Dutch graphic designer and self-proclaimed supporter of amateurism Karel Martens (1939), has been an influential figure in the visual culture of the Netherlands for many decades. Alongside his commissioned projects, Martens has maintained a commitment to this personal and iterative way of printing, which shows how creative practice often spans perceived disciplinary boundaries. Karel Martens has been a successful part of all Test Press Book events in the past years. Honored with the most prestigious Dutch design prize in 2023, the BNO* Piet Zwart Prize for a lifetime’s work, it had to be that he was put in the spotlight. . .
Karel Martens created for each day of his elegant ‘tear-off’ calendar a unique abstracted form to serve as a number—originally constructed using his signature method of printing letterpress mono-prints from found metal forms, which have been digitized to comprise 365 compositions in total. The piece’s reference to the daily practice of art expresses Martens’ own approach as a designer and educator: “every day is a new day.”
His mono-print process that underlies the ‘Every Day is a New Day’ calendar will be on display and some books among which those mentioned above will be available to view and purchase.
But there is more . . .
In the 2023 edition of Test Press Books #3, Karel Martens is especially highlighted with the construction of his book ‘Uranus‘, which transforms into a 21 square meters wallpiece. You have to see it to believe it. After Shanghai, Tokyo and New York it will now be erected at KO-OP Sofia.
*Association of Dutch Designers
author: Karel Martens
design: Karel Martens
mono-print /digital prepress
Published ©2023 Roma Publications
Softcover with tear-off sheets, 736 pages, full color, est. 15 × 21 cm
Karel Martens Calender 2024 is part of Test Press #3 at KO-OP, Sofia