind permission, the interview of Hans Frederiks with me is now available as a PDF from my website. However, the interview is in Dutch. Max Kisman, the man who makes signs: “There is more sensitivity in my work than I would like to reveal.” In this interview Max Kisman talks about his thirty-five years career and how his distinguished signature style creeped into his work as an typographer and illustrato. More information on Dzone: DZONE, vakblad voor designers #142.

Christmas Cover Up!
cover Christmas Cover Up

(2010_1129) It was fun designing this very attractive and pleasant Christmas album with covers and originals of known and obscure Christmas songs. The CD is compiled by Oscar Smit and released by Sonic Scenery. When Oscar asked me to design the inlay booklet, disk label and inlay card, the idea of a cover cd made me think of covering up nakedness. When I placed Santa hats on the naked couple, also the title of the CD was born. Buy from, free recordshop, download iTunes and Juno. More info on

Jan Bons dies at 94
Jan Bons
Graphic designer and artist Jan Bons died at the age of 94 in Amsterdam last week. To me he was one of the greatest inspirators in perfection of simplicity – "Straight line, warped. Painless full hit." Lees meer op (Dutch) >>

The Silent must continue to speak
zwijger actieposter
(2012_1002) Support the petition and help to convince the city council to maintain warehouse De Zwijger. This image, origianally a visual comment in Illustration Daily, has been picked up for the campaign to save creative hotspot De Zwijger.

Illustration Daily

(2012_0902) I'm happy to announce that I will be participating in Illustration Daily - a visual Daily and online platform for professional illustrators commenting on the world today. Until the elelections for the Dutch parliament on September 12 I will post daily my political poster campaigns. For more info visit

Tea Tae Why Pea Pea

(2012_0430) The TTYPP 26x26" app is the first app/e-publication of TYP. This special financial issue contains cotributions in words, image and sound of: Jacques Koeweiden, Ronald Ophuis, Ron van Roon, Donald Beekman, Henri Lucas, Atte Jongstra, Kees Maas, Jan de Jong, Caroline de Lint, Willem Sjoerd van Vliet, Dick Tuinder, Ko Sliggers, Joost Verhaak, Jan Dietvorst, Joke Mestdagh & Anke Broeren, Dennis Duchhart, Hansje van Halem, Peter Jonker, Olga Scholten, Alex Slagter, Peter Mertens, Jona Rotting, Dirk Vis, Roosje Klap, Fran van der Hoeven and Max Kisman. Release date: december 2011.
Get the app for €0,79 in the iTunes App Store
For more information visit

TTYPP jams at TEDx Delft

(2011_09015) Now Confirmed TTYPP iThing Jam project plays live at TEDX Delft. Max Kisman, Peter Mertens and Donald Beekman are TTYPP. In a follow up of the successful iPhone Jam at BNO's Design Rocks (see below), performing at TEDx Delft on November 7, 2011.


Illustrated interview

(2011_0824) Wim Brands conducted and interview with Aleid Truijens on Dutch author F.B.Hotz. A four page illustrated interview appears in the last August issue of the VPRO TV guide.


Dixo W are pulling it off...

(2011_0318) For the occasion of the birthday of one of its members the infamous Dutch Ska band
Dixo Wankers (including yours truly) have played again. The band released 3 singles in 1980-1981, had several TV performances and toured the national circuit.

A classic already!
MX KSMN XPLCTL GRPHC Screen print for sale now


(2011_0202) On Sunday 30 January, 14.00 hrs, I spoke about what is explicitly Graphic of my work at the Grafisch Werk Centrum in Amsterdam, Molukkenstraat 200-P1, Amsterdam. For the occasion a limited edition (50) screen print (48 x 72 cm) still available for €65 at kismanshop.

Design Rocks Art Print

(2011_0224) A little late with the update. On February 10, accompanied by DBXL and FPCM I performed with short musical breaks between speakers of the annual Design Rocks symposium of the BNO. For the occasion I created an image and collaborated on the offset art print with Chris van Diemen. Two versions in fluorescent yellow or green w/black and magenta. Colors might vary from website image. Available for €15, signed and shipped in a tube. Write an email to order.

Shake hands with your friends in Boxmeer, NL


(2010_0731) De Vriendschap (The Friendship) is the new kid on the block in food wise Boxmeer, a small town in the province of Limburg, NL. Quailtiy fries and burgers from local produce and meat. To go, home delivery or a beautiful tasty plate for lunch or dinner in the restaurant. Appreciation of the owners for my weekly images in the Dutch Financial Journal turned into a screen print trip tych expressing three stages of friendship and a vignette of a hand shake for their logo. If you are in the area and ready for a bite or just want to make the trip out there, this is a recommendation.

Marten Jongema (1951-2011)

Marten Jongema died after a sick bed on Thursday 7 April 2011. Only a week before he would be 60 years old. More than colleagues Marten and I were friends. We met at SSP printers in the 80s where we often drank a lot of coffee and talked. We collaborated on the posters for Paradiso. I tried to do something out of his repertoire and he out of mine, only to find out that it was special what the other did.
More >>

The Beautiful World
(2017_0413) The poster for the lecture The Beautiful World of Max Kisman on 14 October 2016 at Artez, Zwolle has been nominated in the Chaumont poster competition 2017. Wonderful!

Beautiful World

Duchamp's fountain 100
(2017_0407) In search of Duchamp's fountain that changed art. Cover illustration for Volkskrant's V, 7 april 2017

#KismanMaxTour (cont'd):

Fiep Westendorp en Max Kisman: Voor altijd jong 17/9-30/10 WG Kunst Amsterdam

(2016_0621) In 2016, Fiep Westendorp - the creator of Jip and Janneke - would have become 100 years. For the children’s book week (5 - 16 October, theme grandfathers and grandmothers) the iconic images of Fiep will be shown at WG Kunst in Amsterdam. Max Kisman takes a significant part in the exhibition with an installation: how would Jip and Janneke look like if they would be an aged grandfather and grandmother. There also will be a wall-filling wallpaper with the work of Fiep Westendorp and Max Kisman. WG Kunst, Amsterdam 17 september - 30 October

Complexity of simplicity workshop at ISIA, Urbino, Italy 2-5/5/2016
(2016_0430) Workshop Image and identity at ISIA in Urbino, Italy.

23/6 Kisman keynote at Designers-sessions: new PDF standards

(2016_0616) I am not a PDF expert at all, yet I use the format on a daily basis
for all kinds of purposes, including PDFx for magazine print. In my keynote at ‘Designers-sessions: new evolutions in standaards with PDF’ I will show howdigital technology change the work flowand the design process in my practice.
23/6/2016 Dutch Design Foundation, Torenallee 22-08, Eindhoven, 3 pm. Free

Read more here >>
or on BNO site

Out of or in sync
(2016_0529) Unintended errors offer different views to original ideas. Max Kisman on Saturday 28/5/2016 in the Museum Hilversum 2 p.m. at closing weekend of Jaap Drupsteen Designer Explorer exhibition.

Max Kisman in Hall of Fame of ADCN
Hall of Fame
(2016_0211) Two top creatives have been inducted into the ADCN Hall of Fame this year: Max Kisman (Kismanstudio) and Mervyn ten Dam (ACHTUNG!). Both of them personally received the award and were interviewed about their work by ADCN president Lode Schaeffer and ADCN board member Richard van der Laken. Max explained the way in which he was inspired by MTV in the early eighties: ‘Having seen pixelated and computer modified video clips I realized that the impact of digital technology would also hit graphic design. This influenced my early work profoundly’.

Kisman talks and shops
Prague & Pilzen 2-3/12/2015

(2015_1111) In design, the creative process is working with limitations, while getting the most out of it. With many assignments there is always the limited budget, the lack of time, bad planning, and often a lack of imagination or intelligence of companies. Yet the artists own limitations and impossibilities are his best assets. Stick to your self, it makes you stand out. I will be talking about this in the De.sign lecture series on at Instituto Cervantes de Praga and the design department of the university in Pilzen.

Kisman @Illustrationdaily

MaxK on Illustration Daily: Illustration Daily is a visual Daily - an online platform where professional illustrators share personal and editorial work that comments on the world today. More >>

Kisman talks at Inkfest

(2015_0308) Short presentation on the influence of Javanese Wayang Kulit on my visual language. InkFest, Sunday 12 April 2015, De Hallen, Amsterdam.

InkFest 2015 takes place in the Passage of the ‘Hallen’ in Amsterdam West (near the Ten Kate market) from10.00 to 17.00 hrs. Admission is free. A special program starts at 13.00 hrs in the Belcampo room, featuring: Gielijn Escher, Isabel Lucena (Portugal, Wilfried Huet, Wim Jansen, Max Kisman (ancestral influences), Flip Ekkers (Philip Elchers publishers), Jeannette Dekeukeleire and Harry Ruhé (Cult Club), Esther Gasseling and Frits Jonker of (Xtra publishers and Showcase) and Betty Race Palatti

Slaaf van jouw vrijheid
(2015_0118) ‘I am a slave of your freedom’ includes the short cartoons ‘The lost hat that was found again’ and ‘The shadow of your smile.’ The third story ‘I came by boat’ is the description of the triptych ‘Ancestral Migration’ in three scenes: ‘The lost kingdom‘, ‘The symmetry of life’ and ‘Sons and heirs’. The first edition of 75 copies in Dutch and 75 copies in English. 48 pages, published by and available in Dutch and English at By Kisman,

Ik ben een slaaf van jouw vrijheid (NL)

I am a slave of your freedom (Eng)


slaaf 2

slaaf 3


Indonesian DNA
Poster Indisch DNA
CODA Museum 09.11.2014 - 25.01.2015 and ACEC 17.12.2014 - 25.01.2015
(2014_1001) Indisch DNA (Indionesian DNA) has its origins in the former Dutch East Indies; the country is since independence in 1949 known as Republik Indonesia. For many, this country evokes images of an impressive nature, rice fields, eastern mysticism, batik art, fairytale wayang, ancient dance rituals and Indionesian literature. More >> Time reader
maxk anim vignette
(from 2014_05 on) Weekly vignette to Time Reader column on Saturday by Joost Steins Bisschop in Het Financieele dagblad has animated version on the website Animated by Abel Kisman.

maxk anim logo
(2014_0102) Niet geschoten, altijd mis... Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Wishing you good aims in 2014.

De Grote Amsterdamse Kunst Kalender

(2013_1101) My contribution to the Big Amsterdam Art Calendar. To be presented Saturday 1 November. More info here
or here FB event

Brands&Kisman join again in Tekst/Figuur

(2013_0614) Wim Brands and I (and twenty others) made a contribution to the Mashville edition Text/Figure: an experiment to poets and image makers to influence each other's work. This method is to react and intervene in the work of the other. More here. Or on facebook.

Max Kisman Beeld Taal
3/3-16/6 June 2013 GR-ID Groningen


(2013_0208) Graphic designer and illustrator Max Kisman (1953) enchants with images and plays with language. Although experiments with personal computers in the eighties yielded him the reputation of digital pioneer, his work is widely oriented. He designs magazines, television sets and programme leaders, typefaces, websites and sound logos, illustrates, lectures and publishes for clients at home and abroad.

Kisman's idiosyncratic imagery is characterized by powerful simplicity: he reduces with his “complexity of simplicity” substance and meaning to its most elementary form. His work fits in well with the Dutch design practice, but also shows a strong affinity with the tradition of Javanese shadow puppets. Thread for inspiration is the question how image relates to language and language is related to image. To what results this leads will be shown in the exhibition Max Kisman Image Word in GR-ID - Museum for realizing GRaphical IDeas (formerly Graphic Museum Groningen).

Max Kisman Image Word from 3 March until 16 June 2013. Tuesday to Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00 hrs. GR-ID Rabenhauptstraat 65 9725 CC Groningen NL

Complexity of Simplicity tour

Max Kisman appears:
September: Graphics Work at Lenoirschuring, Amstelveen
10 March: Knippen als Kisman (Cutting like Kisman). Kids workshop in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
March-June: Several tours, lectures or workshops related to the Max Kisman Beeld Taal exhibition, Groningen. Check for info and dates.
20 December: Illustration art for digital media. Brands and Kisman's IJsseloever App goes ARTEZ Zwolle, 16.00 hrs.
8 November:
Introducing graphic designer Niklaus Troxler at his poster show, 19.00 hrs, North Sea Jazz Club, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam. More >>
6 November: Guest in What's Up, 20.00 hrs, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam, entrance free w/ registration
21 October: Guest (live drawing) in Red Sunday, life literary magazine by Wim Brands. 16.00 hrs, Roode Bioscoop, Haarlemmerplein 7, Amsterdam, entr €16


5, 22 October, 5 November: “A Letter Can Be Anything” workshop at the Design Academy, Eindhoven
4 October: “Innovation and tradition”, Academy St. Joost, 's Hertogenbosch.

Complexity of Simplicity in Istanbul

(2012_0509) Max Kisman's Complexity of Simplicity exhibition and workshop at Grafist 16 takes place from 7-11 May 2012 in the MImar Sinan University inIstanbul, Turkey.
More photo's on facebook.

IJsseloever app offer...
(2012_0727) For the occassion of the Garden Poetry Fest in Deventer IJsseloever will be a FREE download for iPad on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August. Visit the AppStore.

Brands&Kisman perform in Deventer, August 4

(2012_0720) On Saturday 4 August Poet Wim Brands and designer/illustrator Max Kisman perform and talk about IJsseloever at the Garden Poetry Fest in Deventer (NL) at 19:15, 20:15 and 21:15 hrs in the Iodenhuis. This annual poetry festival takes place in historical gardens in Deventer prior to the largest European antique book market on Sunday 5 August. More information and

In store: IJsseloever for iPad and Android tablets

(2012_0430) For the project 'Poetry on the mobile screen' initiated by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Mondrian Foundation, poet Wim Brands and graphic designer Max Kisman made the iPad app ”IJsseloever”: Sixteen moments of the lives of two elderly women are hidden in the IJssel river valley (NL). They watch the ships, read their names and in their minds they sail to foreign countries. The story also contains 15 video poems and one audio clip. IJsseloever is the second app published by TYP/Three Publishers and is available from 17 May in the App Store for €1,59. Language: Dutch.
For more information visit

app store

IJsseloever on Junaio AR
(2012_0514) A printed map of the valleywill be published (€2 excl. shipping). Markers on the map are connected to the video poems that can be watched on the IJsseloever channel in the Junaio browser on your smartphone. Language: Dutch.
For more information visit

Title sequence 9-11. The day that changed the world.

(2011_0824) 911, The day that changed the world is a TV documentary series in three parts. See also

Part one (Sept 5, The flight path) investigates what triggered the terrorists to fly into the WTC towers ten years ago. Part two (Sept 7, Permission to engage) covers the shooting incident killing two journalists revealed by Wikileaks and part three (Sept 11, The scary nation) reports on its effects on the Dutch nation. Both visuals and soundtrack design by Kismanstudio.

The Culture PartyCP1
(2011_0824) A few months ago Art Guru Jos Howeling called for action to start a cutural political party, the Culture Party. It inspired me to design a series of simple logo's for its early PR. Visit de Cultuur Partij on Facebook >>

Charity for disaster victims

(2011_0329) Tomodachi Calling is a charity webshop with T-shirts and other cool stuff of a couple of international friends that were in Tokyo at the time the big earthquake hit northeast Japan on Friday March 11, 2011, 14:46 JST: “The unfolding events in the minutes, hours and days following the quake left us in a state of shock and terror. It made us feel helpless. So instead of hoping and waiting, we decided to combine and to act. We are therefore asking friends (in Japanese: “tomodachi”), focussing on artists whose works we admire and creative people we like, to contribute a design for our charity-webshop.

Nuclear Power!
(2011_0318) Image to an essay on risks and effects of nature on Nuclear Power plants, Financieel Dagblad, Saturday 19 March.

No Guts No Glory


(2011_0305) Logo designed for AlexSlagter's No Guts No Glory foundation to raise funds for uninsured cancer treatments.The project is called 41x41 | 41+41. 41 artists will create 41 art prints, 41 copies, to be sold for €82. Aming at €140.000, enough to cover ten treatmenst for 4 patients. Twitter: #nogutsnoglory

(2011_0116) Actually, doesn't quite work yet. See it as a prototype. Forgot to something about mailing adresses. In due time. Still, enjoy the pictures...
(2011_0101) Get your original Max Kisman art print. Because of frequent requests for prints, I thought it might be an idea to offer a selection of editorial images, poster designs and other graphics on-line to the public. Signed prints ship world wide for all-in-one price of €65 per print. Go to the shop >>

Elephant Parade Laren 2017
The Elephant's Eye design by Max Kisman will be shown this summer in the Elephants Parade in collaboration the Singer Museum in Laren openins June 18. Read more (Dutch)>>

Hug an elephant
(2016_0616) ‘Elephant's Hug’ is my contribution to the upcoming Elephants parade exhibitions

30 years Lenoirschuring
(2017_0101) A commerorative print design for the 30th anniversary of Lenoirschuring Printers, Amsterdam.

Together we write - the story of - our lives in the - rhythm - of the words - and moments - of the images - printed in capitals - like poems noted

Clos Saint Fiacre
Orléans 2015

(2016_0529) A beautiful wine deserves a great label. Imported by Dutch wine importer David Bolomey: Clos Saint Fiacre Orléans 2015. Available exclusively at

Dutch Alphabets: examples of lettering

(2015_1111) Geomaxtric is the font by Max Kisman designed for Dutch Alphabets, a examples of lettering. This unique publication is edited by Peter Verheul and Matthieu Lommen and includes contributions by Yomar Augusto, Jacques le Bailly, Donald Beekman, Fransje Berserik, Barbara Bigosinska, Erik van Blokland, Maria Doreuli, James Edmondson, Ramiro Espinoza, Martina Flor, Dave Foster, Fritz Grögel, Janno Hahn, Hansje van Halem, Berton Hasebe, Ondrej Jób, Max Kisman, Holger Königsdörfer, René Knip, Paul van der Laan, Lida Lopes Cardozo, Niels Shoe Meulman, Ross Milne, Gerrit Noordzij, Diana Ovezea, Krista Radoeva, Trine Rask, Arthur Reinders Folmer, Donald Roos, Pieter van Rosmalen, Kristyan Sarkis, Florian Schick, Elmo van Slingerland, Fred Smeijers, Irina Smirnova, Teo Tuominen, Gerard Unger, Peter Verheul, Bernd Volmer, and Job Wouters. Published by the Buitenkant.

Kisman in Miffy Art Parade
(2015_0308) Miffy Hug is Kisman's contribution to the 60th anniversary of nijntje (Miffy). Dick Bruna's special creature celebrates her 60th birthday. 60 artists have decorated a life size nijntje. Each day in March and April a new statue will be released on


Creating visual headlines

(2014) Max Kisman: Creating visual headlines from Design Indaba on Vimeo.

What was up with..., and
(2015_0118) Finally the migration of the domains have been completed, including this one. Still need to update the coms...
(2014_07207) Due to server migraition of the US provider and have been off-line for quite some time. A provider switch re-established their accesibility, but they need some updating still.

Font Aid VII: The Philippines
Font-aid suns
(2013_1221) Over 275 designers from 46 countries contributed glyphs to the project with the goal of creating a typeface consisting of images based on the eight-rayed sun from the Philippine flag.
font-aid logo
Font Aid is a charitable endeavor. We wish to ensure that we provide the maximum support possible to the people and organization that need it. Any work submitted to a Font Aid project will be deemed a charitable gift and a work made for hire. Whenever possible, we are happy to credit the creativity of the participating designers.

PostNL Sinterklaas stamps


The annual Dutch celebration of Saint Nicholas stands for joy and expectation. The Sinterklaas sheet of stamps expresses exactly that atmosphere. The five illustrations and designs by Max Kisman in ten stamps are based on the classic Saint Nicholas story. More info at and (Dutch).

A beautiful summer throws
a soft shadow

(2013_0621) This is the third card in a series of six that I will make during 2013 for Jubels printers in Amsterdam, NL

Cover image April issue Onze Taal Onze Taal November 2010

(2013_0430) The language of our new king and queen in Onze Taal magazine (Dutch).

11eleven typeface selected Vouwblad Monospace Collection


(2012_0902) 11eleven is a new Holland Fonts typeface with only eleven base glyphs. By rotation and mirroring all twentysix letters and ten figures can be formed. With ten out of twentytwo entries it was selected by a jury including Wim Crouwel for the Lenoir-Schuring Monospace Collection, to be published on 27 September. Poem by Wim Brands: Every fallen leaf – is an idea. For more info go to

Cover image September issue Onze Taal

Onze Taal November 2010

(2012_0902) Last month I made this cover image on writing and adressing seniors with a specific ligual approach. Words that give wings. Onze Taal magazine (Dutch).

Bits to Pieces

(2011_0911) Now updated with interviews on digital archiving with Piet Schreuders and Max Kisman.

(2011_1004) The Bits to Pieces project of Dutch art historian Karin van der Heiden investigates the rise of the digital revolution, the experiences of the early adapters in digital graphic design and the digital heritage of the 80s. The process of preserving digital records begins with their creation. We need pragmatic strategies that enable us to preserve digital born material. Kismanstudio logo and website design.

Save as....

(2011_0901) I am currently designing the Dutch version of Save as.... This concise guide to digital archiving is wriiten by art and historian and design heritage expert Karin van der Heiden. In a 16 page leporello you get essential guidelines in sustainable digital preservation of your digital work. Soon to be published in the Netherlands. The English version is being prepared.

(2011_0901)Digital archiving is not the same as making a back up! Selection is necessary. Not everything is important and need to be preserved eternity.

Broken Language image on november issue Onze Taal

Onze Taal November 2010

(2010_1101) Aphasia is the theme of the November issue of Onze Taal magazine (Dutch).

Gold Award for design City One Minutes website


(2010_0601) The City One Minutes website has won A gold European Design Award at the European Design Festival in De Doelen in Rotterdam. The design of the website is by graphic designer Max Kisman and implemented by design agency Fabrique and Studio Stomp. The annual awards are given to European designers that have made exceptional designs in the field of communications.
On artists have recorded life in more than one hundred cities across the world from hour to hour movies in one minute. C.O.M. is a project of Holland Doc 24/VPRO in collaboration with The One Minutes Foundation.

Holland Doc 24 identity


Holland Doc 24's new identity was launched Thursday 12 November 2009 on their website and on the digital channel Holland Doc 24

Kisman T-shirt for Dutch Illustration Biannual


(2010_0605) Limited edition T-shirt with a special design I made for the Illustration Biannual. This is a new Dutch event that aims to show the power and variety of illustration in a versatile program, full of visual elements. Saturday June 5, Toneelschuur, Haarlem.

Amsterdam Dutchionary

Illustrations and texts for the Amsterdam Dutchionary in the 2007 AGI conference guide are nowpublished on the AGI website.


We Love Your (Free) Fonts!
(2010_0824) Holland Fonts (my font foundry) features in the second volume of Free Font Index 2 with 9 free fonts, including the compilations "Dutch Doubles" (2004, 37 Dutch designers), "Frisco-Remix" (2003, 34 Bay area designers), "MaxMix One" (1990, Typ magazine), "We Love Your" (1986-2003, found objects, Typ magazine) and Metropole. The book contains over 500 fonts by type foundries and designers, like Donald Beekman, Jakob Fisher, Ray Larabie, Ellen Lupton, Martin Majoor and Svetoslav Simov.


My type workshop to design and produce your own font "Do You Read Me?" has been updated especially for this publication in collaboration with Typemafia's Gerben Dollen. Free Fonts Index is edited and designed by Hans Lijklema and published in June 2010 by the Pepin Press.

(2010_0912) I have posted a few animations:
First Serve (2007)
Your President (2008)
Met het oog op morgen (2009)
Holland Doc 24 design (2007)

Portal design:

(2010_1101) KismanVerhaak designed the identity and interaction plan and graphic design of the portal GO is an independent platform and (knowledge) network for anyone professionally involved with city planning and urban development. The platform provides news and updates about area development, an agenda of events, meetings and conferences etc. background information and views on urban and of land development. Language used is Dutch. Technical realisation is by Creative Dutchmen

Slash Art: against the cuts

(2010_11_01) I’d rather do it myself. Fare well (luckily it’s a wooden dagger). Applause…. The Dutch national budget for art and culture is one of the lowest in Europe. The new government of has decided to cut art subsidies in half. Slash Art is a platform of ideas and response, building an artful image bank.

Alles komt goed
Op 4 april 2016 maakte dichter en VPRO-programmamaker Wim Brands (1959) een einde aan zijn leven. Hij liet vele honderden gedichten na en uren radio en televisie, voor het merendeel gewijd aan schrijvers en boeken. De laatste elf jaar van zijn leven presenteerde Brands elke zondagochtend het programma VPRO Boeken.
In Alles komt goed zien we Brands door de ogen van zijn vrienden, zijn collega’s, de schrijvers die hij interviewde en de dichters die zich met hem verwant voelden.
Met bijdragen van: Asis Aynan, Roel Bentz van den Berg, Erik Bindervoet, Annemieke Gerrist, Arnon Grunberg, Erik Jan Harmens, Judith Herzberg, Max Kisman, David Kleijwegt, Ariejan Korteweg, Erik Lindne, Maaike Meijer, Jeroen van Kan, K. Michel, Wim Noordhoek, Ester Naomi Perquin, Rob Rieme, F. Starik, Arie Storm, Thomas Verbogt, Maarten Westerveen, Maartje Wortel. Binnenkort bij uitgeverij Balans

Een monumentje voor Wim
(2017_0315) Een avond op 6 april in de Rode Hoed te Amsterdam over journalist, presentator, dichter Wim Brands (1959 - 2016). Op deze avond worden ook zijn Verzamelde Gedichten (uitgeverij van Oorschot) en een kleine biografie door zijn vrienden Alles Komt Goed (uitgeverij Balans) gepresenteerd. Ariejan Korteweg, Jeroen van Kan, Ellen Jens en Thomas Verbogt vertellen over Wim als vriend, als dichter en als journalist. K. Michel, Annemieke Gerrist en Kira Wuck schreven gedichten voor hem. Leonie Jansen en Beatrice van der Poel zingen zijn poëzie. Maarten Westerveen is de presentator. Lees voor meer...

Boyle Park Tennis
(2016_0529) One of my favourite logo's I did about ten years ago for the public tennis courts in Mill Valley, CA: Boyle Park Tennis...

Fête de Graphisme 2015
celebrer la terre
(2015_0318) In January 2015 I participated in the street show ‘Celebrate the earth’ in the annual event of the ‘Fête de Graphisme’ in Paris with the poster ‘Everything in the universe is small’.

Kisman op MAD Fest 2015
mad fest
(2015_0110) MAD Fest is een nieuw nationaal event bij het Burgerweeshuis in Deventer waar alles draait om de viering van creativiteit op het gebied van Music, Art en Design. Met o.a. The Diamond Exchange met Henk Koorn (Hallo Venray) en Melle de Boer (Smutfish, John Dear Mowing Club), NNENN, Paceshifters, Ben Newman (Britse illustrator), Flip Scipio (gitaarbouwer) en Martin Pyper (beeldontwerper), Jeroen Diepenmaat (beeldend kunstenaar), Paulusma (singer-songwriter/ex-Daryll Ann, Workshop Zeefdrukken (met o.a. ontwerp van Max Kisman en Ben Newman), Max Kisman (grafisch ontwerper en BNO-lid en David Carson (grafisch topontwerper). Meer op

Max Kisman at AGI Open São Paulo 2014
This introduction movie is a one take shot video from my current work space.
AGI Open São Paulo 2014 - Max Kisman from AGI on Vimeo.

(2014_0813) My talk at AGI Open 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil will be about Ancestral Migration.
More on AGI Open here.

Happy Holidays!
(2013_1221) Animated version of illustration in Financial Journal, Het Financieele Dagblad, Saturday 21 December 2013. Essay by Arnold Heertje, economist and expert on Spinoza: Dutch philosopher Spinoza saw people for what they are, not what they are supposed to be according to fictitious and normative criteria. By imposing codes of conduct, and the introduction of bureaucracy and stifling regulations, the carpet is rolled out for the rise of dehumanizing transactions.

Pictographs for
Schiphol Parking


(2013_1121) When you park your car at Schiphol Parking, you will remember its location by the icons of a typical Dutch tulip, windmill and skater designed by Max Kisman. Readers of the "Financieel Dagblad" or "De Volkskrant" recognize the distinctive visual language of the clear line that combines with the play of form and counter shape. The designs are also incorporated in the light walls that illuminate the attractive entry halls.



Typographic Matchmaking in the City: The movie

By Jan de Bruin and Ans Kanen. Featuring: Max Kisman (NL), Naji El Mir (Lebanon/F), Hisham Youssef (Egypt/UAE), Rene Knip (NL), Khajag (KJ) Apelian (Lebanon/NL), Jeroen van Erp (NL), Reza Abedini (Iran/NL), Erik van Blokland (NL), Pascal Zoghbi (Lebanon),Joumana Al Jabri (Saudi Arabia/Syria/UAE), Artur Schmal, Wael Morcos (Lebanon), Richard Wagner (D/UAE), Melle Hammer (NL), Yara Khoury (Lebanon), Stealth: Ana Dzokic (Serbia) & Marc Neelen (NL)
typographic matchmaking in the city embedded from from Ans Kanen on Vimeo.

Kisman type

(2011_0901)Now in the stands! This month I appear in Publish magazine (issue 4, september 201) in Typtekens (Type signs), an interview by Henk Gianotten, with above illustration on my Pacific font, other illustrations and type designs.

Crouwel Print now available in Stedelijk Museum store and Nijhof & Lee.

(2011_0329>0902) Bill Crawl: “Oh they say”. This print is dedicated to the modernist Dutch graphic designer Wim Crouwel. The impressive exhibition Wim Crouwel: A Graphic Odyssee on his life time work opened on 30 March in the the Design Museum in London. The limited edition A3 Risograph is printed by Ditto Press Ltd. at the Pick Me Up graphic arts fair in Somerset House, and is for sale for £20 in the Design Museum shop or can be picked up for €15 at the Stedlijk Museum store, Nijhof & Lee or KismanStudio in Amsterdam.

Kisman Kitchen: graphic identity and stage design

(2012_0902) For the NTR / IKON / VPRO TV program ‘Gesprek op 2’ (Talk on 2) I designed the graphics, the tune and the stage for the upcoming season. This 'less is more' stage consists oftwo rows of curtains (typographic print) a red carpet and back-to-basics furniture of my own design. Elements of the stage return in the title sequence. ‘Gesprek op 2’ conversations of Daphne Bunskoek, Paul Rosenmöller and Chris Krijne with Dutch and foreign guests link up with current affairs. The stage is still under construction; the first broadcast will be for the late nighters on Sunday 9 September at 23:30 hrs. Or watch later on-line at

1:50 model of the design and stage preps:
model 2

model 3

model 4

model 5

Schretlen magazine wins gold at Grand Prix 2010 Corporate magazines


(2010_0415) After winning best cover at the Media Facts Awards in 2009, Schretlen & Co Client Magazine is gold winner of the Grand Prix Corporate magazines 2010 award for the best corporate magazine in the Netherlands, in the category external

Cover design Schretlen magazine wins award for best cover
The illustration on a coverdesign for Schretlen magazine by Jacob Mulder of Amsterdam based Scripta Media is awarde for the Media Facts Award in the catagory client magazines.


Small Dictionary about Time

Illustrations turn into typeface

TIJD (Time) alphabet is extracted from 26 illustrations I made for Vouwblad 7: Klein Woordenboek over Tijd (Folder 7: Small Dictionairy about Time), issued in fall 2009 by Lenoirschuring Printers in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. The font and poster PDF are free available from Holland Fonts


Tcho artist-series with
Max Kisman

(2010_0210) My graphics feature on Tcho's 2010 holiday chocolate boxes with bright vibrant colors, iconographic imagery, and special typography. Valentine's day, Easter, MothersDay, Haloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Visit in San Francisco, California.



Congretulations Giants!

(2010_1102) SF Giants play Texas Rangers competing in the World Series and have won in a 4-1 victory. Tcho gift box sleeve.Go Giants Go!

Flowers flourish in Benson, Arizona

(2010_0712) Arnold's Flowers is a small flowershop on 4th Street (Busines I-10) in Benson, Arizona, for which I created a simple light box design and identity.Now the shop is painted in the same bright colors it stands out in the bland strip architecture of Benson's 4th Street.

Arnold's Flowers Logo

Painting the word FLOWERS in 7 feet tall letters of my font Pacific Standard Bold makes it even more standing out and visible from a larger distance.





S+RO 2016/4: Free!
This issue of S+RO is devoted to recreation and how it has changed in recent years. Nowadays people often work in the places where they live and recreate them in places that were used for work. This is the final issue designed by Kismanstudio. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2016/3: Urban Agenda
(2016_0910) For a long time the urgency has been felt globally. New agendas with ideas and arrangements for urban problems and for harnessing the urban power must come soon. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2016/2: New mobility
(2016_0429) The demands for mobility change. Cities grow, in other places shrinking, aging and new (urban) lifestyles occur. Cars are cleaner and new developments of car sharing arise. Yet it seems thats some of these changes take longer than we wish. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2016/1: Healthy city
(2016_0301) Which tasks have the cities in the twenty-first century when it comes to health? There is a lot of knowledge and ambition to make life in cities healthier: encouraging exercise, walking, running, games, bicycles and sports; reducing polluting emissions; improving the quality of systems for heating and ventilation; food and variation.
Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2015/5:
Year of Space 2015
Due to publishers policies, this was meant to be last issue directed and designed by Kismanstudio. In these five years, I have fruitfully collaborated with content editor Denise Vrolijk, designer Franciska Vijn and designer Joost Verhaak to produce this wonderful magazine. Cover art: Max Kisman

2015 sro1 cover
(2105_1214) In 2040, the Netherlands must become ’coolest' metropolis of the world. That is the first line of the “Manifesto 2040”, published in the context of the Year of Space 2015. If we want to enjoy a green, safe, prosperous and circular environment in 2040 then we need to get started now the Manifesto advises. Action is needed on many fronts, but mainly about a new spatial look. One that looks beyond fences, beyond our own interests and from an international perspective. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2015/4:
World heritage

2015 sro1 cover

(2015_1101) World heritage increasingly interferes with urban planning. It is one of the few tasks where the central government in the Netherlands is still responsible for, but locally as well its influence increases. The protected status not only creates rights and obligations, but also opens new doors. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2015/3:
City of tomorrow
2015 sro1 cover
(2015_0808) Populations pull to and from the city. In recent years, several groups move back toward the city. The city is popular again with young adults, young families, educated and creative people. What effects do these demographic trends have on the spatial and economic development of cities? Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2015/2: Inner city

2015 sro1 cover
2015_0601) What is the function of the town center in the city of tomorrow? Is there such a thing as a program of requirements for a well-functioning city? The inner city is becoming an experience. A meeting spacenwith urban events, festivals, restaurants, cultural hotspots and (inter) national visitors.

S+RO 2015/1:
Agglomeration strength
2015 sro1 cover
(2015_0318) The Netherlands does not really have big cities. To participate internationally, we can choose: let either one city grow even greater or let medium-sized cities connect with each other stronger so that they jointly can offer more agglomeration strength and function as one city. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2014/5: Airport City
sro3 cover
Due to lack of space and inconvenience of air and rail stations and airports were built on the edges of cities. The growth of the city on the one hand and the appeal of the transport interchanges on the other stations and airports become increasingly intertwined in urban structures. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2014/4: The crisis past
sro3 cover
(2013_1001) Who makes the city, must make the city and how should it be addressed? All this against the background of not only between different roles of the parties, as well an urban condition that senses the consequences of the crisis, yet deals with a certain renaissance, strong population growth, a new economy. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2014/3: Young city
sro3 cover
(2013_0620) After the Grey City, the Young City. There are increasingly more children in the cities. Young families remain 'stuck' in their home town because they can’t fund a house in the suburbs, but many choose deliberately to raise their children in the city. Cover art: Max Kisman

S+RO 2014/2: Rotterdam
sro2 cover
(2013_0620) Contemporary issues of the most 'modern city' of the Netherlands. The direct influence of local politics on urban development is often overestimated. That has been stronger in the past, and certainly in Rotterdam. Cover art: Max Kisman.

S+RO 2014/1: Grey city
sro1 cover
(2013_0620) Over the past half century, life expectancy has increased by an average of 2.5 years per decade. That is an increase of six hours per day. When reading this magazine with an average reading speed of two hours, your life expectancy increases with half an hour! Cover art: Max Kisman.

S+RO 2013/6: Blue Economy

sro6 cover
(2013_1215) Sustainability changes its colors. Green into blue. It is smarter using locally available materials, resources, energy, labor and natural techniques. Cover art: Max Kisman.

S+RO 2013/5: Smart Cities

(2013_1102) Smart people make smart cities. Cover art by Max Kisman.
More info:

S+RO 2013/4: City Streets

(2013_1102) September issue of S+RO on decline and rice of the city street. Coverart by Max Kisman. More info:

S+RO 2013/3: TOD

(2013_0705) If we look at the spatial patterns in The Netherlands, we see polycentric urban regions. Looking at thetransport networks there is an under-utilization and they could function much better. Coverart by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2013/2: New Towns

(2013_0401) Newtowns in the Netherlands. Cover art by Lust. More info:

S+RO 2013/1: City 2033

(2013_0201) How cities will evolve in the future. Cover art by Frederique Ruys, Vizualism. More info:

S+RO 2012/6: Metropolitan region Amsterdam

(2012_1223) The economic strength, an attractive investment climate, the quality of life and international air connections score high on lists of metropolitan values. Where does the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area stand in this competitive field of metropolises? Cover art by Niels Schrader/Mind Design. More info:

S+RO 2012/5: Water

(2012_1024) S+RO 5 October 2012 issue: Water Netherlands and the water, it's an interesting history. What does the future hold for the Netherlands? Cover art by Joost Grootens Studio. More info:

S+RO 2012/4: Cities by numbers

(2012_0822) S+RO 4 August 2012 issue. The summer issue of S+RO covers urbanism in figures. Numbers play an increasingly important role in urban planning and research based on statistics and about parametric urban design. Cover art by Catalog Tree. More info:

S+RO 2012/3: Bicycle

(2012_0620) S+RO 3 June 2012 issue. The explosive use of bicycles in cities and towns demand for better planning and flexible policies for infrastructure and the cyclists themselves. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2012/2: In between

(2012_0430) S+RO 2 April 2012 issue. Improvised experiments in between marginal urban development and institutional city planning. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2012/1: Olympic Cities

(2012_0430) S+RO 1 February 2012 issue. Pains and pleasures of sports and economics. Why cities want the Olympics so bad. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2011/5: SVIR

(2011_1130) S+RO 5 DECEMBER 2011 issue: BRSAINPORT EINDHOVEN. Eindhoven is booming! In a radius of forty kilometers around the city are most prolific Dutch companies and institutes of technology and knowledge. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2011/5: SVIR

(2011_1021) S+RO 5 October 2011 issue: Excitement in the professional world. After the National Planning Department is now the Ministry of Housing lifted and there is a Structural Design and Infrastructure Area (SVIR) that breaks with the familiar, famous Dutch spatial planning around a Randstad and Green Heart. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2011/4: Scary City

(2011_0824) S+RO 4 September 2011 issue. Strategies on safety and securuty in urban planning, infrastucture and spacial structures. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2011/3: Buxelles

(2011_0702) S+RO 3 Juli 2011 issue on the urban development of Buruxelles. Cover art by Kismanstudio. More info:

S+RO 2011/2: Europe

(2010_0702) S+RO 2 April 2011 issue on European infrastructures and collaborations. Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 2011/1: Crisis

(2010_0224) S+RO 1 Februari 2011 issue covers the current effect of the crisis on future urban planning and development with a variety of studies and info graphics Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 6: Future of planning


(2010_1210) S+RO 6 December Christmas issue: Silver on black and white. Nocturnal city lights of north west Europe, birds view. The future of Spatial planning in the Eurodelta.

S+RO 5: Food


(2010_1009) S+RO 5 November issue. Food. Urban agriculture. How do we feed cities? Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 4: Economy & Space


(2010_0809) S+RO 4. Economics and space. Economical growth has always been the financial force behind many urban and environmental developments. Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 3: We City


(2010_0610) S+RO 3. Urban planning should be bottom up, social groups are more than participation and lobby clubs, acting effectively as principals in area development. Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 2: Megacities


(2010_0411)S+RO 2. The impact of mega cities world wide.Cover art by Kismanstudio.

S+RO 1: Trends


2010_0210) Joost Verhaak and I restyled Dutch S+RO magazine on city planning and urban development as KismanVerhaak. The new design uses Typemafia's Actium and the custom designed City Wire, brightly coloured infographics and great photography. Launched in March 2010. Cover art by Joost Verhaak.

Copy and images ©2010 Max Kisman/Kismanstudio