This year, the BNO - Piet Zwart Life Time Achievement Award of the Dutch Design Awards 2009 is awarded to graphic designer Gert Dumbar. The Award, which comprises EUR 4,000 in prize money and a presentation in the exhibition of the Dutch Design Awards, will be presented by jury member Paul Mijksenaar during the Award Show of the Dutch Design Awards in Eindhoven on 17 October 2009.
The selection committee (Chairman Martijn Sanders, Ro Huisman, Trude Hooykaas, Hans Dirken, Reinier Gerritsen, Paul Mijksenaar, Hans P. Brandt, and Bruno Ninaber van Eyben) unanimously decided that the BNO Piet Zwart Award 2009 should go to one of the greatest graphic designers in the Netherlands: Gert Dumbar. Jury member Paul Mijksenaar: "Reviewing the list of previous winners, it is clear that Gert Dumbar more than deserves to be included. Of all the previous winners, he actually shows the strongest affinity with Piet Zwart, especially as regards the playfulness in his work. His famous Mondriaan Poster - representing typical Mondriaan style elements such as coloured bars photographed in the space like an installation - would fit well in Piet Zwart's famous stampbooklet, just like his well-known posters through which he introduced 'staged photography' to the Netherlands.
Just like Piet Zwart, he also worked spatially, in particular on exhibitions such as the travelling 'Dutch Design' exhibitions, the spatial elements of which also formed the packaging. Dumbar also masters an 'austere' line, which finds its expression in corporate identities for the Dutch Railways, Aegon, Hollandse Beton Groep, Spaarnestad, and - a high point in his career - the Royal Dutch PTT (later KPN), for which he designed many visual identities over the years, including stamps, forms, and the interior design of the Post Offices. Later, he added to his list of achievements the highly acclaimed visual identity for the Dutch Police, which became particularly known by the striping on all police boats, aircrafts, and vehicles. Before establishing Studio Dumbar, he was already co-founder of Tel Design in The Hague - the counterpart of Total Design, the design bureau with the major customers among which many government organisations. With Tel Design, the Amsterdam-based Total Design had another self-willed competitor to contend with."
Jury member Rob Huisman: "In addition to his purely professional activities, Gert Dumbar has always taken an active interest in matters outside the boundaries of his profession. By founding Theater Zeebelt, he ventured upon the performing arts. With Zeebelt, he produced, among other performances, an opera with flies playing the leading parts, and recently he and his students in the KABK organised a series of cabaret performances with famous fonts as the main characters. In the late 1990s, he organised together with his wife Leonie a series of international design conferences in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, which turned out to be a trail-blazing contribution to the internationalisation of the concept of 'Dutch Design'. Finally, he also played an active role in politics with the establishment of the Nationale Affichegalerij (National Poster Gallery)."
The BNO Piet Zwart Award / Life Time Achievement Award Dutch of the Dutch Design Awards is an oeuvre prize presented to a designer who has made an extraordinary contribution to the profession and excels in one or more of the areas of expertise in which photographer, typographer, spatial and industrial designer Piet Zwart was active. The Association of Dutch The organisation of the Piet Zwart Award was formerly conducted by the Association of Designers (BNO), but as from 2009, it will be part of the Dutch Design Awards in association with BNO. Adjudication continues to take place under the auspices of BNO. If no suitable candidate is found, the prize will not be awarded. In future, the prize will be awarded annually instead of once every two years. Among the winners of previous editions are industrial designer Friso Kramer, graphic designer Jan van Toorn, graphic designer Wim Crouwel, photographer Eva Besnyö, interior architect Nel Verschuuren, graphic designer Jan Bons, and product designer Bruno Ninaber Van Eyben.