‘Johan Enschedé’ in the North Holland Archives

Finally, together with our partners Studio Louter and North-Holland Archives in Haarlem, we opened the exhibition “Johan Enschedé: Printer of Value” .

Since 2015, the North-Holland Archives has aquired the unique and extensive collection frp, the printing house Royal Johan Enschedé. On November 25 a permanent exhibition dedicated to Enschedé opened in the ancient Janskerk, home of the North-Holland Archives. Enschedé, a family business from Haarlem for roughly 300 years was known for producing Dutch banknotes and other securities. Todd van Hulzen Design made the exhibition design in collaboration with Studio Louter, who also did the concept, graphic work, and all AV and multimedia.

Through years of progressive craftsmanship in printing, publishing and font casting, Joh. Enschedé became the de facto state printer. In this new presentation, Enschedé’s world-famous printed matter is shown and celebrated. Todd van Hulzen designed three artistic sculptural installations that depict the craftsmanship of the techniques that were used. For example, an 18th-century printing press can be seen with an airy explosion of printed matter, a floating letter installation consisting of fonts designed by Enschedé and an imaginative money roll that reveals the color process of a banknote.

The biggest challenges were the existing building (a medieval church) and the light that flooded the space through large Gothic windows. We managed to incorporate both the atmosphere of the church and the materials of more recent interventions into the design in order to meet our own maxim “don’t fight the building.” The indirect light from the huge windows had to be reduced by 60% and then it was necessary to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the objects. For this, we developed a design with Anna Nogaré of Studio Louter for a 12-meter-high window, with the appearance of stained glass but with imagery drawn from the 300-year-old oeuvre of Johan Enschedé.

For the magazine of the North-Holland Archives Uitgelicht’
Todd, along with Anna, Dirk and Eline from Studio Louter, was interviewed about the design process. Read the interview here.

Photos: Kim Krijnen